Category:
1920s

Faking Someone Else’s Death

Modern life is full of stories about 1) people who fake their own death; and 2) people who fake having an illness (usually cancer) in order to get money. But this episode seems unique in that the scammers faked the death of someone else to get money.

Source: North Mail Newcastle Daily Chronicle (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Tyne and Wear, England) 28 Apr 1926, Wed Page 11

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 22, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Death, Scams, Cons, Rip-offs, and General Larceny, 1920s, United Kingdom

The Fuse Ball

In 1926, Philip S. Kane of Pennsylvania received a patent for his "fuse ball" (Patent No. 1,583,721). It was a golf ball with a fuse. Before teeing off, you'd light the fuse, which would then start emitting smoke. That way, you could find the ball wherever you hit it, even if it landed in tall grass.

According to various media reports, while testing his ball Kane accidentally set a wheat field on fire, but I haven't seen any proof to back up that story.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Aug 15, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Sports, Golf, Patents, 1920s

The May Queen of the Pennsylvania College for Women




Flanked by her attendants, May Queen Anna Negley '27, sits on her seashell throne. By the mid-1920s, Pennsylvania College for Women held a May Day pageant every other year. The 1927 pageant had an undersea theme and featured a magic throne, pirates, Neptune, Davy Jones, mermaids, and other sea people. Titled, “Deep Sea Caverns,” the festival was written by Helen Gordon ’28 and Ethel Hamilton ’28 (Hamilton passed away before graduating.). Vanda Kerst once again directed the production and designed the costumes.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Aug 02, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1920s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia

Fly Swatter Vogue

There is a big run on fly swatters in local stores—but not for swatting flies. This time they are for swatting ladies, who, in the cloistered privacy of their boudoirs, apply the little Nemesis of the fly to their fatted parts to obtain a perfect figure.

Boston Globe - Mar 24, 1927



via Useless Information

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1920s, Dieting and Weight Loss

The Strange Will of John Mostow

Source: The Boston Globe (Boston, Massachusetts)04 Apr 1928, Wed Page 16



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 06, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Eccentrics, Law, Money, Candy, 1920s

Drunken Dancers Arrested In Street

A more-innocent era. Not a single gun confiscated!

Source: The NYT for July 8, 1923.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 17, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Noises and Other Public Disturbances of the Peace, Urban Life, 1920s, Alcohol

German Rocket Car

First attempt: OK. Second attempt: not so much. The way they are covering up the car with a tarp at the end does not bode well for the fate of the driver.

The relevant Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 01, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Death, Destruction, Inventions, 1920s, Europe, Cars

Jazz Poetry

The Wikipedia entry, followed by some examples from the Boston Post, 09 Jan 1921, Sun Page 53.




Posted By: Paul - Sat May 28, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Fads, Music, Poetry, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1920s

The Pressed Frog Phenomenon

I found the image below at the Texas History site of the University of North Texas. It appears there as is, without any further explanation (or date).



I realize that the indentations on top of bricks are called 'frogs', but why were actual frogs being placed inside bricks?

As far as I can tell, it must have been an experimental demonstration of the 'pressed frog phenomenon' — this phenomenon being that one can place a living frog inside a brick as its being made, apply thousands of pounds of pressure to the brick to mold it, and the frog will survive. The frog won't be happy about the experience, but it won't burst. Whereas the same pressure applied to a frog that isn't in a brick will definitely cause it to burst.

Obviously the brick hasn't been heated in a kiln, because that would definitely cook the frog.

The article below from 1925 explains the science of why a frog in a brick doesn't burst. The key part of the (overly long) explanation is this sentence:

when the pressure was exerted gradually there was a tendency for the particles of clay around the body to "wall up" the body by the grains of clay moving instead of a tendency of the body "bursting" by the particles of the body moving.

However, this doesn't solve the mystery of who first decided to put a frog in a brick.



Clarion Ledger Sun - Aug 16, 1925

Posted By: Alex - Mon May 23, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Science, Experiments, 1920s

Jazz Emotions

The Rock Island Argus - Feb 8, 1926

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 24, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Babies, Censorship, Bluenoses, Taboos, Prohibitions and Other Cultural No-No’s, Music, 1920s

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