Weird Universe


Holland Girl ISO American Boy

1959: A Holland girl sent a letter to North South Dakota addressed "To a Nice Boy" seeking someone with whom she could correspond.

You can sense in her letter the kind of suspicions about identity that have become so familiar in the Internet age — that you often don't know people's true identity online. You just know who they're claiming to be. But of course, how do we know that "Holland girl" was really a girl?

The Gastonia Gazette (Gastonia, NC) — Dec 31, 1959

Posted By: Alex | Date: Wed Feb 10, 2016 | Comments (5)
Category: 1950's

Happy the Cowboy Ventriloquist Dummy


"Happy" looks anything but, as if he's battling the DTs. Does his cigarette really emit smoke?

Original ad here. (Page 35.)
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Feb 09, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Puppets and Automatons, 1950's, Sadness

Thought he was Jerry

So who was this Jerry, and what did he do? I guess we'll never know.

Arizona Republic - Jan 29, 1953

Man Stabbed With Apology
SAN FRANCISCO (INS) — Lawrence Bridges, 32, San Francisco Municipal Railway bus driver, reported to police that he was stabbed by a man who then leaned over him and said:
"Oh, pardon me, I thought you were Jerry."
He was stabbed twice, in the cheek and shoulder, as he walked on Sutter Street near Fillmore. He will recover.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Feb 08, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: 1950's

Follies of the Madmen #273

Happy Joe Lucky was no Roger Rabbit, but he does a credible job here with Gisele MacKenzie.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Feb 06, 2016 | Comments (4)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Television, Tobacco and Smoking, Cartoons, 1950's

The Continuing Adventures of Rayo

After being ignored by most people when he nailed his tongue to a wooden board, Rayo the Fakir sealed himself with a snake inside a glass "bottle," in which he toured Europe. By the time he emerged, a year later, the snake had died.

Life magazine reported that the year-long stunt almost didn't happen because city authorities in Linz filed a temporary injunction, citing the act as "counter to the dignity of man... liable to produce panic... and creating an unhealthy condition for the inhabitant of the bottle."

I'm guessing Rayo wasn't actually Indian. He just pretended to be an Indian fakir as part of his act. (Basically, he was the David Blaine of the early 1950s.) Also, I think his last name was spelled "Schmied," though a lot of papers reported it as "Schmidt."

Newsweek - Jan 12, 1953

Bottled Up: The Austrian Fakir, "Rayo," whose real name is Rudolf Schmied, plans to tour Europe for an entire year while sealed with his pet snake in this glass bottle. He'll practice yoga, massage himself with special oils, and subsist on vitamin tablets and glucose. He hopes to be in London for the Coronation. (Newsweek)

The Circleville Herald - Dec 26, 1953

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Feb 02, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Human Marvels, 1950's

Bob Gaffner, Fishermen’s Helper

That Bob! "He's full of the old mick!" Huh? That expression summons up a mere two Google hits. I suspect it's a euphemism for "full of the old Nick," which in turn was a euphemism for "full of the Devil."
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Feb 02, 2016 | Comments (2)
Category: Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Work and Vocational Training, Children, 1950's

No one cared about Rayo

1952: Rayo the Fakir nailed his tongue to a wooden board, but no one cared about the feat.

Lethbridge Herald - Feb 29, 1952

Franklin News Herald - Mar 28, 1952

Fredericksburg Standard - Jun 18, 1952

Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Feb 01, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Human Marvels, 1950's



Full story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jan 30, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Body, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1950's, Nineteenth Century

La Bruja

I regret that I cannot find a subtitled-in-English version of this Mexican film, where a mad scientist creates a formula that turns an extremely ugly woman into a beauty, as in the before-and-after pix below. But those of you who know Spanish--or who just want visuals--can enjoy the full movie.



May and Very Very Late December Marriage



Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jan 27, 2016 | Comments (11)
Category: Elderly and Seniors, Wives, 1950's
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.