historical oddities

‘Axlar-Björn’ - A 16th century, Icelandic serial killer who was guilty of some 18 murders. While it is almost certain that he existed, he has become the subject of folklore and exaggerated legend. He and his wife would offer travelers a place to stay and then kill them for profit, selling their clothes and gear to anyone who was willing to buy them. He was caught after he attempted to kill his sibling, but they escaped and sounded the alarm. The plaque above commemorates his life and crimes.

anonymous asked:

He could be a de facto king and the title marquis is a historical oddity that he keeps for sentimental reasons/because it amuses him. Or it can be one of his many titles.

For this AU he needs to be in CHARGE



Translating to ‘Swing Kids’ or ‘Swing Youth’ the Swingjugend were a group of teenagers between the ages of 14-18, that opposed Nazi Germany and the Hitler Youth. Their name acts as a parody of the numerous youth groups that flourished before the National Socialists. They also referred to themselves as Swings or Swingheinis (“Swingity”); the members were called “Swing-Boy”, “Swing-Girl” or “Old-Hot-Boy”. Throughout Germany, many young people were encouraged to join the fascist Hitler Youth movement. As swing music and Jazz music was offensive to Nazi ideology, because it was often performed by blacks (Negroes) and a number of Jewish musicians, the leaders formed their own group, focusing on American and British swing and jazz.  They organized dance festivals and contests and invited jazz bands. These events were occasions to mock the Nazis, the military and the Hitler Youth, and they even chanted “Swing Heil!”, mocking the Nazi “Sieg Heil!”

anonymous asked:

hi! do you know any blogs that are like yours, just a later time period? like the 30s-60s? i want to find blogs like that, i'm just having a hard time doing so.

I hope I haven’t classified these too inaccurately (I’m sorry; I know that I can’t even describe my own blog so I shouldn’t be trying to describe others, lol!! I just didn’t want to give a list of names with no information), and they’re not all quite what you’re asking for, AND I’m not done adding to the list, but these are all absolutely fantastic history blogs, so: 

@route22ny (Mostly late 19th century to mid 20th, art deco, lots of beautiful street scenes and super in-depth research, great information on great old buildings and transportation)

@kittyinva (Mostly 1920s to 1930s, lots of lovely magazine covers, ephemera, art deco, celebrities like Mary Pickford and Clara Bow, flapperwear - she’s super knowledgeable!)

@lwom (Mostly classic Hollywood era, classic stars and disney!)

@wehadfacesthen (Mostly classic Hollywood era, great shots of stars like Jean Harlow and some lovely street scenes as well)

@deforest (Mostly classic Hollywood era, great old movie clips and shots of stars, beautiful paintings)

@zeehasablog (Late 19th century to mid 20th, everything from daguerreotypes and paintings to the classic stars)

@thescrewlooseduck (Mostly early to mid 20th century, lots of great photographs and vintage comics)

@sparklejamesysparkle (Classic Hollywood, beautiful portraits and candid photos of starlets, actresses like Jean Harlow and Carole Lombard) 

@jollyfairbanks (Mostly classic hollywood era, lots of Douglas Fairbanks!)

@hoopskirtsociety (Mostly Victorian and Edwardian, gorgeous dresses)

@jazzagebass (Mostly 1920s - 1930s, Hollywood stars like Mary Pickford but also street scenes and magazine covers, art deco, and other great stuff)

@jazzbabyyvette (Mostly 1920s - 1930s, lots of celebrities like Mary Pickford, art deco, and ephemera)

@artdecoblog (mostly 1920s - 1930s)

@pixeljazz  (Mostly late 19th century to mid 20th)

@books0977 (Books! some fantastic paintings and early 20th century book covers, with descriptions)

@postcardtimemachine (Mostly early 19th century to mid 20th, great postcards)

@onceuponatown (A whole lot of fantastic historic photography)

@shewhoworshipscarlin (Mostly classic Hollywood era)

@historicaldress (Mostly beautiful Victorian and Edwardian dresses)

@whenwewerecool (Mostly midcentury)

@vintagehandsomemen (Early 1800s to 1930s, some lovely Victorian and Edwardian furniture and houses, sometimes a little NSFW)

@rustydennis (Pre 1950s, lots of 19th century, sometimes NSFW)

