Weird Universe Archive

October 2016

October 14, 2016

Don’t Waste Paper

In 1918, the U.S. War Industries Board ran ads in magazines and newspapers urging everyone to save paper. The reason: "Paper contains valuable chemicals necessary for war purposes. Economy in the use of paper will release a large quantity of these materials for making poisonous gas."

All patriots were urged to do their part to help "Gas the Fiendish Huns."



The Illustrated Milliner - Sep 28, 1918


Every time you economize in paper, every time you do without a sheet of letter paper or a sheet of wrapping paper or paper bags — every sort of paper in fact, you are saving just so much more sulphur for our Government to put into war gases.

The more of this powerful gas we have at the battle front the more of our boys' lives we save and the quicker we will win the final victory.

Do not waste a scrap of paper.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Oct 14, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: War, 1910s

October 13, 2016

“Panty-waist stuff burns me”

Panty-waist is a term you don't hear often anymore. Though according to the Columbia Journalism Review, it still pops up every now and then:

“pantywaist” has endured, sometimes below the radar, as a mild slur, meaning someone who is weak; a sissy. It is almost universally applied to men.
That insulting definition of “pantywaist” (sometimes hyphenated as “panty-waist,” sometimes rendered as “panty waist”) first appeared in the 1930s, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, about twenty years after the first mention of the garment itself. It’s not a common usage, and, as might be expected for something considered derogatory, it shows up mainly in letters to the editor, editorials, and, now, blogs.

Image via Better Homes and Garbage;
original source: Pittsburgh Press - Mar 19, 1943

Posted By: Alex - Thu Oct 13, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category:

The Pyréolophore



The fuel for the world's first internal combustion engine was exploding plant spores.

Details here.


And here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Oct 13, 2016 - Comments (6)
Category: Inventions, Nature, Nineteenth Century

October 12, 2016

Don’t guess about your future… Analagraph it!

The Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company marketed its electronic analagraph service from the late 1930s to the 1970s. They described it as "a scientific device that lets you chart the family and its retirement needs." They even had an "analagraph school" in Newark, New Jersey where their employees would be sent to get trained as analagraphers.



More recently, Electronic Development Labs has marketed an "analagraph recorder" for use by chiropractors. I found an explanation of what this device does in the book Pendulum Power:

There are various methods for locating spinal subluxations. One of the most popular among chiropracters is the analagraph machine. This utilizes a thermocouple device which is passed over the skin all the way down the length of the spine. As the thermocouple passes each vertebra, it picks up any excessive heat readings and records them on a thin sheet of graph paper in the machine. All the doctor has to do is look at the graph paper and note any strong heat peaks. These are the areas where a subluxation is most likely to be present.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 12, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Insurance

Polka Dotted Poliwampus

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 12, 2016 - Comments (5)
Category: Humor, Music, Surrealism, 1950s, Fictional Monsters

October 11, 2016

Destination Atlantis

Auto mechanic Frank Russell of Biggleswade, England spent two years building a submarine in his backyard. He did it, he said, so that he could find the "lost city" of Atlantis. He described the construction of the sub in an article distributed by International News Service (Dec 1949):

My job is that of a motor mechanic and these craft that I build are purely a spare time hobby. Thus I have to get on with their construction as I can afford it; a few shillings or a pound or so at a time. Believe me, this method is exasperating and heartbreaking.

Practically all the parts have been cut, filed and even some of the holes drilled with ordinary hand tools, though I did manage on several occasions to borrow an oxy-acetylene cutter and an electric drill.

I have built this craft entirely by myself except for some of the more tricky points of welding on the hull. This was done by a friend, who is a highly skilled factory welder.

This submarine has been built entirely out of second-hand steel plates and scrap from local yards. Oxygen cylinders, motors, batteries, and the like are all from government surplus sales. The only new items are the glass observation ports and some rivets and bolts.

The launch date for his sub was November 4, 1950. Unfortunately, I can't find any reports about the launch, but I'm assuming he didn't find Atlantis.

And I'm guessing he may have been pulling everyone's leg about wanting to search for Atlantis, because eight years later he was back in the news as the perpetrator of an elaborate UFO hoax involving a "do-it-yourself space ship made of wire, silver paper, clockwork and a couple of flashlights." So it seems that he was a bit of a practical joker.

The Eagle (Bryan, Texas) - Nov 8, 1950



New Castle News - Oct 7, 1949



The Decatur Herald - May 28, 1958

Posted By: Alex - Tue Oct 11, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Boats, Hobbies and DIY, 1950s

Candy Wrapper Archive



You can certainly pass some delightful hours at the Candy Wrapper Archive, marveling at the sometimes wacky candies of yore.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 11, 2016 - Comments (2)
Category: Candy, Collectors

October 10, 2016

The Fasting Minister of Memphis

Episcopal minister Israel Harding Noe of Memphis, Tennesse had an odd career.

He first made the news in 1931 when his wife sued him for divorce, claiming that he had attained "such a state of spiritual perfection" that he had lost all interest in her. In other words, he had decided to embrace celibacy. The two eventually reconciled, which is to say that they didn't get divorced, although they apparently remained separated.


Seven years later, 1938, Noe was back in the news when he stopped eating to prove that man can live indefinitely on "spiritual sustenance" alone. Before he stopped eating entirely, he had supposedly spent the previous year living only on oranges. After 22 days of fasting, he fell into a coma, at which point doctors began force feeding him.

Albany Democrat-Herald - Jan 19, 1938



Pittsburgh Press - Jan 20, 1938



After recovering from the fast, Noe returned to preaching, but in 1951 was again making headlines with his claim that he had recreated the lost signet ring of King Solomon. He explained that he knew what the ring looked like because "I developed extra sensory perception until I was able to tap the reservoir of the universal subconscious mind."

Noe declared that he would give the ring to a "worthy wearer" who would then be endowed with "all power and knowledge of the universe — just like its original wearer, King Solomon." After a search, Noe eventually gave the ring to Rev. Canon Gottshall of Oakland, California, who never seemed to develop any special powers from it.

Noe died in 1960, at the age of 68, when he suffered a stroke while driving to church.

Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb 10, 1952

Posted By: Alex - Mon Oct 10, 2016 - Comments (7)
Category: Eccentrics

Mystery Gadget 41

image

What is the output of this machine?

The answer is here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Oct 10, 2016 - Comments (11)
Category: Technology, 1900s

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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.

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