Category:
1920s

Astounding Beauty Clay



Go here for expandable version where text can be read.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 16, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Advertising, 1920s

Cho-Cho the Health Clown


Cho-Cho was a "health clown" who toured the USA during the 1920s, visiting classrooms, and trying to encourage kids to eat more vegetables, take baths, and brush their teeth. In a way, he was like the opposite of Ronald McDonald (Ronald being a clown who encourages children to eat junk food).

CHO stood for "Child Health Organization," which was the group that dreamed him up and sent him out. Some more info from the book Children’s Health Issues in Historical Perspective:

The clown Cho-Cho was trained to "teach health, sugar coated with all the nonsense and fun of the sawdust ring." The Health Fairy, a public health nurse, told "delightful stories," and a cartoonist drew "a white loaf of bread into a sour-faced boy,... a brown loaf into a round-faced smiling boy," and "vegetables weeping great tears because children do not eat them."

All three travelled to elementary and secondary schools, as well as exhibitions, fairs, and "any place where children were gathered together. A less traditional figure was CHO's pseudo-professor Happy (played by Clifford Goldsmith), who entertained child and adult audiences with snappy health maxims.

Happy, the Health Fairy, and the cartoonist worked well within the boundaries of CHO's program, but when the clown who played Cho-Cho began to regard himself "as a real authority on diet, hygiene, and even the morals of childhood," and deviated from his "carefully learned lines," the organization had to find a new Cho-Cho.


Popular Science Monthly - Feb 1920

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 22, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Clowns, Health, 1920s

Michelin Hour

The short-lived Michelin Hour radio show, 1928, in which an orchestra of men dressed as tires played popular numbers and lighter classics.



Detroit Free Press - Apr 8, 1928

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 31, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Radio, 1920s

Follies of the Madmen #348



Sadistic dentist, with an eye toward cultivating future patients, gives out candy.


Posted By: Paul - Tue Jan 23, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: Medicine, Advertising, 1920s, Teeth

Unauthorized Dwellings 4

Houseboats have always been a prime source of contention as authorities try to police dwellings. The Amsterdam article is from 2016. The other news report hails from 1924.



Source.



UPDATE: now behind CHICAGO TRIBUNE paywall.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jan 08, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Unauthorized Dwellings, 1920s, Twenty-first Century

Miss Plump of Coney Island

The winner of the 1925 Miss Plump of Coney Island contest was Jolly Irene, which was the stage name of sideshow performer Amanda Siebert. According to Marc Hartzman's American Sideshow:

Amanda Siebert wasn't always the jiggly Jolly Irene. Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, she was quite normal for the first twenty-one years of her life. In 1901 she weighed a respectable 120 pounds and gave birth to a child. Not only was a baby born, but because of a few glands gone awry, so was Jolly Irene.

The pounds piled up and the flesh got fleshier. Diets were ineffective, leaving her helpless against her newly acquired mass. One reporter later described her as having "biceps three times as large as Jack Dempsey." But at 620 pounds, rather than box the heavyweight champion, she turned her tragedy into profit by joining Ringling Bros.

Siebert died in 1940, at the age of 65.

Baltimore Sun - Aug 26, 1925



Central New Jersey Home News - Nov 20, 1925



Louisville Courier-Journal - Dec 1, 1940

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 28, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Human Marvels, 1920s

Mystery Illustration 65



What are these guys making?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 28, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Technology, 1920s

Dr. Blatz’s Trick Chair of Terror

This article comes from my weird science site, which I haven't updated in years. My project for the new year is to import all the content from there into WU, so I can shut that site down and stop paying the hosting fees.


While he was a grad student at the University of Chicago in the early 1920s, William Blatz was sitting in class one day, leaning back in his chair, when suddenly the chair collapsed beneath him, sending him sprawling backwards, crying out in fright. The experience was unsettling, but it gave him an idea for an unusual psychology experiment.

He designed a trick chair that would collapse backwards without warning when he flipped an electric switch. The chair was padded, so its occupant wouldn't get hurt. But Blatz figured that the sensation of abruptly, unexpectedly falling backwards would provoke a strong, measurable reaction in subjects. This would allow him to study the physiology of fear under controlled, repeatable conditions. He performed his experiment on a series of unsuspecting victims.

Diagram of Blatz's trick chair.
When the hook (A) at the top was released, the chair plunged backwards.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 26, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Experiments, Psychology, 1920s

Artwork Khrushchev Probably Would Not Have Liked 8

Continuing our series of esthetic creations that would probably have displeased stern traditionalist Nikita Khrushchev.




About the artist.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 08, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Art, Avant Garde, 1920s

Mystery Gadget 54



What tha--?

Answer is here.


And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 26, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, 1920s

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Who We Are
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.

Paul Di Filippo
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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