History is full of great achievements but it also had some very interesting and dark times. These little-known, interesting events bring history to life more than any textbook ever could.
The Original Condom
These are 110 year old condoms made from fish bladders. They were often used up to 10 times before being discarded.
One Of The Oldest Diving Suits In Existence – Called Wanha Herra
The best-known item in Raahe Museum is “the Old Gentleman”, a diving suit from the early 18th century. This rarity was donated to the museum by Captain Leufstadius in 1860s. The Old Gentleman is mostly made of cow leather. The seams are sewn with a waxed thread and sealed with pitch. The diving suit was made waterproof by sealing it with a mixture of pork fat, tar and pitch. The hood-shaped head is reinforced from the inside with a wooden framework. In the upper part of the hood is an opening for a wooden air pipe.
Juliane Koepcke, 17, was sucked out of an airplane after it was struck by lightning. She fell 2 miles to the ground still strapped to her chair and lived. However, she had to endure a 9-day walk through the Amazon jungle before being rescued by loggers. She was the sole survivor of 93 passengers and crew in the December 24, 1971, crash of LANSA Flight 508.
The Spanish Flu
The Great War cost 12 million lives. By contrast, the Spanish Flu epidemic that spread across North America from an army camp in Kansas, claimed 50 to 100 million by the time it ended in 1919
The skull of a Roman legionnaire who was killed during the Gallic Wars In 52 BC, with spear still embedded.
The Ivory Dildo
The dildo is described on the Matthews Auction Room website as an “antique carved ivory ladies companion in scarlet lined leather upholstered carry box with inset beveled glass panel.” Auctioneers estimate that the dildo was carved from the tusk of an elephant sometime between 1899 and 1901 in China.
The Introduction of Heroin
In 1898, Bayer begins mass production of heroin as a remedy for coughs and colds.
Chang and Eng Bunker
Conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker, best known as The Siamese Twins, were planning to come to France in 1831, French authorities were so afraid of the effect the men, then 20, would have on France’s women that they banned their entrance into the country. The did end up marrying in the US.
They married Sisters, with each wife giving birth in 1844. While no details survived about how the couples conducted their intimacy, it’s worth noting that the brothers’ first children were born six days apart, and a later pair eight days. (They would go on to have an astounding 21 children between them.)
George Stinney Jr., a 14 year old boy who was executed
George Stinney Jr., a 14 year old boy, was convicted of beating two young white girls to death in the small town of Alcolu in 1944.
Seventy years after South Carolina executed a 14-year-old boy so small he sat on a book in the electric chair, a circuit court judge threw out his murder conviction.
The Three Person Casket
This custom 3-person casket was commissioned by a grieving couple who lost their beloved daughter. They intended to commit suicide and be buried with her. They never returned for the casket, and it now sits on display at the National Museum of Funeral History in Houston, TX.
Who is Miranda?
145-year-old coffin with young girl Who is Miranda? Mystery of the young blonde girl who has lain perfectly preserved and still clutching a red rose inside a tiny coffin for 145 years beneath a San Francisco home The three-foot casket is believed to belong to a three-year-old girl Her skin and hair, weaved with lavender flowers, were preserved Found under a house which stands on land that was a cemetery Redevelopment forced some 30,000 bodies to be relocated in 1920 But the girl was left behind, and is now sitting in a mortuary in Fresno An organization hopes to find out her identity and rebury her this summer.
In 1865, Robert Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln was waiting to board a train in Jersey City, New Jersey when he was accidentally knocked off the platform he was standing on. He fell between the train and the platform which could have caused serious injury or death had it not been for a man who reached down and grabbed him, possibly saving his life. The man accredited for doing this was Edwin Booth, brother of John Wilkes Booth, who had assassinated Robert’s father, President Lincoln. A twist of fate.
10 year old Sarah Rector
Sarah Rector – By the age of 10, became the richest black child in America. She received a land grant from the creek Nation as part of reparations. Soon after, oil was discovered on her property. By 1912, the revenue from the oil was $371,000 yearly (About $6.5 million today). Despite various attempt to steal her land and fortune. Sarah resisted. She went on to attend Tuskegee University and eventually settled in Kansas City, Missouri where her mansion still stands
In an antique shop in Manitou Springs, CO. One of the very first Brothel Licences.
The Good Luck Charm
In some European cultures it was customary to place the dried or desiccated body of a cat inside the walls of a newly built home to ward off evil spirits or as a good luck charm. It was believed that the cats had a sixth sense and that putting a cat in the wall was a blood sacrifice so the animal could use psychic abilities to find and ward off unwanted spirits.
Transport for Mothers
Public transportation and baby buggies..in the 50’s. Not one of the brighter ideas from the past.
Vincent Van Gogh
Lauded as the “the most famous weapon in art history,” the corroded, legendary revolver was discovered in 1965 by a farmer in the field where then-37-year-old Van Gogh was struck in the stomach by the bullet that killed him on July 29, 1890, in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise north of Paris.
The Cobblestone Dilemma
Until the 1800s, most city streets were either unpaved or cobble-stoned, and were the repository of every sort of odiferous trash and muck your mind can conjure up. Stepping foot out of doors if one was a person of fashion meant potentially ruining shoes that could never really be cleaned properly. So, we inventive souls developed an answer, pattens. Fitting over the shoes, they raised the body up by inches and kept shoes and clothes clear of the mire. If you think modern city streets are filthy,… Maybe these need to make a comeback. These are a rather prosaic pair made of iron rings that support a thick leather sole with a cross strap that kept the wearer’s shoes in place. Pattens, 1700s, Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
The Japanese invasion of China
During the Japanese invasion of China, two soldiers held a contest to see who could kill 100 Chinese civilians with their sword first. Japanese newspapers covered it like a sporting event. “We’d line them up and cut them down, from one end of the line to the other,” one soldier said. “It was no big deal.”
Lunch With A Head
French man having meal with (mounted) head on table, anonymous, c. 1900 – c. 1910. I would love to know the full story behind this.
A picture of Prince Philips mother, Her Royal Highness Princess Alice of Battenberg. This photo was taken on her wedding day in 1903. She went on to rescue Jews in France during WW11 and became a Nun.