Category:
Nineteenth Century

Frog Postcards

Please consider the usefulness and attractiveness of having frogs convey your birthday, Xmas, Valentine's Day or New Year's wishes.

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Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 02, 2016 - Comments (10)
Category: Animals, Holidays, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Postal Services

Grove’s Laxative Bromo Quinine

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Not sure about a laxative having any effect on a cold. Or quinine either. But thousands of people obviously found some relief for nearly eighty years.

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 01, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Hitler Is Alive!

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In its heyday, THE POLICE GAZETTE was a goldmine of weird news. It was recently revived by Steven Westlake, son of the famous crime novelist Donald Westlake, and he has now compiled a book of the best Hitler articles from the magazine. Looks like a winner!

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 22, 2016 - Comments (3)
Category: Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Magazines, Europe, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

The Wooden Leg Rule

A great advance in American divorce law, recorded by the Detroit Free Press - Sep 19, 1882.

I wonder if the ruling still stands?

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 18, 2016 - Comments (16)
Category: Divorce, Nineteenth Century

Horsford’s Acid Phosphate

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What was once a patent medicine for "tired brains" and "seasickness" is now a hipster cocktail ingredient.

Full story here.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 08, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century, Alcohol

Carnivorous Buffaloes

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Nothing much about California has really changed since this 1849 warning, has it?

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 21, 2015 - Comments (10)
Category: Death, Hillbillies, Country Bumpkins, Ruralism and Flyover Country, Rants, Warnings, Jeremiads, Prophecies and Cassandra-like Figures, Regionalism, Nineteenth Century

The Eccentric Club



For over 230 years there has been one or more organizations known as "the Eccentric Club." I think every WU-vie should be a member by birthright.

Here is a tongue-in-cheek account of a party at an NYC branch from 1889.

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Original article here.

Profile of the current London version.

Present-day USA version.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 11, 2015 - Comments (11)
Category: Eccentrics, Eighteenth Century, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

Tornado-Proof House With Tail

The idea, from an 1890 patent, was to make the house aerodynamic (long and narrow) and then attach it to a turntable, so that it could turn to face the wind.

I'm sure there must be some basic flaw in the concept. I imagine the entire house being spun like a top by the wind.





Source: Popular Mechanics - Apr 1910

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 04, 2015 - Comments (19)
Category: Inventions, Nineteenth Century

Civil War Nurse Barbie



First of all, there's actually such a thing as a Civil War Nurse Barbie. (But no Civil War Soldier Ken, featuring horrific battle injuries).

Second, it's been pointed out in a number of places (such as here and here) that the doll is historically inaccurate. So it teaches kids bad history.

Dorothea Dix, Superintendent of Female nurses, famously set strict guidelines for all Union nurses: "They were required to be between 35-50 years old and plain-looking. [No attractive young nurses!] They were to dress in black or brown dresses and were not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind."

This is what an actual Civil War nurses' uniform looked like, complete with bloodstains:


Unlike the Union, the Confederates didn't have a nurses organization that defined what nurses should wear. But Confederate nurses tended to dress in simple, plain dresses, because that was practical.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 30, 2015 - Comments (12)
Category: Toys, War, Nineteenth Century

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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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