Category:
1920s

The Golden Mermaid Beauty Trophy

I wish the contest had continued with the mermaid theme.





Posted By: Paul - Sat Nov 27, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Cryptozoology, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1920s

The Patented Carrot Rectal Dilator

In 1927, the Canadian patent office granted an unusual patent (CA 259317) to George L. Kavanagh. It was unusual because, while most patents describe some new type of gadget or gizmo, Kavanagh's invention simply consisted of a method of using a carrot.

The problem Kavanagh had set out to solve was that of constipation in the elderly. The way he saw it, our rectums tend to grow more inelastic and shrunken as we age, and this leads to constipation. The solution, he concluded, was "gently dilating the anus and rectum until the organs are restored to their youthful size."

But what could be used as a dilator? Preferably something inexpensive and readily obtainable. That made him think of carrots.

A summary from his patent:


An added benefit of carrots, he noted, was that they come in a variety of different sizes. This would allow one to start with small carrots and work up to larger ones "until the desired result is obtained."

Unfortunately, Kavanagh submitted no drawings with his patent. But I did find a chart that provides a size comparison of different types of carrots, which could be potentially useful for anyone who wants to try out Kavanagh's method at home on an elderly relative.

image source: 123rf.com



Update: Kavanagh also got a US Patent (No. 1,525,505) for his invention.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Health, Inventions, Vegetables, 1920s

Moe and Shemp Go for a Swim

Unscripted poolside mayhem.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 12, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Swimming, Snorkeling, and Diving, 1920s, Comedians

Device to prevent mouth breathing

In 1920, Richard Jefferies was granted a patent for "a simple and practical device which will eliminate the habit of breathing through the mouth and at the same time will assist in harmonizing the facial features of the wearer, by more evenly balancing the muscles of expression."

His invention consisted of a piece of adhesive-backed silk placed over the mouth.



I was vaguely aware that mouth breathing is considered a bad habit, but I wasn't aware that "mouth taping" continues to be a common remedy for it.

For instance, one can buy SomniFix Sleep Strips, which look like they're a slightly updated version of Jefferies' invention.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Oct 27, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Health, Inventions, 1920s, Face and Facial Expressions

The Arctic Venus



Helmar Leiderman was the first Miss Alaska. Not really one of of our "oddball beauty titles." Except that when she was disqualified on a technicality during the Miss America contest, she sued and was later arrested.

Article source: The San Francisco Examiner (San Francisco, California) 01 Nov 1925, Sun Page 140



Posted By: Paul - Fri Oct 08, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Lawsuits, 1920s

Ralph Woltstem’s Breast Supporters

Back in the 1920s, Ralph Woltstem reimagined the brassiere. He did away with the straps around the shoulders and instead used columns to provide support from below. These columns, in turn, incorporated shock absorbers. He was granted two patents for this invention. The device in both patents looks pretty much identical to me. The images are from Patent No. 1762676, and the explanatory text below is from Patent No. 1741898:

This invention relates to new and useful improvements in breast supporters for women and aims to provide simple, inexpensive and efficient means whereby large and flabby breasts of women, especially of the buxom type, may be so supported as to assume a firm and solid condition. Furthermore, the use of my present device will prevent the flapping of the breasts while walking, which always is an undesired feature in women afflicted with breasts of unusual proportions.




Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 19, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Underwear, 1920s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 6





From the ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS, August 4, 1924

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 19, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Death, 1920s, Russia

Advertising Club Beauty Contest



Miss Margaret Gorman presenting the wooden loving-cup to "Miss" Alexandria, winner of the Advertising Club's "beauty" contest, held at the Raleigh yesterday. In business life pretty "Miss" Alexandria is Sylvan Oppenheimer. "Miss Congress Heights," the young "lady" with the rolling pin, is Allan De Ford. The debonair "Miss" Georgetown is Sidney Selinger and the charming young lady with the raven locks, "Miss Four-and-a-Half Street," is none other than Paul Heller] [1921 September 21]


Source.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Sep 09, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Humor, Parody, Advertising, 1920s

Twin Suicide by Starvation

One hardly knows where to begin to calculate the weirdness quotient in this small article.

Source: Evening Star (Washington, District of Columbia) 23 Jun 1925, Tue Page 1

Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 01, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Family, Human Marvels, Suicide, 1920s

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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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