Weird Universe Archive

July 2020

July 11, 2020

Little Baby’s Creepy Ice Cream Ads

Little Baby's existed as an ice cream company from 2011 to 2019. Their ads won them publicity, but I doubt they made many people want to try their product.

More info: Wikipedia





The director explains how the ads were shot:

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 11, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Advertising

Human-Powered Flight

"Vélocipède aérien," proposed by Jean Jacques Bourcart, Paris, August, 1866



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 11, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Death, Flight, Technology, Nineteenth Century

July 10, 2020

The 1902 penny craze

Sometime in late 1902, a rumor began to circulate that a worker at the mint, while making the 1902 pennies, had accidentally dropped a bar of gold into the copper. As a result, the 1902 pennies were worth more than a penny. The treasury would supposedly pay up to 18 cents for each penny. So people began frantically hoarding and stockpiling the 1902 pennies.

Despite frequent denials by the treasury, the rumor persisted as late as the 1960s.



There are different theories about how the rumor began. The article below attributed it to a Brooklyn school superintendent. Another theory, offered over at coinbooks.org, said that it started as a joke told by a fish dealer named Alvah W. Haff:

The rumor was said to have been started by Alvah W. Haff, a fish dealer of the Fulton fish market. Being a fish dealer, Mr. Haff had to always be ready to give change and when the Amityville bank accumulated too much small change, it notified Mr, Haff, who would take the change off of the bank's hands.
On January 29, 1903, Mr. Haff bought 3,000 copper pennies from the bank. Someone who witnessed the transaction commented on the strange occurrence, and Mr. Haff jokingly explained that he was going to take the coins and get the gold out of them.
The story spread like wild fire and people began hoarding 1902 pennies.

The Formoso New Era - Dec 11, 1903



The Spokane Spokesman-Review - July 12, 1961

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 10, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Money, 1900s

Follies of the Madmen #482



A kind of housewife voodoo.

Source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 10, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Business, Advertising, Appliances, 1950s, Christmas

July 9, 2020

The strange death of Frank Hayes

June 4, 1923: Jockey Frank Hayes suffered a heart attack and died while riding the horse Sweet Kiss in the steeplechase at Belmont Park. He nevertheless won the race.

It's the only time that a horse race has been won by a dead jockey. And it's probably also the only time that a sports competition has been won by a dead contestant.

More info: wikipedia

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - June 5, 1923

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 09, 2020 - Comments (7)
Category: Death, Sports, 1920s

Laura Bullion, Pard to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid




Wikipedia says:

Members of the Wild Bunch nicknamed Laura Bullion "Della Rose", a name she came by after meeting Kid Curry's girlfriend Della Moore. Often, Bullion also was referred to as the "Rose of the Wild Bunch". When her boyfriend Ben Kilpatrick and she fled east to evade the law after a train robbery in 1901, the couple traveled under the names "Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Arnold".[7]

In an arrest report following the train robbery, dated November 6, 1901, Bullion's name is filed as "Della Rose" and her aliases are stated to be "Clara Hays" and "Laura Casey and [Laura] Bullion". The arrest report lists her profession as prostitute.[5] According to a New York Times article, she was "masquerading as 'Mrs. Nellie Rose' at the time of her arrest.[8] The same article also mentions the suspicion that she, "disguised as a boy", might have taken part in a train robbery in Montana. The paper cites Chief of Detectives Desmond: "I would'nt [sic] think helping to hold up a train was too much for her. She is cool, shows absolutely no fear, and in male attire would readily pass for a boy. She has a masculine face, and that would give her assurance in her disguise."[8] Instead of "Clara Hays", Bullion also used "Clare Hayes" or "Clara Hayes" as a version of her alias. Other assumed names she used at that time were "Desert Rose", "Wild Bunch Rose", and "Clara Casey".[7]


Her gravesite.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 09, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Regionalism, Women, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

July 8, 2020

Danderine Grows Hair

As far as I know, Jeanette Wallace's only claim to fame was appearing in an ad for Danderine Hair-Growing Remedy. The ad ran in numerous magazines and newspapers between 1906 and 1908.

