Weird Universe


Inverted Preacher

September 1928: The novelty of preaching from a casket having worn off, Rev. H.W. Thomas announced he would henceforth deliver the gospel message while standing on his head.

Medford Mail Tribune - Sep 5, 1928

Update: Here's a picture of Rev. H.W. Thomas taken in 1928, when his stunt for that sermon was to unwrap the "swathings of iniquity" from a member of his congregation who posed as a live "Mummy."

Milwaukee Sentinel - May 8, 1928

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Feb 07, 2016 | Comments (3)
Category: Religion, 1920's

Refused to marry painted women

1926: Rev. Arthur Wells of London began a one-man crusade against women wearing makeup, declaring that he would no longer allow any woman to marry in his church who was so "disfigured."

However, he received no support from fellow clergymen. Said Dr. Philip Pendleton of Phoenix, "I would marry a bride who had paint an inch thick on her cheeks if I was convinced that she was right in her heart... If they think they need to paint up, I say let them go to it."

Ottawa Journal - Jan 5, 1926

Arizona Republic - Jan 18, 1926

Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jan 26, 2016 | Comments (11)
Category: 1920's

Opel Rocket Vehicles


Original pic here.

Opel-RAK were a series of rocket vehicles produced by Fritz von Opel, of the Opel car company, in association with others, including Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander largely as publicity stunts.

The Lippisch Ente a rocket-powered glider was produced on June 11, 1928, piloted by Fritz Stamer, but is not usually considered part of the series.

Opel RAK.1 - a rocket car that achieved 75 km/h (47 mph) on March 15, 1928[2]
Opel RAK.2 - rocket car May 23, 1928 reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) driven by 24 solid-fuel rockets[2]
Opel RAK.3 rocket train (quoted speed is variously 254 or 290 km/h. See: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) On the second run the train jumps the track and is destroyed.
Opel Rak IV rocket train, destroyed when a solid rocket explodes on the track, exploding all the other rockets. Railway authorities prohibit further runs.[3]
Opel RAK.1 rocket glider September 30, 1929

Some stock footage of some of the rocket vehicles was incorporated into this early SF film.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jan 25, 2016 | Comments (4)
Category: Flight, Movies, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, Technology, Science Fiction, 1920's, Europe, Cars

The Safety Pea Knife

Invented in the 1920s. For those who prefer to eat their peas with a knife rather than a spoon.

The Iola Register - Mar 20, 1929

Posted By: Alex | Date: Sun Jan 17, 2016 | Comments (10)
Category: Food, Inventions, 1920's

Tries suicide to escape persistent life insurance salesman

The present-day equivalent of this, I think, would be the feelings of desperation and rage that persistent telemarketers can cause. (Though thanks to caller ID, I just never pick up when they call, which is multiple times every day since the "do not call list" is apparently a complete farce.)

Kingsport Times - Apr 10, 1929

Insurance Agent Pesters Prospect to Near Suicide
CONCORDIA, Kans., April 10 (AP) —Hoping to rid himself of a persistent life insurance agent, Walter Cyr, a young farmer, left a goodbye note to friends and then disappeared.
For three days he was sought in the vicinity of his farm home by hundreds of men and finally was located sitting on a straw stack. When searchers approached he swallowed a small quantity of poison but experienced no ill effects because of prompt medical attention.
Cyr said he had wandered about the countryside for 72 hours, attempting to nerve himself to suicide. He asserted he knew no other way to escape attentions of the insurance man who had been "bothering" him.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Tue Jan 12, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Annoying Things, Insurance, 1920's

The Huntress


I would love to see this 1923 film starring Colleen Moore remade today. A white actress playing a Native American, who is so desperate for a husband she kidnaps a stranger? Uncontroversial box-office gold!

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Jan 03, 2016 | Comments (8)
Category: Movies, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1920's, Native Americans

Uncle Wiggly vs. DONNIE DARKO Rabbit



Equally creepy? The earlier guy the inspiration for the later one?

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sun Dec 20, 2015 | Comments (7)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Games, Movies, 2000's, 1920's, Fictional Monsters

Cannibalistic Ducks

Cannibalistic terror in the world of ducks:

El Paso Herald - Aug 18, 1926

A quick google search reveals that cannibalism is a "vice" that ducks are known to sometimes develop. As noted on an Australian government website about the brooding and rearing of ducks:

Although cannibalism can begin in ducks of any age, ducklings over 4 weeks old are more prone to develop this vice. The underlying reasons for birds turning to cannibalism are not known, but it is associated with boredom and is aggravated by:
lack of ventilation
faulty nutrition.

The only known way to stop it is to remove the rim at the front of the bird’s upper bill. Commercial beak-trimming machines are available. They have heated cauterising blades and run on electricity or butane gas. Beak trimming should be performed only by a competent operator and only when it is essential to reduce damage and suffering in the flock.
Posted By: Alex | Date: Sat Dec 19, 2015 | Comments (10)
Category: Animals, 1920's

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Nov 26, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Death, Food, Holidays, 1920'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.