John and Mary Newlywed


In 1925 and 1926, Popular Science featured the antics of "John and Mary Newlywed," a young married couple so stupid they did everything wrong around the house. In the instance above from March 1926, John and Mary--despite having perfected anti-gravity as attested to by the unsupported car--are about to blow themselves up and smother themselves with gas fumes.

I regret the Newlyweds did not have a longer run. They would have been the Gallant-less Goofuses of the hobbyist set.
     Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 11, 2014
     Category: Husbands | Wives | 1920s | Goofs and Screw-ups

I checked the contest rules on page 12 and, sadly, we're too late to enter. HOWEVER, is that a nail sticking up in the board just to Mary's left? And what is John doing holding a calipers instead of a winch?

@Paul: Think Flubber. It may have been invented earlier than Disney would have us believe.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/11/14 at 07:40 AM
I believe it's a monkey wrench.
Posted by BMN on 09/11/14 at 07:54 AM
Expat, the threat of a nasty infection from that upright nail pales in comparison to those of running a hydrocarbon fueled space heater AND the motor of the car in an enclosed garage.

And although it looks like a caliper John Newlywed is holding, it is more likely that it is a spanner - my grandfather was a machinist / lathe operator from that era and I have a spanner he possessed that looks exactly like the illustration.

@Paul: I haven't seen a "Highlights" in years. Do those two still butt heads over social faux-pas?
Posted by KDP on 09/11/14 at 07:55 AM
Not to mention, It's the REAR tire that is flat! :lol: :coolsmile:
Posted by Tyrusguy on 09/11/14 at 08:30 AM
I wonder how many people spotted that the inner tube that is so lovingly bolted to the wall is actually a Möbius strip?
Posted by TheCannyScot in Atlanta, GA on 09/11/14 at 10:42 AM
I kept looking at that but couldn't make up my mind.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 09/11/14 at 11:28 AM
I see the can of fuel oil is leaking under the right front tire. The smoke out the tailpipe also looks like a hand with fingers curled except for one pointing/pushing at the back of the car. Interesting how cars back then didn't have front brakes...many of the first ones only had weak rear brakes. The "stripping" on the headlights is 90 degrees different so the right one is mounted wrong. Where's Waldo ?
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/11/14 at 12:43 PM
I am suprised no one even mentioned the fact that he is working on the engine while it is running. Only did that once...learned fast that it is a bit painful.
Posted by 4x4lvr on 09/11/14 at 03:00 PM
Lots of things in this .. also just noticed his oiler can is dripping down the fender.
Posted by BrokeDad in Midwest US on 09/11/14 at 03:09 PM
Two thing immediately jump out at me --

We see the underside of the shingles. Where's the sheathing/purlins/etc.?

The car looks to me like a Ford. It's always a bad mistake to have a Ford.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/11/14 at 03:31 PM
It's a contest to spot the errors of the couple AND the errors of the artist, according to the source material. Which would explain the fact that the jack is not touching the car. It really is like Highlights for grownups.
Posted by Frank Harris on 09/11/14 at 04:13 PM
If it's the artist also, the doors look to have a stud running down from the roof peak to the floor. The car could not be driven in.
Posted by BMN on 09/11/14 at 04:18 PM
Besides those others have seen:
Studs above door not evenly spaced.
Paint brushes left in cans (on counter underneath window).
Handle missing from bucket (next to board -- it needs a handle on side for pouring).
Two valve stems on rear tire.
No steering gear/tie rod ends (car would only go in straight line).

Not sure:
Front passenger tire looks weird -- is it solid?
Is that the proper way for her to light one of those?
Is that proper placement of a license plate?
Left-most window on wall doesn't have proper stud next to it (1x4 instead of 2x4?).
No reason to remove front wheel to work on the engine.
Icicles on left window but not on right one.
Posted by Phideaux on 09/11/14 at 04:39 PM
Passenger side has no doors, or door pillar.
The last rafter does not seem to meet the top plate at the corner?
For the span, there should be collar ties.
Usually the rafters are the same spacing as the studs, never double. But the studs almost look like 2"x2"s.
Posted by BMN on 09/11/14 at 06:01 PM
She is wearing heels and a skirt to help in the garage. You guys got all the rest!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 09/11/14 at 08:36 PM
In 1926, women didn't wear pants.
Posted by ges on 09/11/14 at 09:22 PM
Just looked at the Sept. issue where they announced the winners. They didn't list all the things you were supposed to spot, but the winner is quoted as saying "The first fifty mistakes came easy."
Posted by Phideaux on 09/11/14 at 10:12 PM
Paul, this was fun - and lots of audience participation added to the game. More please!
Posted by Flamingo1 on 09/12/14 at 09:23 AM
@ges - if you scroll down the rest of that March 1926 issue there is a photo of Madge Juaregui "famous female hunter" in front of her plane wearing pants. So Patty was right - skirt and heels in a garage is silly. Dungarees were acceptable back then. (Nobody called them jeans.)
Posted by Flamingo1 on 09/12/14 at 09:34 AM
Take a look at which specifically mentions aviatrices and other working women. Most women probably didn't even own pants back then.
Posted by ges on 09/13/14 at 09:33 PM
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