Category:
1950s

The Seattle Seafair Queen







It's too bad that the raucous early years, with roving pirates, did not last into our era.

Article here.

More pictures of queens here.



Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 02, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Parades and Festivals, Regionalism, 1950s

So easy a four-year-old can do it

From Newsweek - Jan 2, 1950:

The Phillips-Jones Corp. was sure last week it had found the answer to the declining market for men's dress and business shirts in its Van Heusen Century. The Century's collar, the company says, cannot wrinkle, curl, or wilt. Dec. 21, as Phillips-Jones salesmen gathered in a New York hotel for a sales convention, the company proceeded to show how easy it was to iron the shirt by having a young miss of 4, Pamela Gaughan, take the stage and wield the iron.

Pamela doesn't look like she's having fun.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 30, 2021 - Comments (6)
Category: Publicity Stunts, Children, 1950s

The Mystery Girl from the World of Autodynamics

In late 1956, a celebrity in disguise as the "Mystery Girl from the World of Autodynamics" toured car shows and dealerships. The public was challenged to guess her identity to have a chance to win a new 1957 Dodge.

Can you guess who she was? The answer is below in extended.

Here's a hint. She's not an A-list celebrity, but we've posted about her before on WU.



North Hollywood Valley Times - Nov 24, 1956



More in extended >>

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 28, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Publicity Stunts, 1950s, Cars

Miss Department of Illinois

Edith Ann McDougall wasn't Miss Illinois. Instead, in 1950, she was named "Miss Department of Illinois," which sounds to me like a distinctly less prestigious title.

The "Miss Department" title indicated that the contest was run by the Illinois department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. However, I haven't been able to find any "Miss Departments" from other states. So this must have been a uniquely Illinois thing.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch - July 2, 1950

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1950s

Square-Wheeled Tank

In 1957, Albert Sfredda secured a patent (No. 2,786,540) for a square-wheeled tank. He explained:

A vehicle equipped with square wheels of the type contemplated by my invention gives better traction and a smoother ride when used on rough terrain than one having circular wheels. Following are the reasons: the sides of a square wheel constitute large flat surfaces for bridging ruts and cavities in the ground whereas a circular wheel follows the surface of the ground and enters many ruts; and the sides of a square wheel provide a large contacting area with the ground when they lie parallel thereto, and, hence, afford better pushing effect, whereas a round wheel affords only a small pushing area, which often results in causing a digging effect.



Sfredda was correct that square wheels would provide better traction on rough terrain than circular wheels would. The video below explains why. But the problem, of course, was that his tank would have difficulty moving on a regular, flat road.



Along similar lines, Macalester College has had a square-wheeled bicycle on permanent display since 1997. More info: macalester.edu

image source: StanWagon.com

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 21, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Motor Vehicles, War, Weapons, 1950s

Concret PH

A 1958 composition by Iannis Xenakis. Some info about it from YouTube:

Concret PH, the title being a reference to the architectural design and construction material, is a crackling two minutes of pointillistic sounds. Xenakis recorded the sound of burning charcoal, then layered and transposed the recordings to create evolving densities and ranges of snaps, crackles, and pops. This piece, along with Varèse's Poème électronique, remains a classic of the electroacoustic genre.

It has the virtue of being short. But he should have titled it 'Music to eat Rice Krispies by'.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Jul 18, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, 1950s

Death by golf and peacocks

Oct 1951: Edward Harrison died in a freak golf accident, by managing to stab himself in the leg with a broken club. As he lay bleeding to death, he screamed for help. "Two other golfers said they twice heard screams, but thought they were the cries of peacocks from a peacock farm."

Deseret News - Oct 9, 1951

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jun 25, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, Sports, 1950s

Follies of the Madmen #510

What's the point of using even a drawing of a pretty woman in your ad if you hide her face?



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jun 25, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Business, Advertising, Sex Symbols, 1950s

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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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