Category:
Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests

Miss Space

April 1959: Suzanne Adams was awarded the title of 'Miss Space' at the World Congress of Flight in Las Vegas, Nevada.

source: reddit



source: facebook



Fort Worth Star-Telegram - Apr 12, 1959



Posted By: Alex - Sat Mar 27, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1950s

The Aquatennial Queen of the Lakes and/or Ambassador

Before looking at these charming ladies, let us ponder the name of this worthy organization: "Aquatennial." The water/wet years? The most common word with this suffix of course is "centennial," which is derived, so Merriam-Webster tells us, from the Latin "centum" and the English suffix "-ennial," which is basically "annual." The suffix is not "-tennial," because the "t" comes from "centum." So even if "the wet or water years" made sense, it would have to be "Aquaennial," which of course is a hideous-looking neologism.

All that aside, this organization, founded in 1940, is still going strong. But you can't call the winners "queens" any longer, just "ambassadors." It's nice they kept the tiaras, though, which are not in evidence among ambassadors at, say, the U.N.









Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 13, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Regionalism, Lakes, Ponds, Rivers, Streams, Swamps and Other Bodies of Fresh Water, Twentieth Century, Twenty-first Century

Miss Welder

Between 1951 and 1954, the National Eutectic Welders' Club annually awarded the title of "Miss Welder". The winner was supposed to represent the "girl we would most like to weld with." The club also expressed its hope that Miss Welder would "inspire women throughout the nation to join the ranks of the labor force so vitally needed for America's defense effort."

The winners included some well-known names. In particular, Sophia Loren (1954). Missing from the list below is Miss Welder of 1953, Barbara Nichols, for whom I couldn't find an image.

1951: Dagmar



1952: Denise Darcel



1954: Sophia Loren

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 12, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1950s

Perfect Posture Girl

Starlet Alexis Smith, selected after elimination tests in this "Posture Meter" as the "Perfect Posture Girl" by the College of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons of Los Angeles.

The Wikipedia page for Alexis Smith

San Francisco Examiner - Dec 20, 1942



Birmingham News - May 11, 1942

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jan 16, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, 1940s

The Snow Beauty of Yakutia

Part of our series on odd beauty contests.

The first (?) contest was apparently held in 2017.

Read about it here.



What appears to be the home page has lots of pix and even videos of the 2018 contest. But I cannot find reference to competitions for 2019 or 2020.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Oct 06, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Ethnic Groupings, Nature, Natural Resources, Russia

Miss Sewer Cleaner

I posted about Gaylia Davis, aka 'Miss Sewer Cleaner,' back in 2016. At the time I wondered what became of her. And did being Miss Sewer Cleaner boost her career? Recently I was contacted by her granddaughter, Rose, who supplied an answer, which is appended below, beneath the original post. Not surprisingly, it doesn't seem as if being Miss Sewer Cleaner had much, if any, impact on her career. But she certainly went on to have an interesting life regardless.


October 1951: Gaylia Davis, 17, was awarded the title "Miss Sewer Cleaner of 1952." She reflected philosophically that, "It may be a soggy title but if it helps my career I don't care."

I can't figure out what became of her after 1951. So it's hard to know if it helped her career or not.

Southern Illinoisan - Oct 15, 1951

Detroit Free Press - Oct 11, 1951



Detroit Free Press - Dec 23, 1951



Detroit Free Press - Dec 23, 1951



Update: Below is the text of the email from Gaylia's granddaughter. And below that are some pictures she also sent along.

Gaylia Davis ended up leaving Detroit and following her mother (who had previously divorced Gaylia’s strict Preacher father- he founded a church in Detroit) to Miami! Gaylia’s mother, Ethel, came to Miami Beach to start a radio show! Anyway, Gaylia met a young Cuban man named Ernesto Gavalda. They were both performers and dancers and did variety shows in both Miami and Cuba. Gaylia also traveled for a bit with the Barnum & Bailey’s Ringling Brother’s Circus. She was one of the Amazonian models that rode regally on the elephants.

She (all American girl) and my (Cuban) grandfather (a la I love Lucy) ended up getting married here in Miami Beach and having 6 kids together. The only daughter (the rest are boys) they had, Debbie, is my mother. She was born and raised in Miami Beach. We are still in Miami to this day.

Gaylia ended up becoming a local fixture on the streets of Miami Beach as she decided to live as a homeless evangelist. She was called “Mother Mary” or “the Bible Lady” by locals.

I remember wanting to visit her as teen and having to ask strangers if they knew where the “bible lady” was. They’d point to some park bench or mumble a street name and I’d find her with a tattled Bible in hand and preaching to any passerby.

Gaylia only recently passed at the end of 2018. Up to her dying day, she was still quick witted, humorous, tough, and of sound mind. She could still talk politics, history, and culture.

She has always been an enigma to me and even more so now as I get older myself.

Anyway, thanks for listening and asking!


"This is her and my grandfather."



"My grandfather is the second guy on the left and she’s the last woman to the right."



"the ticket of a show that they both performed in together"

Posted By: Alex - Thu Apr 23, 2020 - Comments (14)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, 1950s

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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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