History Bizarre

Strange, weird, wonderful history

Inventions that Didn’t Change the World

The nineteenth century saw amazing advances in science and technology. Many inventions – such as railways, the telegraph, the telephone and the light bulb – were so successful that they changed the way we live. At the same time hundreds of lesser known or amateur inventors were hard at work on their ideas, many of which have long since been forgotten about or never saw the light of day. Those inventions are the subject of my new book called Inventions that didn’t change the world, published on 6 October by Thames & Hudson, which takes a humorous look at some of the more eccentric inventions registered for copyright.

http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/post/100432536248/i-do-know-some-of-you-find-the-wrangling-about

medievalpoc:

I do know some of you find the wrangling about sources a bit tiresome but in case you haven’t noticed, I’m pretty super into this and I like talking about books :D As a sop to those who find the last few posts a bit on the dry side, here’s a link to all posts with medieval reaction images

Why women's pockets are useless: A history

Photos from the Archives: John Wilkes Booth Comes Back to Ford’s Theatre


Many scientists lived in the Smithsonian Institution Building in its early years. These four young naturalists lived in the building and often collected for the Smithsonian while on exploring expeditions in the mid-nineteenth century. Clockwise from upper left: Robert Kennicott, Henry Ulke, Henry Bryant and William Stimpson. They dubbed themselves the “Megatherium Club” after an extinct giant sloth that had been recently uncovered

According to the Smithsonian Archives twitter account, these four also held sack races in the building.
retrocampaigns:

Notice that Conscience Fund box there? The “Conscience Fund" dates back to 1811 - it’s essentially guilt money paid by US citizens who’ve gotten away with shortchanging the government and want to make (usually anonymous) amends.  As related by Futility Closet: 

Many contributions are sent by citizens who have resolved to start anew in life by righting past wrongs, but some are more grudging. In 2004, one donor wrote, “Dear Internal Revenue Service, I have not been able to sleep at night because I cheated on last year’s income tax. Enclosed find a cashier’s check for $1,000. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the balance.”

I don’t know if the Conscience Fund in the picture has anything to do with
the Conscience Fund, or if it’s … something else? But either way - why is it sitting on a table in the headquarters of the Conservative Floridians for Nixon and Lodge on November 1, 1960? Via Florida Memory and the Tallahassee Democrat. Photo by Ellis Finch.

retrocampaigns:

Notice that Conscience Fund box there? The “Conscience Fund" dates back to 1811 - it’s essentially guilt money paid by US citizens who’ve gotten away with shortchanging the government and want to make (usually anonymous) amends.

As related by Futility Closet:

Many contributions are sent by citizens who have resolved to start anew in life by righting past wrongs, but some are more grudging. In 2004, one donor wrote, “Dear Internal Revenue Service, I have not been able to sleep at night because I cheated on last year’s income tax. Enclosed find a cashier’s check for $1,000. If I still can’t sleep, I’ll send you the balance.”
I don’t know if the Conscience Fund in the picture has anything to do with
the Conscience Fund, or if it’s … something else? But either way - why is it sitting on a table in the headquarters of the Conservative Floridians for Nixon and Lodge on November 1, 1960?

Via Florida Memory and the Tallahassee Democrat. Photo by Ellis Finch.

Dear Readers

In preparation for creating a “further reading” page, we thought we’d ask you: what history blogs, twitter accounts, tumblogs, or podcasts do you enjoy and would recommend to others?

The 18th Century mystery of Oliver Cromwell's missing head

For most of the 18th century, the precise location of Oliver Cromwell’s head was unknown.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

The people at Finding Ada have a great site with a list of blog posts all about women in STEM - some modern, many historic!

For some ahistorical (but footnoted!) fun reading, check out The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua (of a-to-zoo)! There’s even a list of primary sources!

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For (the history of) Science!

Pumpkin Beer History: Colonial Necessity to Seasonal Treat