Weird Universe Blog — July 22, 2017

Mr. and Miss Boll Weevil

This post is for KDP, who in response to Paul's post yesterday about the Maid of Cotton pageant, noted the apparent lack of a counterpart, Miss Boll Weevil.

There is indeed a Miss Boll Weevil, as well as a Mr. Boll Weevil. These titles have periodically been conferred on students at Alabama's Enterprise State Community College, whose mascot is a boll weevil.

For instance, in 1972 Pat Hatcher and Bobby Bright were the students named Mr. and Miss Boll Weevil. Bright went on to serve as the U.S. Representative for Alabama's 2nd congressional district from 2009 to 2011. Bright was the first Democrat to represent the district since 1962, but he didn't win a second term.

The Montgomery Advertiser - Nov 15, 2000

The Montgomery Advertiser - Jan 23, 1972

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 22, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Contests, Races and Other Competitions

The Florida Trio



Posted By: Paul - Sat Jul 22, 2017 - Comments (0)
Category: Entertainment, 1940s, 1950s

July 21, 2017

Moon Cheeze

July 20 was the anniversary of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. Back in 1969, the Fisher cheese company, located in Armstrong's home town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, capitalized on that achievement by coming out with "Moon Cheeze." It seems to have been just regular American cheddar cheese. Only the packaging was special. It came in a container shaped like the state of Ohio. Apparently it was so popular that they kept making it for years.

image source

Palladium-Item - Jan 19, 1969

Pensacola News Journal - July 18, 1969

Bonus: Armstrong making pizza in 1969. That looks like mozzarella, not Moon Cheeze.

via I have seen the whole Internet

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jul 21, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, 1960s

The Maid of Cotton Pageant

Continuing our intermittent look at oddball beauty pageants.

The Maid of Cotton pageant began in 1939. The annual pageant was sponsored by the National Cotton Council (NCC), Memphis Cotton Carnival, and the Cotton Exchanges of Memphis, New York, and New Orleans. The pageant was held in Memphis, Tennessee, in conjunction with the Carnival until the 1980s.

In mid-December every year the NCC released a list of contestants. Contestants were required to have been born in one of the cotton-producing states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North and South Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas or Virginia. They might have also been born in the cotton-producing counties of Alexander, Jefferson, Massac, Pulaski, Williamson or Madison, Illinois or in Clark or Nye counties of Nevada. There were usually twenty contestants each year.

Contestants were judged on personality, good manners, intelligence, and family background as well as beauty and an ability to model. A Top Ten were chosen and then a Top Five, and finally second and first runners up and a winner. Winners served as goodwill and fashion ambassadors of the cotton industry in a five-month, all-expense tour of American cities. In the mid-1950s the tour expanded globally. In the late 1950s a Little Miss Cotton pageant was begun but lasted only until 1963 before being discontinued. In the mid-1980s Dallas,Texas took over the pageant, in conjunction with the NCC and its overseas division, Cotton Council International. In 1986, to bolster interest and participation, the NCC eliminated the rule requiring contestants to be born in a cotton-producing state. The pageant was discontinued in 1993, one of the reasons being that Cotton Inc. stopped contributing scholarship money as well as waning public interest and changing marketing strategies.

More details here.

And also here.

The 1952 winner.


Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 21, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Contests, Races and Other Competitions, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

July 20, 2017

Toilet Tissue Illness

In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Scott Tissues ran an advertising campaign that sought to convince the American public that there was such a thing as 'Toilet Tissue Illness,' and that it was one of the great public health crises of the time. Toilet Tissue Illness was caused by using cheap toilet paper. It could lead to serious complications, possibly requiring rectal surgery to fix. So the ads suggested.

The most notorious ad in the campaign was the 'black glove' ad below.

Here's some background info about the Scott Tissue campaign from Richard Smyth's Bum Fodder: An Absorbing History of Toilet Paper:

The image is stark: a clinically white sheet, an array of gleaming surgical instruments, and a hand, clad in a glove of thick black rubber. 'Often the only relief from toilet tissue illness,' the slogan reads (managing to suggest that 'toilet tissue illness' is a recognised medical condition). Consumers who managed to get past the photo and slogan without dropping everything and running for the high hills were then subjected to another lecture from the haemorrhoid-fixated Scott ad-men. It's the usual litany: 'Astonishing percentage of rectal cases ... traceable to inferior toilet paper ... protect your family's health ... eliminate a needless risk.' The words are so much prattle — but the image of the black rubber glove lingers in the mind. Following criticism from the American Medical Association, Scott eventually back-tracked on its doom-laden claims — but pledged to undertake trials in order to prove beyond dispute that 'improperly made toilet tissue is a menace to health'.

And a few of the other ads featured in the campaign:

Posted By: Alex - Thu Jul 20, 2017 - Comments (4)
Category: Health, Advertising, 1920s, 1930s

Mystery Illustration 51

Which internationally famous best-selling singer of the 1970s is this supposed to be?

Answer is here.

And after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Thu Jul 20, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, 1970s

July 19, 2017

L.A. Knockers

The L.A. Knockers was an all-female dance troupe that formed in 1974 and stayed together (with members coming and going) for 12 years.

There's a fan page here. And one of the original members has posted a collection of L.A. Knockers videos on YouTube.

image source

It was their name and ultra 70s look that first caught my attention. But when I googled about them, I discovered they also had a run-in with tragedy. One of the original members, Lissa Kastin (middle, above), became a victim of the Hillside Stranglers in 1977.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Jul 19, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: 1970s, Dance

Murder by Flypaper

Original story here.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 19, 2017 - Comments (6)
Category: Death, Scary Criminals, Children, 1930s

July 18, 2017

Hot Tub Boat

It's a floating hot tub. The invention of Adam Karpenske of Seattle. Top speed: three-and-a-half knots. Available for rental or purchase.

From the company's FAQ:

Q:  How is it possible to fill a boat with water and have it not sink?

A:  The sleek design of a Hot Tub Boat allows for a high load capacity.  The Hot Tub Boat has been carefully engineered, and the hot tub is positioned on the boat’s center of buoyancy, allowing for remarkable stability, even with 2100 pounds of water.

Also from the FAQ:

Please refrain from nudity while renting a Hot Tub Boat and insure all the “important bits” are covered.

More info:

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jul 18, 2017 - Comments (3)
Category: Boats

La Bostella

Original article here.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 18, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Fads, 1960s, Dance

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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2016 by the author of the post, which is usually either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.

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