Weird Universe Archive

November 2021

November 5, 2021

Strictly feminine is the woman devoid of superfluous hair

The more often I say that sentence, the stranger it sounds.

Pittsburgh Press - July 30, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 05, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Advertising, 1930s, Hair and Hairstyling

The Deadly Tombstone of John Rogers Vinton

From his Find-a-Grave site:

After some time spent at Monterey and Saltillo, He was then ordered to join Gen. Scott in the attack on Vera Cruz. In the evening of 22 Mar 1847, he had just returned to his post when a large shell, hit the top of a parapet, glanced and struck his head, fracturing his skull, and killing him instantly. The shell did not burst, and it is supposedly that very cannon ball, that now adorns his grave.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 05, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Death, Regionalism, War, Cemeteries, Graveyards, Crypts, Mortuaries and Other Funereal Pursuits, Nineteenth Century

November 4, 2021

William Redgrave’s Safety Travelling Cap

The British patent office granted William Redgrave two patents. The first (No. 2888 - 1853) was for a "safety travelling cap". The second (No. 762 - 1859) was for a "pillow travelling cap". However, the two patents seem to describe the same invention. They just emphasize different uses for it.

Redgrave's patented cap consisted of three air-tight, circular tubes that would wrap around a wearer's head. His idea was that this would provide a measure of safety for travelers, because if the traveler fell the inflated tubes would cushion his head:

Thus, should a person wearing it be violently thrown against the sides of a railway carriage or in contact with a person on the opposite seat to him, or be thrown from a carriage, chaise, or any other conveyance, his head is perfectly secure from injury.

The cap could also serve as a pillow (thus, the second patent):

A person wearing the cap can repose with the greatest comfort in any position, quite as well as if he had a pillow placed beneath his head, and is werewithal as light as any ordinary cap; it is excellently adapted for travellers to and residents in hot climates, forasmuch as they can throw themselves on the deck of a vessel or anywhere else, and enjoy a most comfortable repose.

Finally, Redgrave noted that the cap was "an excellent invention for lunatics." Presumably because lunatics might fall over a lot. Or hit their head against a wall.

Unfortunately Redgrave provided no drawings of his safety cap.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 04, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Inventions, Patents, Headgear, Nineteenth Century

Wally Cox:  Early Standup Act

A weird lateral beginning to what his career would become.

Wally Cox (b.1924 d.1973) He started in nightclubs in 1948 doing this act; Monologs done in a heavy NYC accent followed by a song done in a high breaking voice. He was on early TV as Mr. Peepers school principle 1952-1955. A main stay of TV & movies throughout the 60s. He was the voice of Underdog cartoon and one of the Hollywood Squares game show. And a life long friend of Marlon Brando.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 04, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Humor, 1940s

November 3, 2021

Going to the Dogs

The 1986 play "Going to the Dogs" is the only play ever to have featured an all-dog cast. You can watch most of it on YouTube, if you can tolerate watching barking dogs. Parts 1-3 below, but there's 7 parts in total.

More info: wikipedia

Des Moines Register - Sep 21, 1986

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 03, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Theater and Stage, Dogs, 1980s

Jay De Feo’s THE ROSE

The artist's Wikipedia page.

From an NYT article.

DeFeo, who died in 1989, at age 60, is known for a single work, her astounding “Rose,” a monumental accretion of oil paint that consumed her for more than seven years. Working in her apartment on Fillmore Street, she applied pigment in gloppy impastos, then chiseled into the paint. What finally emerged was an 11-foot-tall, ash-gray slab incised with a central starburst radiating white lines. The piece (which, by a happy coincidence, is now on view in the permanent-collection galleries of the Whitney Museum of American Art) has a visionary energy and can put you in mind of William Blake’s blazing 19th-century suns.

