Category:
Fish

The Talking Fish Lure

Ads for the "Talking Fish Lure" began to appear in papers in 1959. They promised that, thanks to this new talking lure, fishermen would be guaranteed to catch fish:

An amazing built-in "fish-attracting" transmitter that broadcasts a steady stream of irresistible underwater messages that talk, coax and actually command a fish into snapping at your hook. Yes, actually excites and stimulates 5 different fish senses all at the same time . . . and forces each and every fish up to 2,000 feet away to come darting straight for your line.


The Vancouver Province - May 30, 1959





Eight years later, the promoter of the lure was indicted on 60 counts of mail fraud. From the New York Daily News (May 12, 1967):

A talking fish lure, designed to "force each and every hunger-crazed fish from up to 2000 feet away to come darting straight for your line," became snagged yesterday on a federal grand jury, which indicted its promoter on 60 counts of mail fraud.

Named in the indictment was Monroe Caine, 38, of 222 Daisy Farms Drive, Scarsdale, described as an advertising man and mail order promoter whose ads for a "remarkable European talking fish lure" ran July 19, 1964, in newspapers across the country.

The jurors, who were shown the ads, found the whole thing somewhat fishy, especially after being told that fishermen who sent in $1.98 or $2.49 for the lure got either a worthless gadget or nothing in return.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jun 16, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Frauds, Cons and Scams, Sports, Fish, 1950s, 1960s

Octopus found in Restroom

The Equinox Bar, on the 22nd floor of the Hyatt-Regency, was the only revolving restaurant/bar in San Francisco, until it closed in 2007.

In April 1978, a large octopus was found in the women's restroom of the bar. I haven't found any follow-ups to this story explaining why someone left an octopus there.

So the incident remains a mystery, just like the porpoise found in the men's restroom of Glasgow Central Station in 1965.

Napa Valley Register - Apr 22, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 12, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Bathrooms, Fish, 1970s

Uke-TEL NAKI-U1

"Uke-TEL NAKI-U1" is the 1993 creation of the 'art collective' Maywa Denki (brothers Masamichi and Nobumichi Tosa), who specialize in creating "useless machines". They offer the following description of 'Uke-TEL' on their website:

A thrilling "fish cage" with a special device. The hanging needles fall off from the roof in time to the telephone time signal and may hit the unlucky fish swimming at the bottom

Or, as explained by We Make Money Not Art:

A fish is swimming in a cage, nails hanging on the ceiling. When you call 177 using a phone attached to the cage, nails fall into the water along with the tone.



Seems to me its use is to kill goldfish, which makes it relevant to the controversy, previously posted about, concerning the legal rights of goldfish.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 30, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Art, Fish, 1990s

Organoleptic analysis

Odd job: the FDA employs people to smell fish in order to determine if it's decomposed. They refer to this as "organoleptic analysis".

There are four categories with fish. "The first is fresh. That's the way fish are right after they are caught. Then there is number one. That's the commercial grade. Most seafood should be number one. It may not smell fresh, but it's not decomposed.
"The next is number two. That means slight decomposition. Whether the fish is all right depends on the product. The criteria are based on percentages. And last is number three, the really bad ones. Definitely decomposed. Number three is so putrid and stinky you wouldn't want to eat it."

The article I'm getting the info from was published in 1978, but I'm assuming the FDA must still employ people to smell fish. Unless they've got a fancy gadget to do it now.



Detroit Free Press - Jul 18, 1978

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 24, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Jobs and Occupations, Fish, Smells and Odors

What rights do goldfish have?

1978: The final act of a British play titled The Last Temptation involved a goldfish bowl, with a live goldfish inside, being thrown across the stage, causing the fish to tumble onto the ground, where it died. Outraged animal lovers sued, prompting a two-year legal battle in which the courts deliberated on whether it was possible to be cruel to goldfish. Or rather, should goldfish enjoy the protections given to other animals such as cats and dogs?

The first court ruled that goldfish enjoyed no such protections, but in 1980 the High Court overturned this decision, ruling that it is, indeed, possible to be cruel to goldfish, and that the law should not allow such behavior.

I'm not sure if there's any equivalent American law pertaining to goldfish. But I imagine that if there was then surely boiling lobsters alive would also be illegal.

The Guardian - Nov 3, 1978



Victoria Times Colonist - July 30, 1980

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 20, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Law, Fish, 1970s

Porpoise in toilet

I've heard of alligators in the sewer, but not porpoises in toilets.

I haven't been able to find out if there was ever a solution to the mystery of how a porpoise came to be in the toilet of the Glasgow train station. I'm assuming student pranksters were probably involved.

Ottawa Journal - Dec 7, 1965

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jul 27, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Animals, Fish, Bathrooms, 1960s

World Championship Sardine Packing Contest

The World Championship Sardine Packing Contest was launched in 1970 in Rockland, Maine. But by 1990 the contest had fizzled out, due largely to an inability to find anyone willing to compete in it. This reflected the decline of the sardine packing industry in the region, as well a shift to mechanization.

The contest in 1972. Source: facebook



Circa 1971. Source: Digital Maine



Five-time champion Rita Willey became known as "the Mahammad Ali of all sardine packers." There's an exhibit honoring her in the Maine Coast Sardine History Museum. According to the museum:

when Rita was the reigning champion, she could pack 400 cans per hour. That means cutting and packing five fish per can. Her fame landed her on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, "What's My Line?", "To Tell The Truth", and "Real People".


image source: Maine Travel Maven



Evidently there must still be sardine packing contests held on occasion, though no longer in Rockland. The video below shows a 2005 contest sponsored by the Canadian firm Connors.

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jun 29, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports, World Records, Fish

Clairvoyant Fishing (1956)


Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 03, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Superstition, Fish, 1950s

The War Between the Snipe and the Clam



The rare technique of cut-paper animation, by Hu Jinqing, who just recently died.

The creator's Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Wed May 15, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Animals, Fish, Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Stop-motion Animation, 1960s

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