Category:
1990s

Love letters from Fiat

Fiat's 1994 Love Letters campaign has to rank as one of the most poorly-thought-out marketing campaigns of all time.

Morristown Daily Record - Mar 13, 1994

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 20, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Publicity Stunts, 1990s, Cars

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 19


Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 10, 2024 - Comments (1)
Category: Death, Fashion, Sports, 1990s

Nightmare Prevention Mattress

Walter Cleasby was granted a UK patent (GB2263399A) in 1995 for his "nightmare prevention mattress."

As far as I can tell, Cleasby believed that infant nightmares were caused by physical factors such as a) the hardness of cot mattresses, and b) pressure on a baby's heart from body weight.

His invention addressed these issues by having an inward slope as well as a recess "to protect the main organ of the body, (the Heart,) from excessive pressure."

Posted By: Alex - Fri May 10, 2024 - Comments (0)
Category: Dreams and Nightmares, Patents, 1990s

Flo Motion

Flo Motion was a brief-lived exercise fad in the early 1990s. The idea was to get in shape by swinging a bag of water around.

Seems like a bit of a gimmick, which I suppose is why the fad didn't last long.

Spokane Chronicle - Sep 25, 1991



Melbourne Age - Jun 16, 1991



Escondido Times-Advocate - Mar 8, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 09, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Exercise and Fitness, 1990s

Splendid China

The Splendid China theme park in Florida was open from 1993 to 2003, located just a few miles from Disney World. Details from SFGate.com:

Hoping to capitalize on the rich tourism industry surrounding Walt Disney World, the companies teamed up to bring a theme park filled with miniature Chinese landmarks to the middle of a residential neighborhood in Kissimmee. Up went over 60 replicas, among them a small Forbidden City, a not-so-Great Wall of China, dozens of terra cotta warriors and a recreation of a street in Suzhou during the 1300s.


Critics mocked it as a "propaganda theme park". And eventually it was revealed to have been owned by the Chinese government, which was the only reason it managed to stay open as long as it did.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 02, 2024 - Comments (2)
Category: Fairs, Amusement Parks, and Resorts, 1990s, Asia

The bank robber who waited

June 1997: When a bankrobber demanded money, the teller told him to wait while she got it. She kept him waiting for 20 minutes, until the police arrived.

I'm pretty sure banks now instruct their employees to give robbers the money, rather than trying anything like this.

Miami Herald - June 10, 1997

Posted By: Alex - Tue Dec 05, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

Honeymoon attack

Aug 1993: Frannie Snite was convicted of sneaking up behind her new husband as he sat watching the sunset during their honeymoon, then attacking him with a tire iron. Apparently she was hoping to get a life insurance payout. That's gotta be in the running for the worst honeymoon ever.

And yet, it seems like there must be more to the story. I don't think her husband (who survived the attack) ever identified her as his attacker. Her 2013 obituary doesn't mention any of this, nor her five-year prison sentence.

More info: Seattle Times

Lancaster New Era - Aug 18, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Sat Sep 09, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Wives, Marriage, 1990s

Bunny bandit

Brilliant disguise:

Police said a man who robbed a convenience store early Friday wore a white bunny head with the face cut out.

Ellwood City Ledger - Aug 28, 1993

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 31, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Stupid Criminals, 1990s

British Rail’s Train Safety Experiment

Jan 1993: In order to find out how close workers could safely stand by the tracks while the new high-speed trains were going by, British Rail announced it would conduct an unusual experiment. It would tether employees to wooden posts located around six feet from the tracks and then measure the force of the slipstream on them as the trains went by at 140 mph.

Although members of the public weren't invited to participate in the experiment, about 50 of them volunteered to be guinea pigs anyway.

Sunday London Telegraph - Jan 31, 1993



It was difficult to find out the results of the experiment, but after some digging I located a postscript printed in the Magazine of the Pennine Railway Society. The test never took place. Faced with widespread criticism, British Rail's Health and Safety Executive cancelled it.

Loco Notion
Barmy BR proposed to tether workers to trackside posts as high-speed trains thundered past at 140mph. Bosses wanted human guinea pigs to stand as close as 6ft 6in to the expresses to test the effect of their slipstream. Rail
union chief Jimmy Knapp branded the idea barmy and suggested BR use Transport Secretary John MacGregor instead.
The workers would have been attached to posts by special harnesses that would allow them to move to the side but not forward. They would have been asked for their reaction after the trains had roared past. The tests would have helped to determine the distances from trains at which staff could work in safety. They would have taken place between York and Darlington.
However the Health and Safety Executive banned the scheme. The tests have been postponed pending further discussions to see how BR could get the information another way.
One disgruntled railwayman described the scheme as harebrained and said he joined BR to drive a flipping engine, not to play flipping bondage games. However a number of civilians have volunteered to take part in the scheme, preferably dressed in leather and chained from head to toe.
The effect when someone stands in the slipstream of a high-speed train is likely to be they'd get sucked under it. If tied to a post perhaps it would suck their boots off, or maybe they'd go blue in the face.
The idea is on a par to that of abolishing the timetable to stop the trains running late.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 03, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Experiments, Trains and Other Vehicles on Rails, Transportation, 1990s

Troll Barbie

Released in 1992. It was some kind of Barbie/troll doll combo. So, nothing to do with Barbie posting inflammatory comments on social media. Though, by coincidence, the first known use of 'troll', as an Internet activity, also occurred in 1992.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 01, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: 1990s, Dolls and Stuffed Animals

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