In 1965, unable to afford a rent increase, DeFeo received an eviction notice. She worried that “The Rose” was unmovable. By then it weighed more than a ton and was too cumbersome to fit through the front door. Alternate plans were devised.... Several Bekins moving men in white jumpsuits pry “The Rose” from the wall and maneuver it out a bay window with a forklift as DeFeo sits disconsolately on a fire escape, smoking. “It was the end of ‘The Rose,’ and it was the end of Jay,” Conner said later in an interview.... She ceased working for several years,

Posted By: Paul - Wed Nov 03, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Art, Excess, Overkill, Hyperbole and Too Much Is Not Enough, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1960s

November 2, 2021

Miss Chicken of Tomorrow

Two "Chicken of Tomorrow" contests were held. The first in 1948, and the second in 1951. Their purpose was to encourage farmers to breed meatier chickens. And they apparently succeeded. Modern Farmer magazine reports that, "Some of the champions of these competitions became the major genetics suppliers of today's poultry."

Of course, at the time one couldn't hold such a major competition without simultaneously holding a beauty contest to find a young woman to be its queen. So, Nancy Magee became the first "Chicken of Tomorrow Queen" and Joan Walters was the second. Joan got quite a bit more publicity. She was paraded around the country as "Miss Chicken of Tomorrow."

For more info, check out this old documentary on YouTube about the 1948 contest.

Nancy Magee, the 1948 Chicken of Tomorrow Queen

"Miss Joan Walters of Rogers, Ark., 18-year-old brunette beauty, was crowned Chicken-of-Tomorrow Queen here last Friday night in a ceremony at the University of Arkansas field house."--The Madison County Record - Apr 12, 1951

"Miss Joan Walters of Rogers, Ark., was recently named National Chicken-of-Tomorrow Queen." Image source: Arkansas Land and Life - Spring/Summer 2004

San Bernardino County Sun - Apr 8, 1951

Orlando Evening Star - May 25, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 02, 2021 - Comments ()
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Farming, 1940s, 1950s

Mystery Gadget 97

This device does what now?

Answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Tue Nov 02, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Twentieth Century

November 1, 2021

St. Rumwold—the youngest saint

Due to the vagaries of medieval spelling, Rumwold is also known as Rumald, Rumbold, Grumbald, Rumbald, etc. The story goes that Rumwold was born in 662 and only lived for three days. But during that brief time he demonstrated the ability to speak and recited the Lord's Prayer. So, after his death, he was made a saint.

image source:

While a three-day-old saint is, on its own, odd enough, my favorite part of his story involves the picture of him that later hung in Boxley Abbey in Kent. It was used as a test of a woman's chastity. Those who were chaste would easily be able to lift the picture. But if a woman was not chaste, the picture would mysteriously become so heavy that she wouldn't be able to lift it.

The secret, unknown by those trying to lift the picture, was that it could be held in place (or not) by a wooden rod concealed behind it.

The story of the unliftable portrait is told by Sidney Heath in Pilgrim Life in the Middle Ages (1911):

At Boxley also was a famous image of St. Rumald, Rumbold, or Grumbald, the son of a Northumbrian king and of a daughter of Penda, King of Mercia. He died when three days old, but not before he had repeated the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed in Latin, a feat for which he gained canonisation.

His image at Boxley is said to have been small, and of a weight so light that a child could lift it, but that it could at times become so heavy that it could not be moved by persons of great strength.

Thomas Fuller, the quaint old divine, tells us that "the moving hereof was made the conditions of women's chastity. Such who paid the priest well might easily remove it, whilst others might tug at it to no purpose. For this was the contrivance of the cheat — that it was fastened with a pin of wood by an invisible stander behind. Now, when such offered to take it who had been bountiful to the priest before, they bare it away with ease, which was impossible for their hands to remove who had been close-fisted in their confessions. Thus it moved more laughter than devotion, and many chaste virgins and wives went away with blushing faces, leaving (without cause), the suspicion of their wantonness in the eyes of the beholders; whilst others came off with more credit (because with more coin), though with less chastity."

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 01, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Babies, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Religion, Medieval Era

“Next” by Scott Walker

Although not the writer of the tune, Scott Walker really sells this tale of soldiers and hookers.

His Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 01, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Military, Music, Sexuality, 1970s

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