Follies of the Madmen #453

The wealthy always employ midgets to help them dress. Seriously, what size is that person standing on the chair? Maybe the gal in undergarments is a giant?


Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 18, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity, Business, Advertising, Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Surrealism, Underwear, 1940s

The Armageddon Bra

"the 'Armageddon Bra' includes a sensor on the shoulder strap, and a control box to warn of objects falling from the skies."

The Vancouver Province - May 13, 1999

Montreal Gazette - May 13, 1999

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 08, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, 1990s

Underwear on head in restaurant

“How would you like to be eating a hamburger and turn around and see some dude wearing jockey shorts on his head?”

Indianapolis News - May 20, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Sat Oct 12, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Eccentrics, Headgear, Underwear, 1970s

The Lice-Infested Underwear Experiment

During World War II, millions of men served their country by fighting in the military. Hundreds of thousands of others worked in hospitals or factories. And thirty-two men did their part by wearing lice-infested underwear.

Model of a body louse, National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Origin of the Experiment

World War II public health warning
Source: Nat. Museum of Health & Medicine

It began with the recognition of the serious public-health problem posed by body lice (Pediculus humanis corporis). Being infested by these tiny insects is not only unpleasant, but also potentially deadly, since they're carriers of typhus. During World War II, medical authorities feared that the spread of lice among civilian refugees could trigger a widespread typhus epidemic, leading to millions of deaths, as had happened in World War I.

In an attempt to prevent this, the Rockefeller Foundation, in collaboration with the federal government, funded the creation in 1942 of a Louse Lab whose purpose was to study the biology of the louse and to find an effective means of preventing infestation. The Lab, located in New York City, was headed by Dr. William A. Davis, a public health researcher, and Charles M. Wheeler, an entomologist.

The first task for the Louse Lab was to obtain a supply of lice. They achieved this by collecting lice off a patient in the alcoholic ward of Bellevue Hospital. Then they kept the lice alive by allowing them to feed on the arms of medical students (who had volunteered for the job). In this way, the lab soon had a colony of thousands of lice. They determined that the lice were free of disease since the med students didn't get sick.

Next they had to find human hosts willing to serve as subjects in experiments involving infestation in real-world conditions. For this they initially turned to homeless people living in the surrounding city, whom they paid $7 each in return for agreeing first to be infected by lice and next to test experimental anti-louse powders. Unfortunately, the homeless people proved to be uncooperative subjects who often didn't follow the instructions given to them. Frustrated, Davis and Wheeler began to search for other, more reliable subjects.

Conscientious Objectors
Eventually Davis and Wheeler hit upon conscientious objectors (COs) as potential guinea pigs. The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 allowed young men with religious objections to fighting to serve their country in alternative, nonviolent ways. At first they were put to work domestically at jobs such as building roads, harvesting timber, and fighting forest fires. But in 1942, inspired by the example of the British government, it occurred to U.S. officials that these young men were also a potential pool of experimental subjects for research, and they began to be made available to scientists for this purpose.

The Vancouver Sun - Feb 3, 1943

In theory, the COs were always given a choice about whether or not to serve as guinea pigs. In practice, it wasn't that simple. Controversy lingers about how voluntary their choice really was since their options were rather limited: be a guinea pig for science, or do back-breaking manual labor. But for their part, the COs have reported that they were often eager to volunteer for experiments. Sensitive to accusations that they were cowardly and unpatriotic, serving as a test subject offered the young men a chance to do something that seemed more heroic than manual labor.

Eventually COs participated in a wide variety of experiments, but Davis and Wheeler were the very first researchers to use American COs as experimental subjects. And they planned to infest these volunteers with lice.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 04, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Health, Insects, Experiments, Underwear, 1940s

Follies of the Madmen #422

"Takes a drenching, yet keeps on clenching!"

Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 19, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Business, Advertising, Family, Underwear, 1910s

Denim Panties

More denim weirdness. Designer Y/Project has come out with denim panties. On social media, people have nicknamed them “Janties” (short for Jeans Panties). They're available from retailer SSense, for $315. From their website:

Denim can be cheeky. And eye-catching. These “brief-style shorts” can be worn under or over pants, meaning they’re far more versatile than what you’d traditionally expect from a pair of briefs. Underwear that doesn’t need to stay “under there.”

Posted By: Alex - Mon Apr 08, 2019 - Comments (7)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Denim

Women of Canada Bras

Bra-maker Simons recently apologized for its line of bras named after prominent Canadian women. For example, they had the Beverley bralette, named after former Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin. The Flora, named after Flora Macdonald, Canada's first female minister of Foreign Affairs. And the Stella push-up bra, named after social activist Stella Lord, who fought against poverty in Nova Scotia.

Some of the women are still living and hadn't been contacted for their consent. Plus, the link between lingerie and chief justices, social activists, etc. seemed unclear to just about everyone. Noted Marketing professor Ken Wong: "This is marketing at its worst... Somebody there probably said, 'We need to connect our product to this empowerment movement.' But what they failed to consider is will people find it offensive and insulting."

More details:

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 07, 2019 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, Underwear

Underwear Trading Cards

An idea recently introduced by Hanes, which is putting trading cards featuring Michael Jordan modeling underwear into packs of their men's underwear. From the press release:

Beginning March 11, more than 800,000 specially marked bonus packs of Hanes men’s underwear, including Comfort Flex Fit boxer briefs, will contain a pack of 30th Anniversary Michael Jordan trading cards. A total of 170 different Fleer trading cards have been produced by The Upper Deck Company, each with a picture of Jordan from one of his Hanes advertisements on the front and vital statistics and fun facts on the back. Cards are inserted randomly in five-card packs. Ten lucky consumers will find a rare Michael Jordan autograph card in their packs.

If there's a total of 170 different cards, how much underwear would you need to buy to get them all?

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 21, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Collectors, Underwear

Bras for Cows

Apparently, they exist. Farm Show magazine explains:

Dairy farmers can reduce mastitis by fitting their cows with "bras", according to Michael Battisti, a Syracuse, New York, dairy farmer, who outfits half of his 69-cow herd with brassiere-like harnesses to keep them from damaging low-hanging udders with their hooves... "They keep the udders clean and the teats tucked up out of the way so they won't get stepped on," says Battisti, who has used bras on his cows for several years.

Long Beach Independent Press-Telegram - July 2, 1977

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jan 30, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, Cows

The Techno-Bra

Created by Kursty Groves. The bra monitored the wearer’s heartbeat and contacted the police if there was a sudden change indicative of a panic response (suggesting that the wearer was being attacked or in danger). The bra was reportedly going to be manufactured and sold by the British design firm PDD, but as far as I can tell, it never made it to market.

Image source: Visual Arts Data Service

Discover magazine - October 1999

Atlanta Constitution - July 25, 1999

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 22, 2019 - Comments (8)
Category: Fashion, Underwear, 1990s

Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

weird universe thumbnail
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.

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.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •