Category:
1940s

Hurff Canned Goods

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Once upon a time, a company with the somewhat off-putting name of Hurff was big enough to advertise in a top-of-the-line national magazine like LIFE.

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Here's the backstory, so far as I can find out.

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I have found ads from them as late as 1948. Does that mean that store was selling three-year-old cans of food, given the plant-closing date of 1945? Or maybe the plant did not close, but Hurff himself was forced out? We will probably never know...

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Hurff is a fine forgotten piece of what cartoonist Robert Crumb calls "weird old America."

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 16, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Food, Regionalism, Advertising, 1930s, 1940s

Fish Chokes Swimmer

One for the weird death file:

Great Falls Tribune - July 20, 1945



Fish Chokes Swimmer
GUATEMALA CITY, July 19 (U.P.) — A swim in a river near Esquipulas proved fatal today for Lazaro Perez. An expert swimmer, Perez did not drown. A fish swam into his mouth and he died before it could be removed.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 14, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Fish, 1940s

Just Imagine



The uproarious laughter by the human executive at the antics of Tommy Telephone, a plainly impossible vision, proclaims that the fellow is gratefully descending into the dark swamp of insanity due to the high stresses of his job.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 10, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Products, Communications, Delusions, Fantasies and Other Tricks of the Imagination, Technology, Telephones, Cartoons, Stop-motion Animation, 1940s, Brain Damage

Vile and Filthy Morse Code

January 1945: Residents of Halifax complained to the police that people were driving around at night and using their horns to signal "vile and filthy language" in morse code.

So it wasn't the honking, per se, that bothered the residents, but what the honks meant. Guess it was a different time, when a significant number of people actually understood morse.

Ottawa Journal - Jan 18, 1945

Posted By: Alex - Fri Dec 09, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Languages, 1940s

Owen Smells and Mary Knows

In its July 5, 1943 issue, Time magazine noted the marriage in Pryor, Montana of Owen Smells and Mary Knows.

The marriage only lasted three years, but in that time they had a daughter, Theresa, who eventually married Joseph Rock Above and became Theresa Smells Rock Above.

Findagrave.com lists a grave for Owen Smells which may or may not be the same Owen that married Mary. I'm not sure. But the dates seem about right.

Helena Independent Record - Oct 1, 1946



Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 08, 2016 - Comments (1)
Category: Odd Names, Marriage, 1940s

Remember Pearl Harbor

December 1941: Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Chicago printer Louis Fortman claimed exclusive right in Illinois to the use of the slogans "Remember Pearl Harbor" and "Avenge Pearl Harbor," insisting that he had originated and printed the slogans on December 8 and had registered them under the state's patent and trademark laws. Anyone wishing to use the slogans would need his permission — and would need to pay him. However, Fortman said he was willing to let them be used, at no charge, for "patriotic purposes and to aid defense activities."

In response to public outrage, Illinois Secretary of State Edward J. Hughes canceled Fortman's registration of the slogans.



Chicago Daily Tribune - Feb 4, 1942



Chicago Daily Tribune - Mar 28, 1942

Posted By: Alex - Wed Dec 07, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Patriotism, 1940s

The New Look in Hot Water Bottles

From 1948. Dreamed up by the folks at B.F. Goodrich.

And it's still a popular look in S&M gear.



The Akron Beacon Journal - Jan 1, 1948



Palm Beach Post - Jan 5, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Thu Dec 01, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Inventions, 1940s

Marriage Bureau



Wait a minute--I don't see how the instant Tinder hookup booty-call sex happens!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 26, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Weddings and Marriage, 1940s

Lush Head Woman



"Get a lush head woman and lose your health!"

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 25, 2016 - Comments (0)
Category: Domestic, Music, 1940s, Alcohol

7-11 Curbside Service



An early example of ordering goods while seated in comfort, and then getting the stuff delivered.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Nov 13, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, 1940s

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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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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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