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Category:
1940's

Red Out

The 1948 high school fad of "Red-Out." Certainly one of the stupidest high school fads ever.

What it involved: "Students would kneel, breathe deeply 10 times, close their lips around their thumbs and then blow, without actually exhaling, until they turned red and passed out."

Bonus thrill: students would wake up believing they had been chased by monsters!


Lubbock Evening Journal - Nov 26 - 1948
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Nov 29, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Fads, School, 1940's

Drive Me, Daddy



How refreshingly charming to find a young lady who is also a gearhead.

How To Improve Immigrants’ English

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Nov 20, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Languages, Foreign Customs, 1940's, Asia, Europe

The Jake Bird Hex

Jake Bird was a truly creepy character — an axe-murderer who may have killed as many as 46 people. But even after he was caught in 1947 and sentenced to death, he's said to have continued killing people by putting the "Jake Bird hex" on them. Six people associated with the trial were said to have succumbed to his hex.

From Wikipedia:

After his conviction was announced, Bird was allowed to make a final statement. He spoke for 20 minutes, noting that his request to represent himself had been denied and that his own lawyers were against him.
Bird then said, “I’m putting the Jake Bird hex on all of you who had anything to do with my being punished. Mark my words you will die before I do.” Allegedly, six people connected with the trial died: Judge Edward D. Hodge of a heart attack within a month of sentencing him to death, as did one of the officers who took his first confession. A police officer who took a second confession died, as did the court’s chief clerk, and one of Bird's prison guards. J.W. Selden, one of Bird’s lawyers, died on the first anniversary of his sentencing.


Modesto Bee - Nov 27, 1948
Posted By: Alex | Date: Mon Nov 17, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Death, Scary Criminals, 1940's

Mystery Gadget 24

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What's up with this fellow?

The answer is here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Nov 13, 2014 | Comments (7)
Category: Technology, 1940's

High School Fads of 1947

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Just two of the reputed high school crazes of nearly seventy years ago.

Read more here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 12, 2014 | Comments (6)
Category: Fads, Teenagers, 1940's

The Atomiscope

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Did this actually have radium inside it? How many cancers did this cause, carried about in Dennis the Menace's pockets?

Unfortunately, I've lost the source of this ad. Can anyone help?
Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Nov 05, 2014 | Comments (9)
Category: Death, Toys, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1940's

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others

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You recall perhaps the full-size rubber mask of the mystery half-wit? Well, here he is again, as a hand-puppet, inexplicably consorting with legit Disney characters. The manufacturers must have loved that design.

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Oct 28, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Puppets and Automatons, Advertising, Comics, 1940's

Your Life Work:  The Librarian



"Are books your friends?"

I don't believe the information sciences are much like this anymore.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat Oct 18, 2014 | Comments (5)
Category: Education, Books, 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.