Category:
1930s

Lamp Shade Queen

Pittsburgh Press - Apr 2, 1939

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 06, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Fashion, Furniture, 1930s

Wolfe v. Feldman

Peter Ackerberg, writing in the Minneapolis Star (Nov 17, 1979), described the unusual legal case of Wolfe v. Feldman, which was heard in 1936:

Charlotte Wolfe had three rotten teeth, so she went to Max Feldman, a dentist specializing in oral surgery, to have them pulled. When the surgery was over, however, Wolfe complained of pain in a strange place: the pinky finger of her right hand. It turned out to be a possible fracture, and she sued Feldman.

Feldman countered that it wasn't his fault, and he told the judge this story:

Wolfe was strapped to the dentist's chair (apparently a common procedure then), and was given nitrous oxide, an anesthesia better known as laughing gas. What happened next was no laughing matter.

The next part of the story is best summarized in the text of the case itself:

Defendant's story is that plaintiff was strapped to the operating chair; that a short time later, after plaintiff was in the excitement stage of nitrous oxide anaesthesia and as he moved closer to the chair to adjust the suction aspirator, plaintiff, despite the limited movement of the strapped wrist, clutched his testicles with a painful grip, which required the use of great force to release.

So the patient, while under the influence of laughing gas, managed to grab hold of the dentist's testicles, and in the process of freeing himself the dentist fractured her little finger.

Nevertheless, the judge ruled in favor of the patient for $650, saying:

It was incumbent on him, during the time the patient was in the so-called 'fighting stage' reached by patients undergoing anesthesia by nitrous oxide, not to place his body in such a position as to permit plaintiff's hands to interfere with him to such an extent as to require the application of force sufficiently severe to cause her physical injury.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 26, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Lawsuits, 1930s, Teeth

Cat Boxing

I wasn't aware that there was such a thing as cat boxing. Cats fight all the time, of course. But to box each other at a set time in front of a crowd — I didn't think they would cooperate with such an indignity.



Detroit Free Press - June 16, 1939



Update: Paul revealed to me the existence of this old video produced by Thomas Edison, circa 1894, showing cats boxing. So I guess cat boxing is a long-established thing.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 14, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Sports, Cats, 1930s

Obscure actor pickets Hollywood

Feb 1938: Self-proclaimed obscure actor Emil Sitka picketed on Hollywood Boulevard, declaring that Hollywood was unfair to him.

I don't think that this stunt brought him much recognition, but he did, eventually, gain success in Hollywood when, in 1947, he began appearing in Three Stooges' films. He ended up being known as the "fourth stooge". From wikipedia:

Sitka served the role of a literal "stooge," or straight man, to the Three Stooges throughout nearly 40 of their short films, most of which were filmed during Shemp's run as the third stooge. In addition to one single appearance during Curly's run with the trio, and a limited number of appearances during Besser's, Sitka returned as a near-regular character when the trio returned to film and television with DeRita. His frequent appearances with the trio, and his role as stooge to the stooges, have earned him the informal title of being the "fourth stooge".

More info: his IMDB page

Pittsburgh Press - Feb 6, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Sun Apr 03, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: ShowBiz, 1930s, Actors

Joke Beer

It's April Fool's Day. Have a beer!

From Patent No. 2,140,327:

The principal object of the invention is to provide an imitation of a glass or mug of beer which is so accurate in its imitation that it can not be easily picked out among a number of real containers of beer. When the beer is served with the 'joke beer' included in a group, one of the guests will obviously pick up the 'joke beer' and attempt to drink it; whereupon he will be embarrassed.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Apr 01, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Holidays, Patents, 1930s

Oklahoma U. Engineers’ Queen

Apparently the University of Oklahoma has a long tradition of the Engineering Department electing a queen, and then risking her being kidnapped by the Law School.

Read a history of the OU Engineering School here.

I found a pretty recent reference to the continuation of the Queen's election, but not necessarily the kidnapping.















Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 31, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Regionalism, Rivalries, Feuds and Grudges, 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, Universities, Colleges, Private Schools and Academia, Twenty-first Century

Spoon bracelet fad alarms cafeterias

Spoon bending, pre-Uri Geller.

Des Moines Register - Oct 15, 1939



Hastings Morning Spotlight - Dec 27, 1938

Posted By: Alex - Sun Mar 20, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Fads, Fashion, 1930s

Obscene Chinese Money

The portrait of Confucius is expressing his opinion with his fingers of the occupying Japanese army.




Posted By: Paul - Wed Mar 16, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Innuendo, Double Entendres, Symbolism, Nudge-Nudge-Wink-Wink and Subliminal Messages, Money, War, 1930s, Asia

Suicide with sock

This sounds like a particularly unpleasant way to end one's life.

Dayton Daily News - Mar 25, 1932

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Suicide, 1930s

A Device for Intercepting the Moisture running down the Hands and Wrists when Eating Crayfish

In 1933, the British patent office awarded Edgar Honig of Germany Patent No. 393,673 for this invention. From his patent:

This invention relates to a means for intercepting the liquid tending to run down the wrists and the arms when eating crayfish.

When eating crustacea of this nature, it is found very unpleasant that the liquid emerging therefrom tends to run down the wrists and into the sleeves, this liquid resulting in stains, which it is extremely difficult or impossible to remove.

According to the invention, this drawback is overcome by means of a ring which tightly encircles the wrist and consists of an absorbent material. As a material of this description it is convenient to employ rubber sponge. It is, however, also possible to use paper, fabric or similar materials, which intercept the moisture running over the wrists and absord the same.

I'm not a fan of shellfish, so I wasn't aware how messy crayfish (aka crawfish) could be. But evidently their messiness really bothered Honig.





Below: how to eat crawfish.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Mar 10, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Patents, 1930s

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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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