Category:
Nineteenth Century

Isaac Parker, the Hanging Judge

His Wikipedia page tells us:

Parker became known as the "Hanging Judge" of the American Old West, because he sentenced numerous convicts to death.[1] In 21 years on the federal bench, Judge Parker tried 13,490 cases. In more than 8,500 of these cases, the defendant either pleaded guilty or was convicted at trial.[2] Parker sentenced 160 people to death; 79 were executed.


Read a memoir that appeared two years after his death at this link.



Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 17, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Death, History, Wild West and US Frontier, Law, Books, Nineteenth Century

Seelye’s Wasa Tusa

Patent medicine earned Dr. A. B. Seelye a fortune that allowed him to build a fine mansion that is open to the public today.



What was in his fabled Wasa Tusa?



A.B. Seelye made his fortune in patent medicines with the A.B. Seelye Medical Company. At one time he had over 500 salesmen traveling through 14 states. The Wasa Tusa they sold contained 65 percent “non-beverage alcohol, chloroform and sulphuric ether.”


Source of quote.

You can read his digitized ALMANAC, HEALTH GUIDE AND COOKBOOK here.




Posted By: Paul - Tue Sep 07, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Domestic, Money, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Mystery Gadget 96

What are these genteel people genteelly doing?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Sep 06, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Technology, Nineteenth Century

Hell Up To Date

A modern (1894) version of THE INFERNO. Many more weird illustrations at the link, where you may read the whole thing.





Posted By: Paul - Sun Aug 22, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Fate, Predetermination and Inevitability, Literature, Religion, Parody, Satire, Nineteenth Century

California Soap Mine

Was the 1855 Soap Mine tale just a prank or hoax? What about the 1901 article, in third place, which sounds a little more scientific?




Source.





Source.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 16, 2021 - Comments (3)
Category: Freaks, Oddities, Quirks of Nature, Hoaxes and Imposters and Imitators, Humor, Hygiene, Regionalism, Natural Wonders, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Fifty Years in the Magic Circle

Life for a Victorian magician wasn't always easy, with the audience using live ammunition.

Read the whole thing here.









Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 17, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Magic and Illusions and Sleight of Hand, Books, Nineteenth Century

Unauthorized Dwellings 17

Are the entire populations of San Francisco and Sacramento squatters? One person, John Sutter, believed so.





Article source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jun 30, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Lawsuits, Unauthorized Dwellings, North America, Nineteenth Century

Polyform, Edison’s Topical Anesthetic





American inventor and businessman Thomas Alva Edison is legendary for his contributions to such technologies as the lightbulb, the telephone, the phonograph, and motion pictures, among many others.1In his lifetime, Edison obtained 1,093 US patents and some 1,239 patents in other countries. Little known among these efforts was his “improved anesthetic compound.”

In the summer of 1882, George F. Shrady (Founder and Editor, Medical Record 1866–1904) (1837–1907), reported that Thomas Edison invented a new anesthetic made of chloroform, ether, alcohol, and camphor and had applied for British and German patents.2The witty but misinformed editor added, “Edison may wish to use it on his stockholders until electric light was in successful operation.”

In fact, the “anesthetic” actually was an analgesic liniment that Edison had prepared in early 1878. He named it Polyform and advertised it for “neurologic pain.” Polyform was a mixture of chloroform, ether, camphor gum, alcohol, chloral hydrate, morphine, and oils of peppermint and clove. Edison believed that his compound’s various analgesics would potentiate each other and that the mixture would attack pain in a “shotgun manner.”3


More info here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jun 24, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Celebrities, Inventions, Patent Medicines, Nostrums and Snake Oil, Nineteenth Century

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

The Philadelphia Resurrectionists

Jefferson Medical College is still extant. Not sure if their literature highlights this incident.

Source: The Boston Weekly Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 19 Dec 1882, Tue Page 5





Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 08, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Crime, Death, Education, Medicine, Cemeteries, Graveyards, Crypts, Mortuaries and Other Funereal Pursuits, Nineteenth Century

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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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