Back in 1947, there was a lot of speculation in the press about a new secret weapon that was supposed to be as "awesome in its effects as the atomic bomb." Turns out the weapon that was the source of the rumors was the Tsunami Bomb -- a device for creating artificial tsunamis to wipe out enemy forces on land.
The Mexico Ledger (Mexico, Missouri) - June 16, 1947
has a brief article about the Tsunami Bomb, but otherwise there's not a lot of info about it online.
Other mad WWII weapons projects posted about here on WU include the Bat Bomb
and the Volcano Bomb
Back in 1947, MGM gave away one-acre plots of land located in Valencia County, New Mexico
to 689 different movie critics, editors, and publishers throughout the country. It was a publicity stunt to promote the movie The Sea of Grass
, starring Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, and directed by Elia Kazan.
Of course, the land was barren desert, running alongside a Santa Fe railway line. So it wasn't worth much.
But I wonder what's become of those one-acre plots today. Have they risen in value? Did any of the recipients hold onto the land, paying the taxes year after year, and passing it on to their heirs?
As for the movie, director Elia Kazan said in his autobiograpy, "It's the only picture I've ever made that I'm ashamed of. Don't see it."
This is Otto "Pop" Carter, 90 years old, in 1947. He was known as "America's oldest and best-known roller skater." At his advanced age, he had been a professional roller skater for 82 years. But even after this he kept on going for quite a while. According to his listing on IMDB
, "At age 104, participated in the Southwest Pacific Roller Skating Championships and the Rollerama Show in 1960."
I don't know when he died. Perhaps he's still alive.
- July 28, 1947
Original ad here.
From 1891 to at least 1948. Not a bad run for any toy.
More info here.
Spray that DDT everywhere!
Aren't you a little sad for all those cartoon bugs?
Were children more prone to catch fire for no reason in the past during innocent recreational activities than they are today?
Original ad here.
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.)
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.
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
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
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.