@felixkeepswalking (Mostly early animation, comics and cartoons, some great behind the scenes stuff)

@allbrightandglittering (Late 19th century to mid 20th century)

@ray-danger (Mostly retro mid-century but some earlier 20th century stuff as well)

@speakeasyanne (Mostly 1920s, lots of clips of stars like Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, and Buster Keaton)

@omgthatdress (19th century to late 20th century, lots of beautiful historical dresses and accessories)

@mudwerks (Mostly early 20th century to the 60s, classic stars, retro stuff, great artwork, sometimes a tiny bit nsfw)

@jinxy7 (Mostly mid-century, classic celebrities, awesome retro illustrations and photographhs)

@misforgotten2 (Lots of midcentury, retro advertising and illustrations with funny commentary)

@calumet412 (Historic Chicago, many great photographs!)

@museumofcityny (Historic New York)

@heavyarethecrowns (A lot of current day royals, so this one’s different from the rest of the list - but when she does spams of historic royals, which happens pretty frequently, she really nails it! If you go through her tags there’s lots of candid pictures of the Queen, Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Windsor, The Queen Mother and King George VI and many more!)

@musicandvintagestuff (20th century, early 1900s to the 80s)

@jeanfivintage (19th century to mid 20th century photographs and paintings from around the world, classic movie stars and historical military shots, sometimes nsfw)

@whataboutbobbed (Mostly 1920s to 1930s, lots of classic celebrities, sometimes nsfw)

@yeoldenews (Historic newspaper clippings - a blog after my own heart!)

@fuckyeahmodernflapper (Mostly 1920s but some midcentury too, photographs and illustrations)

@girlflapper (Mostly 1920s and 1930s, portraits, advertisements and illustrations, classic celebrities)

@detroitlib (Everything historic Detroit!)

@michiganpast (All sorts of stuff exploring Michigan’s history - photos, newspaper clippings, advertisements)

@memento-nobis (Found photos! Super interesting; orphaned photographs - where did they come from? When were they taken? Who took them? memento-nobis digs into the clues given in the images to figure it out!)

@inquisitorian (Lots of historical art like paintings and statues, architecture, etc)

@la-belle-crawford (Retro, a lovely feminine mid-century aesthetic, classic Hollywood starlets)

@sydneyflapper (1920s! Edwardian through to the 1930s. Lots of ephemera - so many great postcards, magazine covers and illustrations! Vintage clothing.)

@the-dark-city (Precode Hollywood, Classic Horror and Film Noir)

@peashooter85 (Very cool historic firearms and other oddities)

@vestisferrea (Historical photographs showcasing mighty dapper men’s fashion!)

@the-art-of-mourning (Showcasing the beauty of Victorian mourning)

@animationproclamations (The history of vintage comics, cartoons and animation in general)

@dialnfornoir (Classic Hollywood in general - with a good dose of noir!)

@noirgods (24 hour noir!)

@comicslams (All sorts of vintage comics - single panels without reference, which are hilarious)

@midcenturyblog (What it says on the tin! A great collection of midcentury photos and advertisements)

@modern1960s (Everything 60s: celebrities, advertisements, food, signage, everyday people!)

@olivethomas (Classic Hollywood: silent film, precode and midcentury)

@scrapzion (Mostly midcentury - lots of great advertisements and photographs)

@nebraskaccess (Vintage Nebraska!)

@losangelespast (Lots of lovely photos, vintage Los Angeles)

@vintagelasvegas (A look into the past at classic Las Vegas)

@fuckyeahvintage-retro (Vintage - and retro! - photographs, advertising, kitsch, artwork and more)

@carnaby-girl (The 60s and 70s. Retro clothes, street scenes, movies, magazine covers)

@joeinct (A lot of artistic photographs, mostly from the 1940s to today. Lots of mid-century!)

@archimaps (Gorgeous architecture and maps, mostly European)

@aintthatakick (classic Hollywood - fantastic edits!)

@danismm (lots of great retro artwork)

@classic-flicks-chick (lots of great classic Hollywood)

@magictransistor (an electric mix of art, some very cool surrealist stuff, lots of historical illustrations)

@artofrestraint (beautiful historical artwork)

@holdhard (historic photos of the royal family, traditional England, men’s fashion)


Antique papier mache / composition / plaster topsy turvy doll (Victorian, roughly mid- to late 1800s). This is the fifth installation in a series of topsy-turvy doll pictures. Topsy-turvies were unusual dolls consisting of two heads and torsos, joined at the waist. A long skirt covered one of the characters while the other was on display. Often the two joined dolls represented different ethnicities.

