Category:
1940s

The best defense against an atomic bomb…

"... is not to be there when it goes off."

Advice which remains true to this day.

Manchester Evening News - Feb 18, 1949

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 18, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: War, Weapons, Atomic Power and Other Nuclear Matters, 1940s

Games Couples Play, #2

July 1947: Newlyweds Jane and Lloyd Gulledge of Dearborn, Michigan decided to play a couple of rounds of Russian roulette. Lloyd lost. "Police say they had been drinking."

Lancaster Eagle Gazette - Jul 28, 1947



(L) Nevada State Journal - Jul 29, 1947; (R) Palm Beach Post - Aug 3, 1947



Related: Games Couples Play, #1

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jun 09, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Marriage, 1940s, Weapons

Hen Hop

Hen Hop, Norman McLaren,



We've featured the work of Norman McLaren before on WU, but never this one, I think.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jun 06, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Cartoons, 1940s, Dance

The Coffee Song

An ode to caffeine. Is Starbucks looking for a new theme song?

My favorite line is: "You date a girl and find out later/She smells just like a percolator."



Lyrics
Way down among Brazilians
Coffee beans grow by the billions
So they've got to find those extra cups to fill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil
You can't get cherry soda
'Cause they've got to fill that quota
And the way things are I'll bet they never will
They've got a zillion tons of coffee in Brazil
No tea or tomato juice
You'll see no potato juice
The planters down in Santos all say no no no
The politician's daughter
Was accused of drinking water
And was fined a great big fifty dollar bill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil
You date a girl and find out later
She smells just like a percolator
Her perfume was made right on the grill
Why they could percolate the ocean in Brazil
And when their ham and eggs need savor
Coffee ketchup gives 'em flavor
Coffee pickles way outsell the dill
Why they put coffee in the coffee in Brazil
So your lead to the local color
Serving coffee with a cruller
Dunking doesn't take a lot of skill
They've got an awful lot of coffee in Brazil

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 04, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Coffee and other Legal Stimulants, 1940s, South America

Miss Sauerkraut of 1947

Being named Miss Sauerkraut of 1947 seems to have been a high point of Alice Niesen's modeling career.

Ithaca Journal - Aug 1, 1947



The only other example of her work that I could find was a 1948 piece in which she modeled the "sock pocket".

The Frederick Leader - Jan 19, 1948

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 12, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Food, 1940s

The Dinkelsbühl Armageddon

March 1946: Panic gripped the German town of Dinkelsbühl when a rumor spread that "Saturn had jumped its orbit and was hurtling earthward at astounding speed".

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out anything else about this panic, even in German sources.

Montreal Daily Star - Mar 18, 1946



Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 05, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, 1940s

Charles Long and the end of the world

Rev Charles Long of Pasadena, CA predicted that the world would end on Sep 21, 1945 in an enormous explosion "like an atomic bomb". When that failed to happen he said it was actually going to end on Sep 29. When, once again, nothing happened, he said the end would occur in the Fall of 1946. Then he revised the date to Oct 1947. And finally he just said the end would come soon.

Some details from the Encyclopedia of Prophecy by Geoffrey Ashe:

In 1938, the Reverend Charles Long woke up in the night and saw a blackboard on which a ghostly hand wrote "1945." After some reflection, which narrowed down the date to September 21, he predicted that the world would be vaporized and human beings would be turned into ectoplasm. He and his son held meetings at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, recruiting a fair-sized following who, under their leadership, prepared during the final week by giving up food, drink, and sleep. However, they were not turned into ectoplasm. The group disbanded.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle - Sep 19, 1945



Roseville Press-Tribune - Oct 3, 1945



The Vancouver Province - Oct 1, 1945



San Bernardino County Sun - Oct 3, 1947

Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 26, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Armageddon and Apocalypses, 1940s

Rocket-Powered Iceboat

Before we leave winter behind entirely, let us ponder this refinement of a cold-weather recreation.



This company had a rich and fascinating aeronautical history which you can read at the link. But surely we afficionados of the weird will want to honor them for creating a rocket-propelled iceboat.



Rocket iceboat can do 250 miles per hour A rocket-propelled iceboat capable of a speed of 250 miles an hour on smooth ice has been designed by Reaction Motors , Inc of America , and tested on frozen Lake Hopatcong New Jersey . The boat weighs 1,648 pounds. Photo shows: The iceboat streaking over Lake Hopatcong piloted by Puck Wellington. It was travelling at 95 miles an hour , rough ice and snow patches made higher speeds dangerous . 7 March 1947




Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 17, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Technology, 1940s, Outrageous Excess

Alfred Sohm’s Time-Hiding Clock

Benton Harbor News-Palladium - July 18, 1940



A "thinking clock" with no hands and designed to make time-telling difficult has just been invented and built by an ingenious Benton Harbor manufacturer, Alfred L. Sohm, who operates the Acme Game company at the Benton Harbor Industrial center.

The clock, first of its kind ever to be built, announces the hours by a complicated system of lights, buzzers, chimes, and bells. Its inventor proudly claims that several minutes will be required by the average person to tell from the new clock just what time it is.

While the person is trying to tell the time, he will receive all sorts of other information that is designed to distract his attention and confuse him even further. The revolutionary design of the new instrument is expected by its builder to make "clock watching" a fascinating pursuit.

While the new device is perhaps reminiscent of a Rube Goldberg patent, apparently there is a sound principle behind it. The object is to attract attention and discussion for advertising purposes. Instead of merely glancing at the hands of a clock to get the time, people using this clock will have to ponder a bit, and meanwhile they will be taking in concentrated doses of advertising.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 01, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology, Rube Goldberg Devices, Advertising, 1940s

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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.

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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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