Category:
Nineteenth Century

Family Feud

Source.

More on the Dyotts, here and here.


Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 27, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Family, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century

Anti-Fut-Swet

It "Hardens the feet".

Chattanooga Daily Times - June 11, 1898

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 13, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Advertising, Nineteenth Century, Feet

Get Off The Earth

Created by Samuel Loyd in the 1890s, 'Get off the Earth' became a bestselling puzzle, selling over 10 million copies.

There are initially 13 characters, but when the disc moves one of them disappears. How is this possible?

Source: murderous maths



William Poundstone, in Believer magazine, writes:

Thousands of explanations for “Get Off the Earth” were submitted to Loyd’s puzzle column. Some writers carefully numbered the figures and singled out a specific man as the one who vanishes. A few offered implausibly precise destinations for the missing man. (St. Petersburg, Russia, according to one contestant who looked very closely at the printed globe.) One entry was in verse, several took swipes at Chinese immigration, and one writer felt that the puzzle had something to do with his conviction that all Chinese men look alike. The winning entries were published in Loyd’s January 3, 1897, Brooklyn Daily Eagle column. They were accompanied by Loyd’s own explanation, a peevish, long-winded rant that withholds as much as it reveals.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 22, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Games, Nineteenth Century

Jean-Jacques Lequeu, Visionary Architect

Lots of bizarre stuff from this creator, seen at this page, and also here.

And if you're in New York City over the next couple of months, you can visit an exhibit.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 05, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Architecture, Art, Eccentrics, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century

Human-Animal Breastfeeding

In his 1826 book A Treatise on the Physical and Medical Treatment of Children, the American physician William Potts Dewees offered this advice for pregnant women:


The Wikipedia article Human-animal breastfeeding offers some background info:

The breastfeeding by humans of animals is a practice that is widely attested historically and continues to be practised today by some cultures. The reasons for this are varied: to feed young animals, to drain a woman's breasts, to promote lactation, to harden the nipples before a baby is born, to prevent conception, and so on.

English and German physicians between the 16th and 18th centuries recommended using puppies to "draw" the mother's breasts, and in 1799 the German Friedrich Benjamin Osiander reported that in Göttingen women suckled young dogs to dislodge nodules from their breasts. An example of the practice being used for health reasons comes from late 18th century England. When the writer Mary Wollstonecraft was dying of puerperal fever following the birth of her second daughter, the doctor ordered that puppies be applied to her breasts to draw off the milk, possibly with the intention of helping her womb to contract to expel the infected placenta that was slowly poisoning her.

Animals have widely been used to toughen the nipples and maintain the mother's milk supply. In Persia and Turkey puppies were used for this purpose. The same method was practised in the United States in the early 19th century; William Potts Dewees recommended in 1825 that from the eighth month of pregnancy, expectant mothers should regularly use a puppy to harden the nipples, improve breast secretion and prevent inflammation of the breasts. The practice seems to have fallen out of favour by 1847, as Dewees suggested using a nurse or some other skilled person to carry out this task rather than an animal.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 18, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Medicine, Nineteenth Century, Pregnancy

Merry Christmas, 2019!



Posted By: Paul - Wed Dec 25, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Holidays, Children, Nineteenth Century, Nostalgia

An improved container for shoe polish

Carl Herold of Pittsburgh didn't think it made sense to sell shoe polish in tin containers, because the containers were so expensive that they added substantially to the cost of the shoe polish. So, back in 1872, he came up with a solution, which he patented: pack shoe polish in animal guts.

The object of my invention is to provide a cheap and convenient mode or means for packing the ordinary shoe-blacking of commerce, which is now almost universally put up in shallow tin boxes, which, being expensive, comparatively, greatly enhances the price of the blacking thus packed... My improvement consists in putting shoe-blacking upon the market packed in the guts of animals, which will add but a trifle to the cost of the blacking.

Figure 1 is an elevation of a package of blacking put up in accordance with my invention. Fig. 2 is a transverse section thereof...

The blacking is packed in suitable lengths of animal guts A, which are then firmly tied up at both ends, presenting the appearance of a sausage. Each package should be wrapped in paper to prevent the grease or oil upon the outer surface of the package from soiling the hands in handling it. The blacking thus packed will retain its moisture, and consequently remain in a proper plastic state for a great length of time. In this condition it may be sold by the pound, each purchaser or user providing himself with a small saucer or other shallow vessel into which to empty portions of the package from time to time for use.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Dec 01, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Inventions, Shoes, Nineteenth Century

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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, 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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