Category:
1980s

Frozen Foods

Technically, their business did involve the handling and preparation of meat.

Pensacola News Journal - Nov 10, 1980



And it seems that the Elliot-Hamil Funeral Home is still around. Their website.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 28, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Food, 1980s

Does seltzer water help plants grow?

In 1980, Canfield's natural seltzer launched a campaign to promote its product as being great for watering house plants. It printed on its labels: "We recommend our natural seltzer for house plants."

Could there have been any truth to this claim? Is seltzer water actually good for plants? Well, the only vaguely scientific study I can find addressing this claim (after, admittedly, only a brief search) was a student project conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2002. The student researchers concluded, "Plants given carbonated water not only grew faster but also developed a healthier shade of green in comparison to plants given tap water."

So, maybe Canfield's was onto something. However, if you're thinking of treating your plants to some seltzer water, I imagine you'd want to use water at room temperature, not refrigerated. Cold water might shock their systems.

Marysville Journal-Tribune - June 9, 1980



Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer - May 19, 1980

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 19, 2018 - Comments (12)
Category: Nature, Science, Environmentalism and Ecology, Experiments, 1980s

The CGI of 1985



1985 Clio Award winning Television commercial done for Canned Foods Information Council by San Francisco ad agency of Ketchum Communications. [This] spot, "Brilliance," won in Computer Animation category and featured a voice-over by motion picture star, Kathleen Turner.


Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 06, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Business, Advertising, Food, Robots, Computers, Special Effects, 1980s

Cremation by solar power

Patent #US4781174A:

Heat rays of the sun are concentrated and focussed by means of a reflective and/or lenticular device at a focal point for the purpose of the cremation of corpses, and their reduction to ashes thereby, either as a system per se or in combination with various ancillary buildings, equipment and facilities, more particularly an auditorium structure for conducting a funeral service or the like and from which a corpse may be transferred to the focal point of the concentrating device preferably by elevating the corpse through an opening in the ceiling and/or roof of the structure.

Seems like something a James Bond villain would create, if he were in the funeral business.



Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 02, 2018 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Inventions, 1980s

Presto Wine

It was powdered wine. You just added some water and sugar, let it sit for a month, and you had wine. For dirt cheap. The stuff was briefly available in the mid-1980s, but then it seems to have fallen afoul of lawmakers who were worried about kids being able to buy this stuff in stores (where it was sold as a food product, no age requirement for purchase).

Wilmington Morning News - May 24, 1984



Popular Mechanics - Feb 1984



Wilmington News Journal - Apr 21, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jun 10, 2018 - Comments (4)
Category: 1980s, Alcohol

The Statue of Liberty Urine Stain Controversy

During restoration of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, the restorers noticed an area low on the statue where the patina was worn away and speculated that the damage might have been caused by construction workers urinating from the top of the statue instead of coming down to use a toilet.

Officials vehemently disagreed, insisting that the damage was actually caused by "a vinegar-like solution workers recently used in the process of stripping layers of paint inside the statue."

Perhaps the officials were right, but I prefer the urine stain explanation.

New York Daily News - May 8, 1986





Asbury Park Press - May 9, 1986

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 26, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Statues and Monuments, Body Fluids, 1980s

Rock ‘n’ Roll Underwear

From Omni magazine (Aug 1981): "The latest discotechnological breakthrough is an item called Rock and Roll Hot Pants. By wiring your shorts or panties to a stereo speaker with a 15-foot cord, which relays the music to a two inch disc on your waistband,”you get an incredible tingle all over your body,” claims inventor David Lloyd."

Santa Rosa Press Democrat - Jan 27, 1981



Omni magazine - August 1981

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 12, 2018 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Music, Underwear, 1980s

Stimorol, chewing gum for the rich

Stimorol was a Danish brand of chewing gum. When its maker brought it to the U.S. in 1982, they decided to go for snob appeal and marketed it as the "chewing gum for the rich." Even though, as far as I know, in Denmark it was just a chewing gum for regular folks.

I agree with the columnist below. Chewing gum just doesn't work as a status symbol.

New Yorker - May 10, 1982



Clarion Ledger - Sep 29, 1982

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 07, 2018 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, 1980s

John Lennon Slept Here

In 1984, Jeff Walker paid $36,490 for an 80-year lease on Room 1111 in Miami's Deauville Hotel. The reason was that back in February 1964 John Lennon had spent a few nights in that room. So Walker's plan was to rent the room out to Beatles' fans at a premium price and make a nice profit.

But one year later, only one person had rented the room from him, for a single night. Walker noted that he could have had the hotel rent the room for him, as just a regular room, but he didnt want "a bunch of weirdos" (i.e. non-Beatles fans) renting the room.

The Deauville hotel is still around, though its website indicates that it's currently closed for renovations.

I wonder if Walker still has the lease on room 1111? I can't find any indication that he does.

Hartford Courant - Feb 22, 1985
(Click to enlarge)



Miami News - May 3, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Sat May 05, 2018 - Comments (0)
Category: Celebrities, Music, 1980s

Cowvertising

$500 a year to put your ad on the side of a cow.

Twin Falls Times-News - Apr 8, 1984



Detroit Free Press - Apr 13, 1984

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 20, 2018 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Farming, Advertising, 1980s

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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.

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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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