Vintage Human Oddities
- "Skeets" Hubard, King of the Torturers as he drives spikes into his head; Ripley Odditorium, New York.
- "Baby Betty", 734 pounds, Age 29.
- "Paper Jack" (Mr. Preece), Well-Known Croydon Personality; killed in a road accident in 1935.
We Love Lucy
A look back at an adorable house tour featuring vintage photos of Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz, circa mid-1950s. The couple was captured at home doing all the normal couple things: frolicking by the pool, playing cards, looking at each other through newspapers. Why don’t we play cards anymore?
(Source: The Huffington Post)
Barry — The Most Famous Life-Saving Dog in History
St. Bernard dogs are famous for saving lives and Barry, a St. Bernard from the early 19th century, is the most famous. Since the early 18th century, monks living in the snowy, dangerous St. Bernard Pass—a route through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland—kept the canines to help them on their rescue missions after bad snowstorms. Over a span of nearly 200 years, about 2,000 people, from lost children to Napoleon’s soldiers, were rescued because of the heroic dogs’ uncanny sense of direction and resistance to cold.
At the turn of the 18th century, servants called marroniers were assigned to accompany travelers between the hospice and Bourg-Saint-Pierre, a municipality on the Swiss side. By 1750, marroniers were routinely accompanied by St. Bernard dogs, whose broad chests helped to clear paths for travelers. The marroniers soon discovered the dogs’ tremendous sense of smell and ability to discover people buried deep in the snow, and sent them out in packs of two or three alone to seek lost or injured travelers.
In 1815, Barry’s taxidermied body was put on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in Berne, Switzerland, where it has stood for the last 200 years and remains today, standing proudly in the lobby of the museum.
The legend surrounding Barry was that he was killed while attempting a rescue; however, this is untrue. Barry retired to Bern, Switzerland and after his death, his body was passed into the care of the Natural History Museum of Bern. His story and name have been used in literary works, and a monument to him stands in the Cimetière des Chiens, a well-known pet cemetery near Paris.
At the hospice, one dog has always been named Barry in his honor and, since 2004, the Foundation Barry du Grand Saint Bernard has been set up to take over the responsibility for breeding dogs from the hospice.
10 Amazing Abandoned Places Around the Globe
- Spree Park, Berlin, Germany
- Hotel del Salto in Colombia - featured previously on Curious History
- Gulliver’s Travels Park, Kawaguchi, Japan
- Abandoned mill in Sorrento, Italy
- Mirny (Mir) Mine is a former open pit diamond mine located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia - The second largest man-made hole in the world
- The abandoned flats in Keelung, Taiwan
- Holland Island in the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, United States
- Craco is an abandoned commune and Medieval village in Italy
- Dadipark Dadizel in Belgium
- Abandoned train depot in Czestochowa, Poland
The electric lamp shown here came from the catholic church. The assistant curator says: “Mantin wanted to have comfort—he was very interested in modernization.”Mantin was interested in all sorts of eclectic things, and in his house you could find not only the stuffed wolf but also a diorama of real dead frogs fighting a duel in a glass globe. There is also a rat playing a violin and a stuffed blowfish.
A Must-See Vintage Betty Boop Cartoon, 1931
The 1931 Max Fleischer cartoon Bimbo’s Initiation is a miracle of awesome, Fleischerian weirdness. It’s the last Betty Boop cartoon that was personally animated by her creator, Grim Natwick. It’s so delightfully bizarre that the film critic Leonard Maltin called it “the ‘darkest of all” of Fleischer’s work.
The cartoon starts with Bimbo seemingly being drawn into a college fraternity initiation. What Bimbo goes through is very dark — until he sees who’s behind the mask. Wonderful to watch.
(Source: Boing Boing)