Weird Universe


Man vs. Horse, 1947

The experts predicted that the man vs. horse tug-of-war organized in Waterloo, Oregon back in 1947 would be no contest at all. Due to the angle of pull (the man, 225-pound Chester Fitzwater, was lying on the ground, his feet braced against a wood block) the horse supposedly wouldn't have a chance. To win, Fitzwater simply had to remain in place for three minutes.

It took about a second for "Big Baldy" the horse to prove the experts wrong. As soon as the rope tightened, "Fitzwater lurched into the air, knocked over a photographer and some spectators, and crashed into the mud."

Several other brawny men subsequently challenged the horse to the same contest, believing they would last longer. They didn't.

The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) - Dec 12, 1947

The News-Review (Roseburg, Oregon) - Dec 15, 1947

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jul 28, 2015 | Comments (0)
Category: Sports, 1940's

1948 Valvoline Ad

The connection between "the girl" in the swimsuit and the "faultlessly lubricated" car seems a bit of a stretch. But hey, who needs a logical reason when you've got a girl in a swimsuit in your ad!

Source: Time - Feb 16, 1948

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jul 25, 2015 | Comments (9)
Category: Advertising, 1940's

Creepy 1948 ad for electro-shock therapy

Back in the 1940s, electro-shock therapy (or "electro-tonic therapy") was promoted as a breakthrough treatment for depression. But it never managed to live up to the hype and was eventually mostly replaced by chemical treatments (popping pills). Though, from what I understand, it's still used in certain situations.

If the medical industry was promoting electro-shock therapy today, I imagine they'd show pictures of happy people running through fields and playing with grandchildren. But this 1948 ad (Time - Sep 20, 1948) offered a slightly more realistic and disturbing image.

Note the line: "Brain disclosed for illustration only." Glad they clarified that.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Jul 11, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: 1940's, Mental Health and Insanity

Mystery Illustration 7


What is the meaning of this display?

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jul 08, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Children, 1940's

Hilton Tupman’s Pedestrian Horn

Los Angeles auto dealer Hilton Tupman wanted to level the playing field between motorists and pedestrians. So he invented a horn that pedestrians could use to honk at motorists. And he made it loud enough to be heard within a 1-mile radius.

Source: Popular Mechanics, May 1948
Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jun 19, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: 1940's, Cars

Windmill Car


Ecowarriors love 1) electric cars and 2) wind turbines. A stroke of genius to combine the two!

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun May 24, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Environmentalism and Ecology, 1940's, Cars

Your Town:  A Story of America

Don't be a "tearer-downer," always causing a "rumpus!"
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri May 22, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: PSA's, Civic Duties, 1940's

Judy the Dog:  Only Canine POW of WWII


Judy the dog survived internment in a Japanese POW camp. Her story is told in No Better Friend (see sidebar).
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu May 21, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: War, Dogs, 1940's, South Pacific

Follies of the Madmen #248

Stops spies from sweating during torture.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon May 11, 2015 | Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Hygiene, Spies and Intelligence Services, 1940's

Tomorrow:  Television!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Apr 30, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Television, 1940's, Yesterday's Tomorrows
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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.