Category:
1930s

Painless Withers Dental Laboratory

Great name for a dentist! You could have visited Dr. Withers if you lived in Salt Lake City, Utah during the 1930s.



From the Utah State History Digital Collection.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 07, 2012 - Comments (9)
Category: Buildings and Other Structures, 1930s

Catch the first boat for Europe…

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A moment of high drama in the Listerine lab, 1934.

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 28, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Hygiene, Advertising, 1930s

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #22

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Who would ever have figured that this practical joke would come back into fashion after 80 years? Be a big hit in your rich Manhattan co-op, as you sprinkle these liberally around!

From the 1930s catalog.

Posted By: Paul - Thu May 17, 2012 - Comments (9)
Category: Hygiene, Insects, Johnson Smith Catalog, 1930s, Pranks

Winnie Ruth Judd



Not sure if an infamous murder case benefits from the marionette approach, but it's certainly unique.

Posted By: Paul - Thu May 10, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Puppets and Automatons, Documentaries, 1930s, Dismemberment

Mystery Gadget 9

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What does this man expect to happen to his arm?

Find the answer here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 09, 2012 - Comments (13)
Category: Technology, 1930s

Cremo and Spit-tipped Cigars

We all know that ad campaigns have often created the disease or deficiency they wish to sell remedies for. "Halitosis" and "BO" were Madison Avenue inventions.

But perhaps no campaign dared quite as much as that for Cremo cigars, with its charge that all its competitors spit on their product.

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Original text here.

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Original ad here. (Scroll down.)

But although Cremo increased its market share, their scheme ultimately backfired.

As this history says:

During the 1920s, the cigar industry began to suffer from image problems. The rise of organized crime during Prohibition, and the image of the stogie-chomping gangster--developed in part by Hollywood, and personified by such actors as Edward G. Robinson--gave the cigar an aura of disrespect among the public. Later that decade, the cigar industry faced a second crisis, when American Tobacco began promoting new, machine-rolled cigars. Its advertising asked: "Why run the risk of cigars made by dirty yellowed fingers and tipped in spit?" The image proved disastrous for the cigar industry as a whole. Cigar makers rushed to convert their manufacturing from hand-rolled to machine-rolled products, but cigar sales plunged through the 1930s. During this same time period, the cigar industry was hit hard by the rise in cigarette use across the United States. Cigar consumption never recovered to its early 1920s peak.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 18, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Smoking and Tobacco, 1920s, 1930s

Gabriel Over the White House



One of the weirder Hollywood offerings, this film depicts an American President gone wild in office--and it turns out to be a good thing! I'm surprised the film hasn't figured in this year's politics.

More info here.

Long unavailable, it's recently been reissued. Follow the Amazon link.




Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 11, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Movies, Politics, Strange Candidates, Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, 1930s

Johnson Smith Catalog Item #21

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I knew there was another reason to lament the passing of the custom of men wearing formal hats everywhere!

From the 1930s catalog.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 09, 2012 - Comments (4)
Category: Johnson Smith Catalog, Signage, Headgear, 1930s

Satanic Shaving

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After our "homicidal barber pole" some weeks back, we find further proof that certain tonsorial accessories are affiliated with the netherworld.

Gaze upon these evil shave-cream dispensers tending to their Satanic master!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 31, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Evil, Religion, 1930s, Hair and Hairstyling, Fictional Monsters

Mystery Gadget 8

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What is this gadget doing to the poor goat?

Find out here.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 11, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Technology, 1930s

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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.

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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