Weird Universe Blog — September 30, 2022

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 (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Money

Ivory Snow Equal Time for Fetishists

Disregard the false caption claiming this is a Charmin commercial. Only Ivory Snow is responsible. They can add this to their claim to have used Marilyn Chambers as "the Ivory Snow Girl."

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 30, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Hygiene | Advertising | Fetishes | 1970s

September 29, 2022

The Palatibility of Tadpoles

In 1970, biologist Richard Wassersug conducted a study to determine what different kinds of tadpoles taste like. More specifically, whether some taste worse than others. He convinced 11 grad students to be his tadpole tasters.

The standardized tasting procedure included several steps. A tadpole was rinsed in fresh water. The taster placed the tadpole into his or her mouth and held it for 10-20 sec without biting into it. Then the taster bit into the tail, breaking the skin and chewed lightly for 10-20 sec. For the last 10-20 sec the taster bit firmly and fully into the body of the tadpole. The participants were directed not to swallow the tadpoles but to spit them out and to rinse their mouths out at least twice with fresh water before proceeding to the next tadpole.

The most distasteful tadpole was Bufo marinus, while the most palatable ones were Smilisca sordida and Colostethus nubicola.

This confirmed his hypothesis that the most visible tadpoles were the least palatable. Their bad taste deterred predators from eating them, whereas the better tasting tadpoles relied on concealment to avoid being eaten.

Thirty years later, Wassersug was awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for this research.

More info: "On the Comparative Palatibility of Some Dry-Season Tadpoles from Costa Rica"

Richard Wassersug poses with a frog
image source: University of Chicago

Posted By: Alex - Thu Sep 29, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Food | Science | Experiments

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 10

Source: Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 17 Feb 1949, Thu Page 21

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 29, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Death | 1940s | Alcohol

September 28, 2022

More death by golf

We've previously posted about the 1951 case of Edward Harrison who accidentally killed himself when he swung his golf club against the golf cart in anger.

Below are two more examples of the same phenomenon.

Clearly, think twice before taking out your frustration on your club.

Regina Leader-Post - Apr 17, 1982

Louisville Courier-Journal - July 14, 1994

Posted By: Alex - Wed Sep 28, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Death | Golf

September 27, 2022

The marriage of industry and electronics

I like the image, but it seems like it belonged on the cover of a science-fiction magazine, not in an ad for Revere kitchen ware. After all, a woman marrying a robot raises a few intriguing questions.

Saturday Evening Post - Nov 15, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 27, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising | AI, Robots and Other Automatons | Marriage | 1940s

Follies of the Madmen #542

Which booze does your doctor recommend?


Source of second ad.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 27, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: Medicine | Advertising | 1950s | Alcohol

September 26, 2022

How to smoke fewer cigarettes

This reminds me of the old joke about how to drink fewer glasses of wine a day — get a bigger glass.

"It's wacky, but it works!"

image source: Trinkets & Trash
contemporary source: Photoplay - Nov 1976

Posted By: Alex - Mon Sep 26, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising | Smoking and Tobacco | 1970s

Sounds of My City

Say you're on vacation at the beach, and you inexplicably long for urban noises. Well, this album has you covered!

Embedded player at bottom.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 26, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace | Urban Life | Vinyl Albums and Other Media Recordings | 1960s

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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