Category:
Animals

Company seeks frozen sparrows

1978: The Taiei Company of Japan contacted the U.S. State Department seeking an American company willing to provide it with frozen sparrows "at regular intervals". The company was ready to "give guidance on how to catch small birds and how to process them".

Bangor Daily News - Jan 14, 1978



According to the British Food History site, sparrows used to be a common part of the British diet.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 28, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Food, 1970s

Horse Spike

In 1899, Patent No. 636,430 was granted to Franz and Konrad Hieke of Philadelphia for what they described as "cavalry equipment". It was essentially a large spike attached to the front of a horse. From their patent:

This invention relates to cavalry equipment; and it has for its object the provision of novel means for protecting the horse from the missiles of the enemy and in the provision of a cutting projection designed to injure the enemy or cause him to evade the projection by stepping to one side where an attack by the rider would be effective.



A better view:

Argos Reflector - Feb 8, 1900



I wonder if one of these was ever actually used in combat?

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 22, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Inventions, Weapons, Nineteenth Century

Boar Mate

Miami Herald - Jun 08, 1979



It's available for purchase here.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 12, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, 1970s, Attractiveness, Sexiness, Allure and Personal Magnetism

The Boy Fancier

Published in 1912, the title of this book really hasn't aged well. Although even in 1912 I imagine the title could easily have been misconstrued.

Looking up the word 'fancier' in the dictionary, I found that it means: "a connoisseur or enthusiast of something, especially someone who has a special interest in or breeds a particular animal." I hadn't known that the word had this association with animal breeding.

Nature offered this review of the book:

FROM his professional training as a member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the author of this well-illustrated volume is thoroughly qualified to give sound and trustworthy information with regard to the general care, feeding, and treatment in illness of animals kept as pets, or, like poultry and goats, reared for profit. And although the work before us is primarily intended for the benefit of young persons, it will be found equally valuable for those of more mature age, who, for purposes of pleasure or profit—or both combined—devote their attention to the keeping and rearing of dogs, cats, goats, guinea-pigs, rabbits, squirrels, poultry, pigeons, cage-birds, &c.

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 26, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Animals, Books, 1910s

Banana Ganesh

Read all about it here.

Posted By: Paul - Mon May 24, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Art, Statues and Monuments, Food, Religion

Help…It’s the Hair Bear Bunch!

The Wikipedia page.

According to author Christopher P. Lehman, Hanna-Barbera "dress[ed] the bears in counterculture apparel" in order to stay on track with the "mainstream" fashion in the United States.






Posted By: Paul - Sat May 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Anthropomorphism, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Television, Cartoons, 1970s

Buckeye Beer

The revitalized company still exists today, but no mention of reinstating their "mascots," Buck and Billy.

Read the history here.





Posted By: Paul - Fri May 14, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Human Marvels, Regionalism, Advertising, Corporate Mascots, Icons and Spokesbeings, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century, Alcohol

Escaped Tiger, 1915 Version

The tale of the Houston Tiger is okay, but not a patch on the 1915 event.



Source: The Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, California 03 Oct 1915, Sun Page 11




Posted By: Paul - Thu May 13, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Animals, Death, Hollywood, 1910s

The Sacred Chickens of Rome

Strange custom: The ancient Romans were reportedly loath to embark on any major undertaking, particularly battles, before they had consulted sacred chickens. As told by HistoryCollection.com:

The pullarius [keeper of the sacred chickens] was responsible for keeping sacred chickens and using them to make divinations or "predictions." These holy birds, which had been sourced from the island of Negreponte (now Euboea, near Athens), were kept unfed in their cages for a predetermined amount of time before being released and presented with some grain. If they ate the grain, the venture upon which the Romans were consulting them was deemed favourable. If they didn't touch it, however, the venture lacked the god's backing and was therefore to be abandoned.

Publius Claudius Pulcher And The Sacred Chickens



However, the advice of the sacred chickens wasn't always followed. As told by the Anecdotes from Antiquity blog:

During the First Punic War, Publius Claudius Pulcher turned to the sacred chickens for approval of his plan to launch a surprise attack on the Carthaginian fleet at the harbour of Drepana. When the chicken watcher notified Pulcher that they were not eating, which constituted a bad omen, he replied, ‘Since they do not want to eat, let them drink!’ and had them hurled into the sea. The naval battle which ensued saw the near annihilation of the Roman fleet.

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 05, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Animals, Customs, Religion

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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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