Category:
1950s

A May-December Romance

Back in 1955, it caused some controversy when Count William Aubrey Tealdi married Princess Lidia Maria Antonia Carraciolo di Torella, the reason being that he was 74 and she was 14. They had to get a special papal dispensation to allow the marriage. Predictably, he was rich, while her family (though Italian royalty) had fallen on hard times. [google news]


But the strange thing is that despite the huge difference in age, the marriage proved to be a success. A follow-up story that ran in papers in 1966, when she was 25 and he was 85, reported that the couple had three children by that time, and he was hoping to have more. She declared herself to be "the happiest woman in the world."


I don't know when Count Tealdi died, but it's quite likely she's still alive. After all, she'd only be in her early seventies — not yet the age the Count was when he married her!

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 18, 2013 - Comments (8)
Category: Elderly, Husbands, Wives, 1950s

The Smallest Sheikh in Islam

Ahmed Salem was known as the "smallest sheikh in Islam." He made it into international news in June 1955 when he was able to walk into the office of Egyptian Prime Minister Nasser undetected because of his size. The AP ran this blurb, with the accompanying photos:

Egyptian Prime Minister Gamal Abdel Nasser lends an ear to the complaints of 62-year-old midget Ahmed Salem who was able to enter the premier's office without being seen because he's so little. He asked for help when his relatives stole his savings. Nasser promised to investigate.




Four months later, Salem was back in the news, but this time for taking other people's money. He tricked three U.S. senators into giving him a donation to help buy Russian weapons for the Egyptian army. (NY Times, Oct 19 1955). Senator Saltonstall, one of the senators deceived, later offered this explanation:

"When we went to see Premier Nasser yesterday there were twenty or thirty people crowded onto the front steps. Among them was this dwarf pestering us, talking a blue streak in Arabic and jingling this tin box.
What were we going to do? The thought went through my mind that it was an Egyptian charity and that a polite way to get out of this difficulty was to drop some coins in the box. I did not have any coins but Senator Stennis had three coins in his hand.
Like a good Yankee, I did not take the biggest one and I did not take the littlest one. I took one plaster, worth 3 cents, and put it into the box and we went on in to see the Prime Minister.
When we came out, there must have been forty or fifty people crowding around and this dwarf was trying to get us to give some more and pushing into every picture. By then we knew what the dwarf wanted and none of us dropped a penny into the box."

Posted By: Alex - Fri Mar 15, 2013 - Comments (1)
Category: 1950s, Middle East

Beat the Heat with Your Meat

image

At last, a solution to global warming!

Original ad here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 14, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Food, Advertising, 1950s, Weather

Birth of the Transistor Radio



Who could have predicted that the technology above would lead to the result below?

A useful reminder for Apple as they attempt to deliver a wristband computer--with what unpredictable results and uses, we shall ultimately find out!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 09, 2013 - Comments (7)
Category: Music, Technology, Television, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, 1950s, 1960s

Dwight Eisenhower, Artist

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I did not know, until I saw a mention in The New York Times for September 15, 2012, that President Dwight Eisenhower had been an amateur painter.

What a token of a distant, more civilized era. Imagine a current President having the time to devote to such fripperies.

An article, with pictures, about his career exists. PDF here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 25, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Art, Politics, Historical Figure, 1950s

Young Man’s Fancy



Electricity: too cheap to meter!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 23, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Domestic, Appliances, Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, PSA’s, Utilities and Power Generation, 1950s

Borden Ice Cream Ads













I watch only one half-hour of TV per week--THE SIMPSONS--so I am not really qualified to assert this. Maybe a reader can clarify. Are there such things nowadays as TV ads for ice cream? I think not. In the 1950s, Americans had to be trained to consume luxuries like ice cream. Now we eat it automatically, three times a day! So why waste money on ads?

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 06, 2013 - Comments (6)
Category: Addictions, Eating, Business, Advertising, Television, Junk Food, 1950s

Gary Usher:  Driven Insane



The YouTube user who goes by the handle "Mr. Teenagedreams" has nearly 2000 rare TEEN AND WHITE DOO-WOP videos up at his channel. Some of them are delightfully weird and demented, but all are utterly captivating glimpses of a strange and remote, now vanished era.

More on Gary Usher here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jan 31, 2013 - Comments (2)
Category: Eccentrics, Music, Outsider Art, Teenagers, 1950s, 1960s

Is Your Mister a Mystery?

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I venture to suggest that there is no mystery as to what will appeal to the recipient of such gifts. Most men, if presented with an old dishrag by a Christmas "elf" in such attire, would be quite happy.

Original ad here. (Scroll down and to the right.)

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 30, 2013 - Comments (4)
Category: Holidays, Sports, Sex Symbols, 1950s

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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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