Category:
Money

Miss Drive-In Teller

According to wikipedia, drive-through windows began appearing at banks in the early 1930s. By 1958, over 4000 women were working as drive-in tellers, and that's the year that the Mosler Safe Company sponsored the first nationwide "Miss Drive-In Teller" contest.

Contestants were judged on "personality, courtesy, and efficiency." And, of course, appearance. The winner got a two-week all-expense-paid trip for two to Havana, Cuba. Plus $500 in spending money. So it attracted quite a few contestants. In later years, winners went to places like Bermuda and Norway.

Marion Polk, a teller at Peoples National Bank in Rock Hill, South Carolina, became the first Miss Drive-In Teller. She must have been fairly proud of this because it's mentioned in her obituary. The contest continued to be held annually until 1972 (as far as I can tell) when Jacqueline Fleming became the final Miss Drive-In Teller.

Marion Polk, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1958
Columbia Record - Oct 4, 1958



Tamra Evans, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1961
Wausau Daily Herald - Oct 3, 1961



San Rafael Daily Independent Journal - June 27, 1961



Susan Erickson, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1962
Corvallis Gazette-Times - Aug 16, 1962



Jean Doggett, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1964
Morgan City Daily Review - July 3, 1964



Jeanie Archer, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1966
Racine Journal Times - Sep 1, 1966



Jacqueline Fleming, Miss Drive-In Teller of 1972
Sioux City Journal - Oct 23, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Fri Sep 30, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Money

Using comic strips to forecast the stock market

Frederick N. Goldsmith published a successful stock-market newsletter from 1916 to 1948, when he came under investigation by the New York Attorney General for telling his subscribers that his market advice was based on "inside information."

Goldsmith, however, had an unusual defense. He revealed that the primary source of his inside information was the comic strip "Bringing Up Father." Goldsmith believed that the comic strip provided clues, in code, about the direction of the market. The clues had been placed there by "big insiders." This was apparently their way of communicating with each other. But Goldsmith believed he had cracked the code. Details from The Manipulators (1966) by Leslie Gould:

Goldsmith got the "word" as to what the market and individual stocks would do from following the antics of Jiggs in the "Bringing Up Father" comic strip, which for years was drawn by George McManus. If Jiggs was pictured with his right hand in his pocket, the market was a buy. If there were two puffs rising from Jiggs' cigar, it meant the second hour would be strong.

In one episode, explained Goldsmith, Jiggs was at the theater and remarked: "The intermissions are the only good thing about this show." Goldsmith interpreted that as a sure-fire tip to buy Mission Oil, which he passed on to his market letter subscribers. It went up fifteen points the next day.

When questioned, McManus (author of the comic-strip) insisted he knew nothing about the stock market and pointed out that he prepared his strip nine weeks ahead of publication. He also noted, "What would I be doing with cartoons if I were so hot on the stock market?"

Having learned the truth, the AG could have dropped the case, but he decided to shut down Goldsmith anyway for misleading his subscribers.

NY Daily News - Nov 18, 1948



The problem that the AG faced at the trial, however, was that Goldsmith's predictions had actually been pretty good and had served his subscribers well. In fact, many of his subscribers came to his defense during the trial. Nevertheless, the judge shut down Goldsmith's business. More details from The Manipulators:

Despite Goldsmith's record of accurate predictions, New York County Supreme Court Justice Benjamin F. Schreiber signed an injunction putting him out of business for keeps in these words:

The defendant. . . was engaged in the business of writing and distributing a market letter to the public which attempted to forecast and predict future prices of securities and commodities.

Subscribers were led to believe that the defendant used statistics, financial reports and charts in preparing. . . prognostications of future price movements. The letter was also so worded as to imply that the defendant had sources of special and secret information concerning stock movements. . .

The subscribers to the defendant's daily market letter had the right to assume that the defendant possessed a superior knowledge of the stock market, that whatever information he had came from living persons and recognized sources and not as a result of interpretations of comic strips. When he failed to inform his subscribers of the alleged sources of information he was concealing a material fact.

Terre Haute Tribune - June 13, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 05, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Money, Comics, 1940s

The Strange Will of John Mostow

Source: The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)04 Apr 1928, Wed Page 16



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 06, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Eccentrics, Law, Money, Candy, 1920s

Follies of the Madmen #536



How would you like the angry Amazing Colossal Man for your Dad or husband? While the females are appalled, the boy seems thrilled.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jun 25, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Domestic, Money, Advertising, Giant People in Ads, 1960s

Payment in Clams



When the nation's banks closed during the Depression, Leiter's Pharmacy in Pismo Beach, California, issued this clamshell as change.

The 1929 stock market crash triggered banking panics, as people rushed to withdraw their savings before they were lost. In March 1933, President Roosevelt ordered a four-day bank holiday to prevent further withdrawals. To compensate for the currency shortage, communities created emergency money, or scrip. This clamshell was signed as it changed hands and redeemed when cash became available again.


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 16, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Money, Nature, 1930s

Mr. Plastic Fantastic

Walter Cavanagh's hobby is collecting active credit cards issued in his name. Which is to say that he's not interested in collecting the cards themselves, as a typical credit card collector might be (such as a member of the American Credit Card Collectors Society). Cavanagh's collection consists entirely of cards that he could use to buy something.

By the mid-1970s, when the media first got wind of him (and dubbed him 'Mr. Plastic Fantastic'), he had already acquired 788 cards, giving him available credit of $750,000.

By 2016, in the most recent update about him that I could find, his collection was up to 1,497 cards, giving him available credit of $1.7 million.

However, he never taps into this credit. He uses only one card, and he always pays off the balance in full each month.

Los Angeles Times - Feb 1, 1976



But how does he keep getting companies to send him new cards? Wouldn't companies see the huge amount of credit already available to him and deny his application? Apparently not. Cavanagh reports that he's hardly ever had an application denied.

According to the Next Gen Personal Finance blog, this shouldn't be surprising. Both his payment and credit history are long and positive. Also:

he has $1.7 million in available credit and since he is only using one card, his utilization rate (credit used divided by total credit) is probably less than 1% or way below the 30% that is the generally accepted figure that you want to be below.

So companies keep sending him new cards.

Posted By: Alex - Tue May 10, 2022 - Comments (8)
Category: Money, World Records, Collectors

Obscene Chinese Money

The portrait of Confucius is expressing his opinion with his fingers of the occupying Japanese army.




Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 16, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages, Money, War, 1930s, Asia

The replica Roman coin that fooled a museum

Nov 1971: Nine-year-old Fiona Gordon realized that the supposedly ancient Roman coin on display at the South Shields Museum was actually a promotional replica given away by a soft drinks company, Robinsons.

Newport News Daily Press - Nov 3, 1971



I'm pretty sure that the coin below is similar (if not identical) to the one that was on display at the museum. In 1971, Robinsons sent these coins to anyone who mailed in enough bottle caps. (Source: CoinCommunity.com)

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 22, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Imitations, Forgeries, Rip-offs and Faux, Money, Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages, 1970s, Ancient Times

NRA Day Parades

The current era has been compared to the Depression and New Deal under Roosevelt. But what's lacking today as we seek to emerge from the pandemic malaise is--parades!

To celebrate "NRA Day," New York City threw a parade that utilized a quarter of a million participants.





But it wasn't just NYC. Smaller places joined in too. Such as Dothan, Alabama. Visit this page for the full account, with lots of great photos.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Government, Money, Parades and Festivals, 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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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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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