Category:
1930s

Reno Divorce Myth





Original photo and article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 09, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Customs, Regionalism, Divorce, 1930s

Emperor and Empress of Streeterville



Once upon a time, this couple claimed to own a large chunk of Chicago.

Original story here.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 05, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Real Estate, 1920s, 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #315



Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 21, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, 1930s, Nudism, Cars

Swift Pavilion, 1939 World’s Fair

The exhibition hall for Swift's was shaped like a giant hotdog.







Posted By: Paul - Sat May 20, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Architecture, Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Food, 1930s

Mystery Illustration 46



Match the men to their professions.

1) Mathematician
2) Economist
3) Psychologist
4) Entomologist

The answers are here.


And after the jump.


More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 17, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Authorities and Experts, 1930s

Follies of the Madmen #314



I'm just glad this was not an ad for TOILET paper.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 14, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, 1930s

Height Increaser For Short People

"The patient lifted himself by the chin which was cradled in a sling attached to ropes looped to an overhead beam."

In 1937, the American Medical Association warned the public that this device, despite being widely advertised, didn't actually work.

The Muncie Star Press - Apr 9, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Thu May 11, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, 1930s

The Drivometer

A device for simulating driving, and measuring the skill of drivers, which was developed at Iowa State's Driving Research Laboratory in the 1930s.



A description of what it felt like to operate the thing. It sounds like it would have made a good arcade game. From The Dalles Chronicle - Aug 21, 1936:

Dr. Alvan R. Lauer of Iowa State college sent here today a shiny red instrument of torture, designed apparently to give the ordinary, garden-variety motorist the everlasting willies. This device, which Dr. Lauer invented and christened the drivometer, insidiously reverses the usual laws of nature and turns them wrong side forward. The drivometer consists essentially of an automobile which doesn’t move, and a landscape which does, at 50 miles an hour. Imagine that, if you can! We couldn’t either, until the American Automobile association persuaded us to sit behind the wheel. The road twisted like a hula dancer – and we were supposed to steer down it, paying close attention to stop lights, warning signals, WPA men working, and hot dog stands. Never before have we had such a ride. We knocked a truck off the road. We ran down a farmer’s daughter and we wrecked his house. We whanged into a freight train, jumped across a mountain range, drove through a lake and smashed an ice cream shoppe into tutti-frutti. We tried to stop the thing, but everything we pressed made it go faster. We shifted into reverse and raced to the rear, bumping barns, beats and bicycles. Sadly shaking his head, Earl Allgaier, the AAA safety expert, turned off the current. He said we didn’t seem to be very well coordinated, somehow, but that he’d test us on his other machinery. This, together with the drivometer, will be taken on a nationwide tour beginning next week to prove to the average motorist that he’s got a lot to learn.


Update: I think the top picture shows the 2nd version of the Driveometer, developed in the 1950s. The original version, from the 1930s, is below.

Wausau Daily Herald - Oct 26, 1937


Posted By: Alex - Tue May 09, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Cars, Science, 1930s

Groucho & Chico Go To Jail





I cannot find any subsequent info on this case, which I had never heard of before. Did the Marx Bros. win on appeal? I certainly don't think they ever went to jail.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri May 05, 2017 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Humor, Comedians, 1930s

Glass Block Building:  Chicago 1934



What architectural feature of this building is not visible in this picture?

Answer after the jump.


A description of the building here.


More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 28, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Architecture, 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 books such as Elephants on Acid.

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