Category:
1930s

Mystery Illustration 28

image

In what industry or occupation is this a professional signal?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 20, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Signage, 1930s

Priest shoots photographer out of sky

Larry Walters gained weird-news fame in 1982 when he tied 45 helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and took an unscheduled flight over Los Angeles. However, he wasn't the first person to have this kind of aerial adventure.

On September 28, 1937, news photographer Al Mingalone was on assignment in Maine trying to get photos from a "balloonist's point of view." This involved using gas-filled weather balloons to lift him into the air. But with 27 balloons pulling him upwards, the safety line keeping him tethered to the ground snapped, sending him drifting across the countryside, towards the ocean.

He floated 13 miles before a local Catholic priest, Rev. James J. Mullen, who happened to be a crack rifle shot, managed to shoot enough of the balloons to bring Mingalone back to the ground.

Read a longer account of Mingalone's flight here.



The Kane Republican - Oct 2, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: 1930s

Odd Bicycles



Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 18, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Eccentrics, Inventions, 1930s

Rev. irwin Moon, Science Preacher



image

Obituary here.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 15, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Eccentrics, Religion, Science, 1930s

Trick Valise

March 1937: A tricked-out payroll satchel foiled would-be robbers. From Newsweek (Apr 3, 1937):

In Harrison, N.J., bandits last week held up a messenger and seized his satchel containing a $2,700 pay roll. They didn't notice their victim pull a wire in the bag's handle as he handed it over. Ten seconds later revolver blanks inside the satchel started exploding and clouds of sulphur smoke belched from holes in the bottom. In terror the gunmen dropped their loot and fled.

Quite ingenious, but seems like it would work only once, since after that everyone would know what the trick was. So how did they protect the payroll subsequently?

Newsweek - Apr 3, 1937



St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Mar 26, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 18, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Inventions, 1930s

That Sly Old Gentleman from Featherbed Lane



Charming song about elderly neighborhood Peeping Tom.

Posted By: Paul - Sun May 22, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Myths and Fairytales, 1930s

Art by random people approached on the street

1937: As an experiment, art teacher Helen Beach approached random people on the streets of Chicago and offered them a free 12-week art course. Among the 75 volunteers who accepted her offer were train guards, an iceman, a school teacher, postmen, a scrubwoman, and policemen. Later that year she exhibited some of the works her students created, offering them as proof that anyone, with a little training, can release their inner artist. Examples below.

Of course, there has to be some selection bias here — weeding out those whose lack of talent was beyond help.

Helen Beach



"Flannel Night Gown" by Edna Hirt, housewife



"Sunday Night Supper" by Edith Willett, Sunday-school teacher



"Indian Summer" by John Golden, dogcatcher



"Abstract of Sewing Machine" by Maude Hopkins, (no career specified)



"Typewriter" by George Prochmow, letter carrier



Image source: Newsweek - Dec 13, 1937

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 13, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Art, 1930s

Only man never to have seen a woman

October 1938: 82-year-old Mihailo Tolotos died. He had lived his entire life in Greece's Mt. Athos monastery, which women were (are) not allowed to enter, and he was therefore believed to have been the only man in the world never to have seen a woman — or rather, the only man never to have been in the presence of a woman (except his mother, who died giving birth to him), because as the folks over at The Straight Dope point out, anyone who is born blind will have never seen a woman.

The Edinburg Daily Courier - Oct 29, 1938



In 1949, the Nixon Furniture Company featured the story of Mihailo Tolotos in one of their ads. They were worried that just as Tolotos had never seen a woman, perhaps the readers of the Raleigh Register hadn't seen all of Nixon's new furniture.

The Raleigh Register - Jan 7, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 20, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Gender, Men, Women, 1930s

Mystery Gadget 36

image

What was stored in this tank?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 18, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Technology, 1930s

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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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Chuck is the purveyor of News of the Weird, the syndicated column which for decades has set the gold-standard for reporting on oddities and the bizarre.

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