Weird Universe Archive

November 2022

November 30, 2022

Krylon Man

I wonder if Krylon Man is supposed to be sentient. He has a nozzle instead of a head, but he's guided by some kind of instinct to press his nozzle and release his contents.

I also wonder if they tried putting a head on him but decided that he looked better with just a nozzle.

You can buy a screen print of Krylon Man for $25 and hang him on your wall.

Life - Sep 23, 1975

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 30, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, 1950s

Miss Anthracite

No chance of this beauty queen title being reinstated in today's, ahem, "climate."

I find a reference to Miss Anthracite as early as 1928.




A few years later, there was a controversy.





She soldiered on through the 1940s.




The fifties saw no lack of interest in the contest.




The seventies certainly saw a stunning winner. But after that references peter out, as the romance of coal tapers off.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 30, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Twentieth Century, Mining

November 29, 2022

Driving Blind

Pc Austin said that when he pulled over the car, Aziz, who wore dark glasses, was fumbling with the controls. When asked if he noticed anything about Aziz he replied: "I did — he didn't have any eyes."

London Daily Telegraph - Sep 5, 2006

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 29, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: 2000s, Eyes and Vision, Cars

The Reber Plan

In this era when we speculate about giant geoengineering schemes, we should honor such past visionaries as John Reber, who wanted to turn San Francisco Bay into two giant freshwater lakes.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 29, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Engineering and Construction, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1950s

November 28, 2022

Trapdoor for bank tellers

I'm aware of quite a few inventions designed to trap or incapacitate bank robbers. But the idea of allowing a bank teller to abruptly vanish is more novel.

Of course, this approach could only work if there was a single teller working, and hopefully no other customers in the bank.

I was curious whether this bank with the cashier trapdoor might still exist, but I had no luck finding its address. I did find that it was acquired by another bank in 1948. So it was probably demolished long ago.

Hagerstown Morning Herald - Aug 9, 1932

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 28, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Crime, Inventions, Money, 1930s

November 27, 2022

SHT and SCAT

In his 1983 book Big Business Blunders: Mistakes in Multinational Marketing, David Ricks tells the following story:

A Japanese steel firm, Sumitomo, recently introduced its specialty steel pipe into the U.S. market. Sumitomo used a Tokyo-based, Japanese agency to help develop its advertisements. The steel was named "Sumitomo High Toughness," and the name was promoted by the acronym SHT in bold letters. So bold, in fact, that the full-page ads run in trade journals were three fourths filled with SHT. Located at the bottom of the page was a short message which ended with the claim that the product was "made to match its name." It simply cannot be overemphasized that local input is vital.

I've been able to find ads for SHT, such as the one below, but none exactly like the one that Ricks describes. Which doesn't mean the ad doesn't exist. Just that it isn't in any journals archived online.

Ocean Industry - July 1984



However, among the ads for SHT that I was able to find, I found one that actually improves (and possibly complicates) Ricks's story. Because it turns out that Sumitomo had another product, Sumitomo Calcium Treatment, that it abbreviated as SCAT.

Once I could accept as an honest mistake, but coming up with scatalogical abbreviations twice seems intentional. I'm guessing either someone at Sumitomo thought it was funny, or someone at the Japanese agency was having a joke at their expense.

Ocean Industry - March 1980

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 27, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Products, Odd Names, Excrement, 1980s

November 26, 2022

The Blonde And Her Companion

Back in the 1950s, the FBI used "a curvaceous blue-eyed blonde, wearing a form-fitting sweater" to help train its agents to improve their powers of observation. The lesson was that if they spent too much time looking at her, they might miss other important details, such as her companion, "public enemy No. 11."

Reminds me of the "woman in the red dress" featured in the agent-training-program scene in The Matrix. I wonder if the Wachowskis had heard of the "blonde and her companion" test.

San Bernardino County Sun - Dec 4, 1955



Posted By: Alex - Sat Nov 26, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Police and Other Law Enforcement, 1950s, Eyes and Vision

Grapefruit Diet Ad

"With success, comes class!"

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 26, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food, Advertising, 1980s, Dieting and Weight Loss

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