Category:
1920s

Cremo and Spit-tipped Cigars

We all know that ad campaigns have often created the disease or deficiency they wish to sell remedies for. "Halitosis" and "BO" were Madison Avenue inventions.

But perhaps no campaign dared quite as much as that for Cremo cigars, with its charge that all its competitors spit on their product.

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Original text here.

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Original ad here. (Scroll down.)

But although Cremo increased its market share, their scheme ultimately backfired.

As this history says:

During the 1920s, the cigar industry began to suffer from image problems. The rise of organized crime during Prohibition, and the image of the stogie-chomping gangster--developed in part by Hollywood, and personified by such actors as Edward G. Robinson--gave the cigar an aura of disrespect among the public. Later that decade, the cigar industry faced a second crisis, when American Tobacco began promoting new, machine-rolled cigars. Its advertising asked: "Why run the risk of cigars made by dirty yellowed fingers and tipped in spit?" The image proved disastrous for the cigar industry as a whole. Cigar makers rushed to convert their manufacturing from hand-rolled to machine-rolled products, but cigar sales plunged through the 1930s. During this same time period, the cigar industry was hit hard by the rise in cigarette use across the United States. Cigar consumption never recovered to its early 1920s peak.



Posted By: Paul - Wed Apr 18, 2012 - Comments (5)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Lies, Dishonesty and Cheating, Smoking and Tobacco, 1920s, 1930s

The Candy Kid and the Tiger Girl

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Here you see a touching encounter between the Tiger Girl and the Candy Kid, a couple from the 1920s.

Were they:

a) Socialites who eloped?

b) Tightrope walkers?

c) Bootleggers?

d) Dancers?

e) None of the above?

Answer after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 30, 2012 - Comments (3)
Category: Celebrities, Couples, 1920s

Puerto Rican St. Pat’s Day

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Do they still celebrate St. Patrick's Day with special fervor in Puerto Rico, thanking the saint for freedom from worms and ants? A charming thing, if they do.

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 15, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Holidays, Insects and Spiders, Religion, Rituals and Superstitions, 1920s, Caribbean

Moose Motorboat

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Or should that headline be "moose-motor boat"...?

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 18, 2012 - Comments (6)
Category: Animals, Eccentrics, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, 1920s

Long Lance



I'm trespassing on Alex's territory here, with an hour-length documentary on what was once a famous hoax.

Here's the story in a nutshell.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 21, 2012 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, North America, Nineteenth Century, Native Americans

Happy New Year’s!



Here's wishing a splendid 2012 for the whole world!

Meanwhile, everyone party like Felix!

Posted By: Paul - Fri Dec 30, 2011 - Comments (2)
Category: Anthropomorphism, Holidays, Surrealism, Cats, 1920s, Alcohol

The Extraordinary Catalog of Peculiar Inventions

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I've just finished reading the fine book about weird fraternal lodge devices from a century ago. It would make a fine gift for any WU-vie.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 10, 2011 - Comments (5)
Category: Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations, Inventions, Books, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, Pranks, Nineteenth Century

Dumbest Breakfast Device Ever.



Original story here.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 03, 2011 - Comments (5)
Category: Chindogu, Appliances, 1920s

Strange As It Seems



News of the Weird has several ancestors. One is Strange As It Seems.

Strange as it Seems featured bizarre stories based on cartoons created by John Hix who was a staff artist at the Washington Herald. The comic strip Strange as it Seems was syndicated in American newspapers between 1928 and 1944. Strange as it Seems was comparable to Ripley's Believe It Or Not. Sponsored by Exlax in the 1930s and Palmolive Shave Cream when the show reappeared in 1947-1948.


The brand has recently been revivied, and features a YouTube Channel. Check it out!



Posted By: Paul - Thu Nov 17, 2011 - Comments (2)
Category: Newspapers, Radio, Weird Studies and Guides, Comics, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s

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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.

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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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