Category:
1900s

The Advertising Chair



When the chair rocked, visible adverts scrolled in the arms of the chair. So much for our age having a monopoly on intrusive ads.



Complete patent here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Sep 12, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Technology, Advertising, Interior Decorating, 1900s

Method of Preserving the Dead

Patented Dec 29, 1903 by Joseph Karwowski:

This invention relates to certain new and useful improvements in methods of preserving the dead; and it has for its object the provision of a means whereby a corpse may be hermetically incased within a block of transparent glass, whereby being effectually excluded from the air the corpse will be maintained for an indefinite period in a perfect and life-like condition, so that it will be prevented from decay and will at all times present a lifelike appearance...

In carrying out my process I first surround the corpse 1 with a thick layer 2 of sodium silicate or water-glass. After the corpse has been thus inclosed within the layer of waterglass it is allowed to remain for a short time within a compartment or chamber having a dry heated temperature, which will serve to evaporate the water from this incasing layer, after which molten glass is applied to the desired thickness. This outer lay of glass may be molded into a rectangular form 3, as shown in Fig. 2 of the drawings, or, if preferred, cylindrical or other forms may be substituted for the rectangular block which I have illustrated. In Fig. 3 I have shown the head only of the corpse as incased within the transparent block of glass, it being at once evident that the head alone may be preserved in this manner, if preferred.

It will be at once noted that a body preserved in this way may be kept indefinitely, as the body being hermetically inclosed within the outer glass covering it will be impossible for air to reach it, and hence it will be effectually preserved from decay. The glass surrounding the corpse being transparent, the body will be at all times visible.


Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 07, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Inventions, 1900s

In Gold We Trust

Back in 1907, banks had run out of U.S. gold coins because depositors had withdrawn them all, fearing a recession. So a bank in Baker City, Oregon, having access to gold from a nearby mine, decided to print up its own gold coins. It stamped them with the phrase "In Gold We Trust" to differentiate them from official currency. Which immediately made them a collector's item.

However, government agents soon showed up and destroyed all the existing coins and the dies, since private minting of currency is, of course, illegal. I'm not sure if any of the coins survived.

via Oregon's Golden Years



I found a 1984 replica of the coins on eBay going for around $2000.



The Numismatist - April 1908

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 08, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Money, 1900s

Boarding School Girls at Coney Island



I cannot believe that rolling drum ride...

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 24, 2018 - Comments (9)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, 1900s

Munyon’s Homeopathic Cures

Once, these remedies were state-of-the-art.



More photos here.

His Wikipedia page.

Although Munyon appears to be clutching a cigar in his upraised hand, that is indeed supposed to be his signature gesture of upraised index finger.



Original ad here.



Certificate here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 13, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Forgotten Figures and Where Are They Now?, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1900s

Helpful Dead Wife






Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 02, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Death, Superstition, Marriage, 1900s

The Empire of the Sahara




In June 1903 a French sugar millionaire, one Jacques Lebaudy, a dapper little man with a sharp nose and a shrill high-pitched voice who was said to have a personal fortune of some pounds 3m, recruited a dozen Breton sailors and landed them on the coast of Spanish Morocco, commanding them to go forth and establish an empire. Lebaudy then informed the French authorities that he was henceforth to be addressed as Jacques I, Najin-al-Den, Emperor of the Sahara, Commander of the Faithful, King of Tarfaia, Duke of Arleuf and Prince of Chal-Huin.


Full account here, including his inglorious death.

Wikipedia entry here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 12, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Bombast, Bloviation and Pretentiousness, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Eccentrics, 1900s, Africa, Europe

Follies of the Madmen #313



That is one friendly and powerful cereal.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 07, 2017 - Comments (7)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Business, Advertising, Products, Food, 1900s

Mystery Gadget 45



Why is this man inside a steel cylinder?

The answer is here.

And after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 21, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, 1900s

Husband Wields Occult Powers

September 1909: Mrs. Christina Brown of Elgin, Illinois filed for divorce from her husband on the grounds that he was a wizard who wielded occult powers, compelling her to do things against her will, such as:

  • Sitting for hours in one chair while he controlled her thoughts as well as actions without touch or word.
  • Revealing the choicest bits of neighborhood gossip, no matter how solemnly she had sworn to keep them a secret.
  • Telling him what she really thought of him, despite her effort to pretend that he was the only man in the world.
  • Admitting that she didn't believe his fish stories.
  • Confessing that she had cooked up the oldest and poorest food in the house when he brought a friend home to dinner unexpectedly.
  • Purchasing a hat and gown at the cheapest store in town when she had fully intended to buy them at a more expensive establishment.


The Alexandria Times-Tribune - Sep 6, 1909

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 05, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Divorce, 1900s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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