She claimed that Danderine made her hair "fairly crawl out of my scalp"... which sounds like it could be the premise for a horror story.



Incidentally, according to Google maps, her address in New York is now occupied by a noodle shop.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 08, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1900s, Hair and Hairstyling

The Sampognaro

My source for this illo claims the musical instrument depicted is called a "sampognaro." Yet googling reveals no such creature.

Who can help?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 08, 2020 - Comments (8)
Category: Music

July 7, 2020

The Quest For A Blonde Mistress

Publisher Emanuel Haldeman-Julius debuted his "little blue books" in 1919. These were cheaply bound, pocket-sized literary and academic works designed to make highbrow culture accessible to the masses. They sold for five cents each.

Haldeman-Julius didn't do this for charity. He wanted to sell as many titles as possible, and to achieve this he would often alter the titles to make them more appealing to consumers. Basically, he would sex up the titles.

For example, he added the subtitle "The Quest for a Blonde Mistress" to Theophier Gautier’s novel The Fleece of Gold. Sales leapt from 6000 to 50,000 copies a year. (Apparently, 'quest for a blonde mistress' is an accurate description of the book's plot.)



Other titles that benefitted from a title change:

• "The Tallow Ball" by Guy de Maupassant became "A French Prostitute's Sacrifice."
None Beneath the King by José Zorrilla became None Beneath the King Shall Enjoy This Woman.
• Victor Hugo’s The King Amuses Himself became The Lustful King Enjoys Himself.

Haldeman-Julius didn't always make the titles more risque. Sometimes he emphasized self-improvement, and that also had a positive effect on sales. For example, sales of Thomas De Quincey’s Essay on Conversation jumped when it was renamed How To Improve Your Conversation. Similarly, Arthur Schopenhauer’s Art of Controversy became How to Argue Logically. And Dante and Other Waning Classics became Facts You Should Know About the Classics.

Haldeman-Julius was totally open, even boastful, about this strategy. From his book The First Hundred Million:

It is really amazing what the change of a word may do. The mere insertion of a word often works wonders with a book. Take the account of that European mystery of intrigue and political romance, which Theodore M. R. von Keler did for me under the title of The Mystery of the Iron Mask. This title was fair. It certainly tells what the book is about. But there is something aloof about it. It may, says the reader to himself, be another one of those poetic titles. It may fool me, he thinks, and so he bewares. But I changed it to The Mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask, and now there can be no question, for the record is 30,000 against 11,000 copies per year. Two other "slight" additions come to mind. Victor Hugo's drama, The King Enjoys Himself (Rigoletto; translated by Maurice Samuel), and Zorilla's, the Spanish Shakespeare's, None Beneath the King (translated by Isaac Goldberg) were both rather sick—8,000 for the first and only 6,000 for the second. In 1927, lo and behold, the miraculous cure of title-changing brought 34,000 sales for None Beneath the King Shall Enjoy This Woman, and 38,000 for The Lustful King Enjoys Himself! Snatched from the grave! Then there was Whistler's lecture, fairly well known under the title Ten o'Clock. But readers of Little Blue Books are numbered by at least ten thousand for each title yearly. Due to the concentrated interest shown in self-education and self-improvement this helpful lecture on art should be read widely—following this reasoning, the proper explanatory title evolved into What Art Should Mean to You. Readers are more interested in finding out what art should mean to them than in discovering what secret meaning may lie behind such a phrase as "ten o'clock." In 1925 the old title sold less than 2,000; in 1927, the sales, stimulated by The Hospital's service mounted to 9,000.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 07, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Literature, Books

Squatter, the Sheep-Raising Game



Entry at games database, with pix.

Wikipedia page.

"Some board games turn up the tension so high you practically sweat through your clothes. Squatter, an Australian import which brings home the high-stakes world of sheep-herding, is probably not one of them."

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 07, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Farming, Games, Australia

Page 5 of 7 pages ‹ First  < 3 4 5 6 7 > 




Get WU Posts by Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner


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 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.

Chuck Shepherd
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.

Our banner was drawn by the legendary underground cartoonist Rick Altergott.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
December 2021 •  November 2021 •  October 2021 •  September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  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 •