Category:
1900s

The Dancing Pig

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 25, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, 1900s, Dance, Love & Romance

Trick Gun for Secret Society Initiations

Imagine the sheer delight of the person being initiated, when the realistic looking gun is pointed at them, a loud explosion occurs--but only water emerges! High-larious!

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 24, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Guns, Patents, 1900s, Pranks

Trick Chair

Bang! And down goes the victim!

Full patent here.



Posted By: Paul - Tue Apr 09, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Patents, 1900s, Pranks

Electricura Shoes

John Wilson Gibbs claimed that his patented "electric shoe" would cure rheumatism.

Kansas City Star - July 23, 1907



How the shoes generated electricity is explained in his 1903 patent (No. 740,548). They contained zinc and copper nails. The two metals, when combined with sweaty feet, would form a galvanic cell, producing a mild electric current.

This invention relates to an electric shoe; and its object is to provide, in connection with the sole of a shoe or other article of footwear, a means permanently attached thereto, such that an electric current will be generated under the influence of the foot of the wearer. . .

The sole of the shoe is shown at A, and in the upper surface thereof there are driven or otherwise inset a series of nails or studs B, with each of which there is associated a similar nail or stud C. The studs of the series B are preferably of zinc and those of the series C preferably of copper, thereby providing pairs of elements of dissimilar metals or opposite in sign such that when contacted with by the foot of the wearer from the influence of the warmth or moisture of the person or for other reasons an electric current will be generated, passing from one element to the other through the body of the wearer. The medical and therapeutic effects of such a current are well known, and I claim herein only the specific construction of the means for obtaining such a current.

What he doesn't mention is that the metals would quickly corrode, at which point the electricity would stop. Not that such a tiny amount of electricity would have had any therapeutic effect anyway.

Of course, this was back in the era when adding the word "electric" to any product was a sure way to give it more consumer appeal. A long time ago I had a brief article published in Smithsonian magazine in which I gave some examples of this phenomenon.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 11, 2024 - Comments (3)
Category: Patents, Shoes, 1900s

Thomas Snell’s Millions

Rich people are weird.

Before dipping into this story, some perspective on the value of the estate.












And as final icing on the cake.





Posted By: Paul - Sun Mar 10, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Death, Money, Lawsuits, 1900s, Women

The Roller Skate Craze

Posted By: Paul - Sat Oct 21, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Bicycles and Other Human-powered Vehicles, Fads, Humor, 1900s

“Fighting the Flames” at Dreamland

The Dreamland amusement park had a spectacle that consisted of a street scene of building facades which would erupt in flames, allowing a mock rescue by fireman-actors. Ironically, the whole park died in a giant inferno.







Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 25, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, Firefighting, Arson, Wildfires, Infernos and Other Conflagrations, Simulations, Make-Believe, Cosplay and other Pretend Situations, 1900s, 1910s

The Dog Factory

Posted By: Paul - Sat May 13, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Movies, Technology, Dogs, 1900s

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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, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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.

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