History Bizarre

Strange, weird, wonderful history

1066andallthat:

Surviving the 18th Century Royal Court - by Lucy Worsley
3) How on earth does one relieve oneself in such a dress? It’s easier than it looks, as you won’t be wearing knickers (not invented yet). You may squat over a chamber pot, or else you use a ‘bourdaloue’. This is a little jug like a gravy boat that you clench between your thighs.Privacy is not essential, and the French ambassador’s wife annoys everyone with the “frequency and quantity of her pissing which she does not fail to do at least ten times a day amongst a cloud of witnesses”. However, if the queen doesn’t grant you permission to go, you just have to try to hold on. One of Queen Caroline’s ladies was once defeated by a bursting bladder. A humiliating pool of urine crept out from under her skirt and “threatened the shoes of bystanders”.
Source

1066andallthat:

Surviving the 18th Century Royal Court - by Lucy Worsley

3) How on earth does one relieve oneself in such a dress? 

It’s easier than it looks, as you won’t be wearing knickers (not invented yet). You may squat over a chamber pot, or else you use a ‘bourdaloue’. This is a little jug like a gravy boat that you clench between your thighs.

Privacy is not essential, and the French ambassador’s wife annoys everyone with the “frequency and quantity of her pissing which she does not fail to do at least ten times a day amongst a cloud of witnesses”. 

However, if the queen doesn’t grant you permission to go, you just have to try to hold on. One of Queen Caroline’s ladies was once defeated by a bursting bladder. A humiliating pool of urine crept out from under her skirt and “threatened the shoes of bystanders”.

Source

mallhistories:

During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson had flocks of sheep on the White House lawn. Although previous presidents had kept farm animals as pets, these sheep were part of a Presidential initiative to support the war effort. The sheep grazed on lawns as a way of lowering groundskeeping costs. When the sheep were sheared, their wool was auctioned off to help raise money for the Red Cross, totaling $52,823 by the end of the war.

Learn more at Histories of the National Mall

Bizarre Victorian fact of the day...

victorianfanguide:

Manchester Museum was opened in 1835 and by 1850 housed the combined collections of two local societies - The Natural History Society and The Geological Society. Despite a shared interest and shared premises these societies did not get on well. The Natural History Society wanted to charge visitors…

strangeremains:

Fabric womb by Angelique du Coudray used to teach midwifery to reduce infant mortality in the 18th century.

Strange but wonderful

Dial Telephones: “How to Use the Dial Phone” 1927 AT&T 7min

Mug Shots: A Small Town Noir—Vol. 2, No. 2

Small time crime, big stories

The Cadaver Synod: When a Pope's Corpse Was Put on Trial

(This is 891 C.E.)

backstoryradio:

In 18th Century America, the humble squirrel was a desirable (and fashionable) pet! One young woman in Virginia was so distraught at the loss of her squirrel that she composed a poem for the Virginia Gazette (December 15th, 1768):

Relentless tyrant! Who could killA thing so pretty as my PHIL,A thing so sprightly and so queer,The pet I lov’d so very dear,To rob me of the pretty elf,I wish that he had dy’d himself
Where now, enraptur’d, shall I see,My PHILLY skip from tree to tree!Caper and gambol in the airSuspended from the earth as farAs where the topmost shoot makes out,There frisk, and dance, and turn about!Then chatter at me (saucy thing)And be so haughty as a King!
And though I sooth’d, and might entreat,He’d pluck his acorns, sit and eat,E’er he would to my arms retreat.Then did I stroke him, scratch his head,And in my bosom made his bed;For my affection was and stillIs all engrossed by charming PHILL;
For him I mourn, for him I cry,For him alone I daily sigh;For him I’ve lost each night’s repose,Nothing enjoying but my woes.Oh could my squirrel but survive,Ecstatick pleasure me ‘twould give;
But he is gone ! ne’er to return!And useless ‘tis to sigh and mourn.I’ll therefore seek another pet,A husband I may surely get…

So celebrate Squirrel Week with more on the pet squirrels of early America, from our interview with historian Sarah Hand Meacham: 

Image: Portrait of Deborah Hall (and squirrel), by William Williams (1766), from the Brooklyn Museum.

backstoryradio:

In 18th Century America, the humble squirrel was a desirable (and fashionable) pet! One young woman in Virginia was so distraught at the loss of her squirrel that she composed a poem for the Virginia Gazette (December 15th, 1768):

Relentless tyrant! Who could kill
A thing so pretty as my PHIL,
A thing so sprightly and so queer,
The pet I lov’d so very dear,
To rob me of the pretty elf,
I wish that he had dy’d himself

Where now, enraptur’d, shall I see,
My PHILLY skip from tree to tree!
Caper and gambol in the air
Suspended from the earth as far
As where the topmost shoot makes out,
There frisk, and dance, and turn about!
Then chatter at me (saucy thing)
And be so haughty as a King!

And though I sooth’d, and might entreat,
He’d pluck his acorns, sit and eat,
E’er he would to my arms retreat.
Then did I stroke him, scratch his head,
And in my bosom made his bed;
For my affection was and still
Is all engrossed by charming PHILL;

For him I mourn, for him I cry,
For him alone I daily sigh;
For him I’ve lost each night’s repose,
Nothing enjoying but my woes.
Oh could my squirrel but survive,
Ecstatick pleasure me ‘twould give;

But he is gone ! ne’er to return!
And useless ‘tis to sigh and mourn.
I’ll therefore seek another pet,
A husband I may surely get…

So celebrate Squirrel Week with more on the pet squirrels of early America, from our interview with historian Sarah Hand Meacham: 

Image: Portrait of Deborah Hall (and squirrel), by William Williams (1766), from the Brooklyn Museum.

Boston 1775: The Print Record of Pickled Olives in Early America

The only mention of “pickled olives” in American newspapers before independence is a 2 Apr 1767 item in the New York Gazette, reprinting a article in the Quebec Gazette, which in turn quoted from Henry Baker’s Employment for the Microscope, published in London in 1753. That quotation described treating a woman after accidental arsenic poisoning with an emetic, and it compared her resulting excrement to pickled olives.

houghtonlib:

The women’s petition against coffee : representing to publick consideration the grand inconveniencies accruing to their sex from the excessive use of that drying, enfeebling liquor, 1674.

*EC65.A100.674w

"Our men, who in former Ages were justly esteemed the Ablest Performers in Christendome; But to our unspeakable Grief, we find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigor; our Gallants being every way so Frenchified, that they are become meer Cock-sparrows, fluttering things that come on Sa sa, with a world of Fury, but are not able to stand to it, and in the very first Charge fall down flat before us. Never did Men wear greater breeches, or carry less in them of any Mettle whatsoever."

The mens answer to the womens petition against coffee : vindicating their own performances, and the vertues of that liquor, from the undeserved aspersions lately cast upon them, by their scandalous pamphlet, 1674.

*EC65.A100.674m

Houghton Library, Harvard University

(via ayjay)