Weird Universe Blog — February 5, 2023

Puppidog Water for the face

In her 1690 pamphlet Mundus Muliebris, Mary Evelyn included a recipe for a woman's facial lotion. She called it "Puppidog Water for the Face":

Take a Fat Pig, or a Fat Puppidog, of nine days old, and kill it, order it as to Roast; save the Blood, and fling away nothing but the Guts; then take the Blood, and Pig, or the Puppidog, and break the Legs and Head, with all the Liver and the rest of the Inwards . . . to that, take two Quarts of old Canary, a pound of unwash’d Butter not salted; a Quart of snails-Shells, and also two Lemmons . . . Still all these together in a Rose Water Still . . . Let it drop slowly into a Glass-Bottle, in which let there be a lump of Loaf-Sugar, and a little Leaf-Gold.

The recipe was intended to be satirical, but Fenja Gunn, in her 1973 book The Artificial Face: A History of Cosmetics, notes that it was satire rooted in contemporary realities — notably the persistent rumor that Elizabeth I's pomade was made from puppy dog fat, and the seventeenth-century belief that drinking puppy dog urine was good for the complexion.

Some more info about puppy dogs used as moisturizers can be found on the Early Modern Medicine blog:

The medicinal use of puppies, known for their moisturising quality, is detailed in French physician Ambroise Paré's The Method of Curing Wounds by Gun-Shot (1617), which included a recipe for a healing balm that requires boiling two young whelps. The same recipe can be found in Nicholas Culpeper's Pharmacopoeia Londinensis (1653). To make 'Oleum Catellorum or Oil of Whelps,

Takes Sallet Oil four pound, two Puppy-dogs newly whelped, Earthworms washed in white Wine one pound; boil the Whelps til they fall in pieces then put in the worms a while after strain it, then with three ounces of Cypress Turpentine, and one ounce of Spirits of Wine, perfect the Oil according to Art.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Feb 05, 2023 - Comments (0)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Dogs | Seventeenth Century


The creator's Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 05, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Movies | Special Effects | Surrealism | Psychedelic | 1970s

February 4, 2023

Win A Diamond Doorknob

Dr. Pepper celebrated its 75th anniversary in 1960, and in honor of this ran a contest with the unusual prize of a diamond doorknob. Specifically: "a doorknob of special design encrusted with 50 small diamonds and a huge two-carat, blue-white diamond mounted in its center. As the grand award the diamond doorknob will be attached to a $25,000 Swift Home having a family-size Refinite-Shedon swimming pool in its backyard and a new Rambler station wagon in its driveway."

Edith Dillion of Roanoke, VA eventually won the prize. Reportedly she sold the house but kept the doorknob. And perhaps the doorknob is still owned by the Dillion family.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Feb 04, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Soda, Pop, Soft Drinks and other Non-Alcoholic Beverages | 1960s

Brief Intro to PRESTEL

This kind of tech will never catch on!

Posted By: Paul - Sat Feb 04, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: PSA’s | Technology | 1990s | United Kingdom

February 3, 2023


As opposed to moldy youth.

McCall's - July 1936

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 03, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Advertising | 1930s

Rollerskate Polo

This is a Roller Polo team in the 1890s. Roller skating was big in 1870s USA, and when polo was brought in by James Gordon Bennett in 1876, the two sports quickly blended. Roller polo was played with a ball. Roller rinks were converted to 40 by 80-foot courts with a chicken-wire goal cage at each end. The one-handed sticks were 1 inch in diameter and they played 3 15-minute periods. Players wore team uniforms and goalies wore more pads. Everybody wore Roller Skates.The man at right has a skate key hanging from his belt.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 03, 2023 - Comments (2)
Category: Sports | Nineteenth Century

February 2, 2023

Live Alone And Like It

I posted two days ago about the 1937 book How To Live Without A Woman, which celebrated the bachelor lifestyle. But what about women who wanted to live without a man... or even without another woman? Marjorie Hillis's Live Alone And Like It (1936) was the book for them.

Based on the review below, it seems that while Hillis offered some good advice for women living alone, she was less persuasive about them liking it:

One gets the impression that the author, Marjorie Hillis, has herself lived in solitary state for quite a spell, doesn't think much of it, but has made the best of it.

You can read the book for free at

Indianapolis Star - Oct 4, 1936

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 02, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Books | 1930s | Women

Earth Horns With Electronic Drone

Please share the chronological limits of your tolerance for this "music."

The creator's Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 02, 2023 - Comments (3)
Category: Music | Twenty-first Century | Cacophony, Dissonance, White Noise and Other Sonic Assaults

February 1, 2023

Crisco is digestible

When the best that a company can say about their food is that "it's digestible," it sounds like damning with faint praise.

Better Homes and Gardens - Sep 1956

Better Homes and Gardens - Sep 1954

Better Homes and Gardens - Mar 1957

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 01, 2023 - Comments (4)
Category: Food | Advertising | 1950s

Harry Bensley and his Unfulfilled Walk Around the World

This first image is somewhat well-known. At least, it often pops up in my searches. But what's the story behind it?

The whole story is here at his Wikipedia page. In short:

He had to walk around the world to fulfill a bet that he lost. It required him to wear an iron mask (a helmet from a suit of armor) to conceal his identity, and he also had to push a perambulator (baby carriage) throughout his travels. He called himself "The Man with the Iron Mask" (inspired by the seventeenth-century Man in the Iron Mask), and the only way he could support himself during his journey was by selling postcards and pamphlets

Posted By: Paul - Wed Feb 01, 2023 - Comments (1)
Category: Costumes and Masks | Eccentrics | Travel | Bets, Wagers, Challenges and Contracts | Twentieth Century

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