Weird Universe


Doomsday for Pests

Spray that DDT everywhere!

Aren't you a little sad for all those cartoon bugs?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jul 12, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Disasters, Insects, Nature, 1940's

Flameproof Playsuits


Were children more prone to catch fire for no reason in the past during innocent recreational activities than they are today?

Original ad here. (Page 23.)
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 27, 2014 | Comments (12)
Category: Death, Destruction, Disasters, Fashion, Comics, Children, 1940's

Jeez!  The Kid’s Got a Real Gun!


What are the actual odds that Billy would be deader'n a doornail as a result of his impetuous behavior?

Original ad here. (On page 35.)
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jun 24, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Crime, Stupid Criminals, Death, Toys, Comics, 1940's

Look for the Sanforized label!

From Life magazine - Sep 15, 1941:

JULIA: Gk-gk-stop choking me, you brute!
GEORGE: I've been choking all day in a shrunk-up shirt because you forgot to look for the right label.
JULIA: What label?
GEORGE: The 'Sanforized' label, dumb-puss. The one that says the fabric won't shrink more than a little 1% by standard tests.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Jun 23, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Advertising, Marriage, 1940's

Banana-Launched Ship

On January 23, 1941, in Beaumont, Texas, the Cape Lookout cargo ship was launched using three-and-a-half tons of "well-ripened bananas" in order to lubricate its slide into the water. It wasn't the first time a ship had ever been launched using bananas, but at the time it was definitely the largest ship ever launched by this method. Does it still hold this record? I have no idea. The reason bananas were used was because, at the time, they were cheaper than grease.

Corsicana Semi-Weekly Light (Corsicana, Texas) - Jan 28, 1941

The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) - Jan 28, 1941
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jun 19, 2014 | Comments (11)
Category: 1940's

The women rat-catchers of World War II

During World War II, rat catching was one of the traditionally male jobs that was taken over by women. At least in the UK. I like the part of this article that details the "grim satisfaction" the women got from smashing rats with shovels:

The anti-rat workers have had some peculiar first reactions on meeting their adversaries. One, seeing her first dead rat, exlaimed: "Oh, you poor darling."
Despite all their modern training and equipment, it's sometimes necessary to rely on primitive methods — like bashing out the enemy's brains with a spade. The girls get grim satisfaction from this hand-to-hand combat. They know they're doing every bit as much to help win the war as are their brothers and sweethearts who are hunting rats in uniform.

Source: Miami Daily News-Record (Miami, Oklahoma) - Nov 18, 1943

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jun 14, 2014 | Comments (4)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, 1940's

Catch Us If You Can

Proof that you do not need video games as flight simulators to encourage hijacking.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 13, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Crime, Flight, Children, 1940's

Corozo, Tagua, or Vegetal Ivory


Encountering this 1944 ad caused me to do a little research, whereupon I discovered that Corozo or Tagua or Vegetal Ivory is still a thing.

If you want a "Corozo Nut Ring" today, and suspect the 1944 offer is no longer valid, just visit this site.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Jun 07, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Crafts, Jewelry, 1940's, South America, Natural Wonders

Pied Piper of Albany


What a great stunt by famed jazz musician Red Nichols.

Original article here.

I wonder if this was the tune he played.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Jun 06, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Pests, Plagues and Infestations, Publicity Stunts, 1940's

Avoid Scalp Scum

I'm not exactly sure what "scalp scum" is, but it definitely sounds like it's worth avoiding.

This ad ran in Time, Newsweek, etc. in the late 1940s. via Duke Libraries.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Thu Jun 05, 2014 | Comments (12)
Category: Advertising, 1940'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.