Category:
1930s

Corkhill Meat Loaf Monster

Was Corkhill's spokes-creature supposed to be a snowman, or some kind of living, talking meatloaf? The body seems all wrong for a snowman. So I have a suspicion it was a meatloaf monster.

Wilmington News Journal - Aug 4, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 13, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, 1930s

The Spare Tire Cover as Advertising Medium

The earliest surviving instances of this mode of advertising seem to be really rare. If any WU-vie can find more examples, that would be great!

Of course, nowadays you can have custom-designed spare tire covers at the drop of a hat!



Source.



Second Honeymoon (20th Century Fox, 1937). Spare Tire Cover. Throughout the thirties the studios would offer in their pressbooks what were spare tire covers that would advertise their upcoming feature. This silkscreen cover for the Tyrone Power and Loretta Young romance has elastic bands in back which allow it slip right over the tire that was always visible on the back of the automobiles of that time. Probably the theater owner, ushers, or cab companies would be paid to use these. Very interesting novelty that are often seen in pressbooks but few have survived.


Source.



Source.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 05, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Advertising, 1930s, Cars

Court refuses one-cent suit

October 1939: The Supreme Court refused to hear the case of C. Leon De Aryan, thereby ending his legal campaign to recover the one cent of sales tax he believed he had been incorrectly charged.

Actually, it was worse than that. The actual amount of the excess charge in question was closer to one-half a cent. De Aryan had bought 15 cents worth of cardboard, and had been charged one cent of sales tax on this purchase. He noted that the tax was three percent. Therefore, he should only have been charged approximately one-half cent of tax, but the retailer rounded up.

I'm guessing De Aryan spent a lot more than one cent in court costs.

San Pedro News-Pilot - Oct 9, 1939



This recalls the 1979 case of Frank Makara who felt he had been overcharged $1.95 at the gas station and took his case all the way to the Supreme Court — which then refused to hear it, as it did with De Aryan's case.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 04, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Lawsuits, 1930s

Roy Mack’s milk-diet tour

Roy Mack set off from New York on May 2, 1939, intending to walk to San Francisco. To make this more of a challenge, he decided to do this while living on a diet of only milk — about six quarts of it a day. He said he wanted to "prove you can live on milk." The media dubbed him the "human milk bottle."

By August he had reached Oklahoma City and had also lost 10 pounds in weight. He maintained this was due to all the exercise, not his milk diet.

I have no idea if he ever did reach San Francisco, because I can't find any news reports about him after Oklahoma City. Perhaps the milk diet got the better of him.

Pittsburgh Press - June 3, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 30, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Food, Publicity Stunts, Travel, 1930s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Laboratory Land

At a 1932 meeting of the British Association, scientist Miles Walker proposed the creation of a colony, initially to consist of 100,000 people, that would be entirely "under the auspices of engineers, scientists and economists." He suggested that it might be located somewhere in North America, or perhaps France. And he figured that the colony would be so successful that it could eventually be expanded to include the entire world.

Walker didn't offer a name for his new colony, but the media dubbed it "Laboratory Land." More details from New Scientist (Aug 25, 1983):

A striking vision of the rationalist utopia was unfolded by Miles Walker (an engineer with the British Westinghouse Company and professor of electrical engineering at Manchester University) when president of the Engineering Section at the 1932 British Association meeting. "Politicians are not engineeringly minded," he proclaimed, "and that is the reason why they make a failure of state management". He challenged the government to establish an experimental, voluntary, self-supporting colony of 100,000 people "under the auspices of engineers, scientists and economists" in order to demonstrate that, "when freed from the constraints and social errors of modern civilisation", a society run on rationalist lines would indeed operate more effectively than conventional society. Once the prototype was functioning properly, "the region under sane control would be extended until it gradually embraced the whole world".


Santa Cruz Evening News - Apr 1, 1933 (click to enlarge)



The key to the success of the colony, he believed, would be its efficiency and elimination of waste. Interestingly, one of the things he had in mind that would allow this efficiency was electric cars:

Instead of thousands of cars burning petrol, costing the nation eighteen millions per annum, and polluting the air of our towns, we would have cars driven by home-generated electricity. Imagine hundreds of battery-charging stations, 20 miles apart along our main roads, at which we could in the course of a few seconds drop our partly discharged battery and take a new one that would carry us for the next three or four stages of our journey along the highway.

Almost 100 years later, and we're slowly working our way toward Walker's vision. At least, we are here in California where, by 2035, all new cars will have to be emission-free.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 20, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Utopias and Dystopias, 1930s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

The 1932 Helicron

Propellor-driven car.

Read about it here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 05, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Inventions, Air Travel and Airlines, 1930s, Cars

Jewell Bell, Three-time Widow at Twenty





I am reminded of the famous Oscar Wilde quote:

To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 01, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Suicide, Husbands, 1930s

The Sleepwalking Bandsman

The penchant of sleepwalkers for high and often dangerous places was noisily demonstrated in 1932 when Joseph Furst, a member of the municipal band at Hettstadt, Germany, promenaded at night on the roof of his home, rehearsing brassily til the neighborhood protested. Though totally unaware of his situation, he came to no harm.
— Hilary Evans, "The Sleepwalking Bandsman," The Skeptic, 16(2), Winter 2004.

The nighttime walk of a sleepwalking trombone player on the roof of his house in Hettstadt, Germany.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 26, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Sleep and Dreams, 1930s

Revolt of the Beavers

The more things change, the more they stay the same...

Revolt of the Beavers was a children's play put on by the Federal Theater Project by Oscar Saul and Louis Lantz. One critic described the play as "Marxism a la Mother Goose".[1] The show ran at the Adelphi Theatre in New York City from May 20, 1937, to June 19 of that year.[2] Jules Dassin [3] and John Randolph [4] were among the play's cast. The play involved a worker beaver named Oakleaf, who leads a revolt against "The Chief" Beaver who was exploiting the workers. Though the play was a fantasy fable intended for children, it was attacked by the HUAC for promoting Communist ideals.


Wikipedia page (source of quote).

More photos here.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 22, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Politics, Theater and Stage, 1930s

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

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