Weird Universe


The Bandleader Shirt


All your contemporary T-shirts with images of rappers put together will never be as cool as this.

Original ad here.

Larger image here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jan 24, 2016 | Comments (4)
Category: Fashion, Music, 1940's

Shirley Dinsdale and Judy Splinters


Female ventriloquists are pretty rare. So it's always weird to find a forgotten one, especially one who might be remembered for garnering the first Emmy award ever given. Shirley Dinsdale might have been talented, but Judy Splinters was surely ugly as all get-out.

This 1945 radio show (not embeddable) features her act in its prime, starting after the 3-minute mark.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jan 22, 2016 | Comments (5)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Entertainment, Puppets and Automatons, 1940's

Jungle Yachts in the Belgian Congo

Holy cats! Look at those gorgeous weird trailers!
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jan 15, 2016 | Comments (6)
Category: Design and Designers, Ethnic Groupings, Motor Vehicles, Foreign Customs, 1940's, Africa

Ready on the Home Front

What do you think would happen today if you got ahold of live telephone operator and shouted, "Army Flash!"

The amazing thing is how much more there was to the civil defense system than the old cliche about the warden yelling, "Douse those lights!"
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Dec 27, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Military, PSA's, 1940's

Battle Bike


Original pic here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Dec 23, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Destruction, Surrealism, Transportation, 1940's, Weapons

Follies of the Madmen #268


This was one of a series of postwar ads for magnesium, which illustrated how the miracle metal would allow consumers to do things nobody would ever want to do, like carry a baby carriage on your shoulder.

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Dec 21, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Technology, Babies and Toddlers, 1940's

Marjoe Gortner, Child Preacher

Marjoe Gortner made headlines in the late 1940s when, at the age of 3½, he became an evangelist preacher. And in 1949, at the age of 4, he performed his first marriage ceremony, marrying Raymond Miller and Alma Brown.

Source: Google Cultural Institute

Daily Capital Journal (Salem, Oregon) - Jan 4, 1949

In the early 1970s, Gortner had a change of heart and collaborated with documentary filmmakers to expose the profit motive of the revivalist industry. The resulting film, Marjoe, won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary Film.

Source: Wikipedia

Gortner then went on to become an actor, appearing mostly in B-movies, before finally transitioning into producing celebrity sporting events to raise money for charities.

Read more about Gortner at wikipedia and
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Dec 05, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Religion, 1940's

Mystery Gadget 33


Tamp down fresh asphalt? Transport wounded from the battlefield? Spread DDT in pellet form?

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Dec 04, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Technology, 1940's

Her Hair Turned Green

1948: Mrs. Dorothy Dix of Gloucester, England sued her hairdresser, complaining that after getting a permanent wave from them in July 1946, her normally brown hair turned green. A subsequent effort to bleach her hair back to a normal color worsened the situation, causing it to turn a lighter shade of green, become frizzled, and blistering her scalp.

In fact, her hair was not simply green. Various witnesses offered different descriptions of it, saying it was "like a rainbow with green predominating," "like a dirty sheepskin rug streaked with green," "frizzled like a golliwog," and "streaked with vivid red, brown, green and straw."

The court awarded Mrs. Dix 157 pounds ten shillings in general damages and 12 pounds one shilling and one penny in special damages.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find any photos of Mrs. Dix and her green hair.

(left) The Ottawa Journal - Feb 4, 1949; (right) The Winnipeg Tribune - Dec 22, 1948

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Dec 01, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: 1940's, Hair and Hairstyling
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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.