Weird Universe Archive

November 2020

November 21, 2020

Mystery Gadget 89

This was not a mere statue, but served a purpose. What did it do?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 21, 2020 - Comments (6)
Category: Domestic, Twentieth Century

November 20, 2020

Chlorine gas cures colds

During the 1920s, chlorine gas (the same stuff used as a chemical weapon in World War I) briefly became popular as a cure for the common cold.

The Rushville Daily Republican - Mar 26, 1926



Jennifer Ackerman explains what was going on in her book Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold:

The use of chlorine gas to cure the common cold was suggested by observations that men who worked in chlorine plants to manufacture the noxious gas during the war were remarkably free of colds and flu. The same was true of soldiers on the front lines exposed to the pungent, biting fumes of chlorine, compared with those in the rear. A hundred years earlier, physicians had noted that people who worked and lived in the vicinity of bleaching establishments had fewer respiratory infections than others.

Chlorine was thought to act as a kind of thorn-in-the-flesh therapy. Vedder (dubbed "the chemical warrior" by Time magazine) proposed that "the irritant action of chlorine stimulates the flow of secretion and cleanses the mucous surfaces," resulting in "productive coughing and blowing of the nose." Through its oxidizing action, the gas was also thought to rid the body of toxins and fuel the activity of white blood cells useful in the attack against offending microbes.

Practically overnight, chlorine therapy became a popular treatment for victims of colds, bronchitis, and whooping cough... For the general public, there was Chlorine Respirine, 50 treatments for $0.50 in a handy collapsible tube, each dose purported to "knock a cold in three hours."

Controlled experiments eventually debunked the idea that chlorine gas had any curative value. Though I'm not sure how to explain why people exposed to chlorine didn't seem to catch colds as often. Perhaps it was just mistaken, anecdotal evidence. Or perhaps the chlorine gas was sterilizing surfaces, helping to prevent the transmission of germs.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 20, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, 1920s

The Galloping Comedians

Symphony orchestra, or the Harmonicats? Your choice.

The second movement, the one played by the Harmonicats, begins more or less at the one-minute mark in the first video.

The Wikipedia entry.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 20, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Humor, Music, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, Twentieth Century

November 19, 2020

Germs pick out the weak ones

The theme of this 1920's ad campaign was that if your kid didn't eat Ralston Purina breakfast cereal, then he/she was going to die.

A child's life is a fight! Danger Days are always ahead. Danger Days — the days when little lives hang in the balance — may come next year, next month, or perhaps — tomorrow. Your children must meet these Danger Days. Are they ready? Will they win?

Fitchburg Sentinel - Jan 3, 1928



Pittsburgh Press - Nov 1, 1927

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 19, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Health, Advertising, Cereal, 1920s

November 18, 2020

Canned Roadkill

1990: T. Roy Gentry began selling cans that he advertised as containing possum run over by a cattle truck 2 miles south of Ozark, Missouri. The cans actually contained potted meat from a local grocery store.

Newsweek - Mar 19, 1990



Kansas City Times - Feb 20, 1990

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, 1990s, Pranks

Follies of the Madmen #493

Yak, yak, yak on the phone all day about makeup! Those gals!

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 18, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Cosmetics, Stereotypes and Cliches, 1960s, Women

November 17, 2020

Home Monitor of the Future

This 1964 ad envisioned a hand-held device that would allow people to run their home by remote control:

Easy Does It
Someday, you may be able to run your all-electric home and keep an eye on your youngsters by fingertip control

As far as we know, the amazing device you see above hasn't been developed as yet.
But it wouldn't be surprising if something like it were in the works. In this modern age of ours, only a short step separates the dreams of the moment from the realities of tomorrow.

Newsweek - July 1964



For once, the future actually delivered, since a smartphone can do everything imagined in this ad, and more.

Interesting that the gadget has controls for 'lawn care,' 'food prep,' etc., but not for turning the lights on.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 17, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: 1960s, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

RIP Maria Makowska-Kalinowska, Champion Moviegoer



"Today, Ms. Maria Kalinowska, the greatest Poznań (Polish, and probably the largest in the scale of the universe) cinema lover, has passed away today," wrote the employees of the cinema to which Maria regularly visited her husband. A married couple wrote down each screening in a notebook - they could spend whole days in the cinema, equipped with sandwiches. People from Poznań who regularly visit the Muza Cinema had to meet them at least once.


News article source of quote.

Their Wikipedia page says:

Maria Makowska-Kalinowska (1945 – 14 November 2020) and Bogdan Kalinowski (1939 – 9 November 2017) were a married couple from Poznań, Poland, known as the most avid filmgoers in Poland. They watched films in cinemas of Poznań regularly from 1973 on. In 2010 alone they watched 563 films. Altogether, between 1973 and 2010 they had viewed over 11,000 films together; by mid-2015 the total exceeded 13,000.[


Maria and Bogdan Kalinowski were librarians, and they met during a course for librarians. There was also a library of the films watched, which they meticulously kept. The Kalinowski family went to every film festival, sat down with notebooks in their hands and took notes of every film they watched. And they saw thousands of them together - in 2017, when Mr. Bogdan died, this number probably exceeded 16,000.


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 17, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Amateurs and Fans, Eccentrics, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Movies, Europe

November 16, 2020

The Shipwreck Diet

Studies conducted by the U.S. Army in the late 1940s sought to determine the minimum amount of food a person would need to survive if they were shipwrecked on a desert island.

One of the oddities the researchers discovered was that if, for some reason, the shipwrecked person had to choose between steak and water, they should choose the water: "Protein has the effect of drying up the body. Therefore eating a steak on a desert island with little or no water available would probably be worse than eating nothing, depending upon how long rescue took."

"Shipwreck Diet: One of eleven Army volunteers who for six weeks will live on biscuits and water at the Metropolitan Hospital, New York City, to determine a human survival ration."
Newsweek - Mar 15, 1948




Waterloo Courier - Nov 16, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 16, 2020 - Comments (4)
Category: Food, Nutrition, Experiments, 1940s, Dieting and Weight Loss

Page 3 of 7 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›




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
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 •