This doll is interesting for the upper-class look of the two characters - it was more common for these dolls to be dressed in a ‘folksy’ style, with cheerful printed cottons. In particular, black dolls from this era are seldom seen in this style of clothing. Both characters are decked out in detailed formal ball gowns, as would have been worn by well-to-do English and American ladies. The black doll wears a cranberry red lace-trimmed gown with elegant tailored tucks in the bodice, while the white doll is lavishly decked out in pale pink silk. The detailed tailoring in this piece is ambitious and fairly accomplished. 

Photo credit: eBay seller ID “alacazander”

anonymous asked:

How effective are combination weapons? Like a pistol-ax or sword-pistol?

Sword pistols are a weird historical oddity. They exist, mostly from the 18th century (not counting the modern gunswords specifically patterned off Final Fantasy.)

The problem is, they don’t really work that well. The extra weight makes the pistol harder to aim, while the modifications to include a functional gun reduces the sword’s balance, increases the weight, and undermines it’s effectiveness.

I’m not sure about a gun/axe combo, but to an extent you’re looking at the same basic concessions.

The one good counter example are bayonets. At a really reductive level, you could call those a combo weapon. Though in that case, you’re talking about using a longarm, and a lightweight melee weapon. My understanding is that the extra weight of the blade does make the weapon a little harder to operate, but, the entire idea is you’d be attaching the bayonet when you weren’t expecting the gun to be enough on it’s own anyway.

There may be some integrated longarm with an attached blade that I’m unaware of, so the gun axe or a gun halberd is just this side of plausible. But, again, I’ve never heard of any historical examples.

Combo weapons can also include things like an under-slung grenade launcher, shotgun, or other attachment. For what they’re intended to do, those work. Though it’s probably not what you were thinking of.

There’s also the Lemat pistol. This was a .36 or .42 caliber revolver with an integrated 20 gauge shotgun in the center of the cylinder, and designed to fire from a secondary barrel located under the primary. Again, it’s more of a historical oddity than a practical weapon, as less than three thousand of these pistols were originally produced. Though I believe you can buy modern reproductions chambered in .44, 20 gauge.


American Horror Story Sin and Historical Focuses

If no one has noticed before, every season of AHS has a “sin” focus as well as showcasing of a true American horror that has struck the US “historically.” Every season’s focus is different.  So, for your enjoyment, here’s what my analysis has concluded as each seasons’ focuses.

Murder House:

Sin:  Lust

Historical:  Marital strife


Sin:  Greed

Historical:  Mistreatment of mental illness and uncommon lifestyles in the period (i.e. the “treatment” of homosexuality)


Sin:  Pride (power)

Historical:  Witch-hunts, fear of difference

Freak Show:

Sin:  Wrath (hatred, from both sides)

Historical:  Freak shows, oddities, and treatment of “freaks” during the period


(NOTICE:  Since only the pilot has been shown so far, this what I am predicting Hotel’s focuses will be.  Only time will tell if I’m right)

Sin:  Gluttony (addiction and overindulgence of it)

Historical:  Drug addiction, specifically heroin

Conclusion:  The true horror is what has actually happened in America.

The lobotomy was popular during the 1940s and 50s, and was performed on some 40,000 patients. The risky operation became popular because, historically, there was no alternative, and because it was seen to reduce overcrowding in psychiatric institutions, and the increasing cost of caring for mentally ill patients. Many patients suffered unimaginable pain and complications, and a lot of them committed suicide after they were forced to go through such an agonizing ordeal.


45 Years of Ghoulish Delight and Happy Haunts 

Today marks 45 years of operation for one of Disney’s most storied and accomplished thematic attractions. Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion premiered on this date after nearly a decade of design and planning to ensure that the attraction would not only meet the demands of the growing theme park, but to also solidify the artistic experience that WED’s ‘haunted house’ wanted to boast. 

1969 could perhaps be considered when WED began to hit their stride and when their technical acumen began to pay off in droves. The Haunted Mansion encapsulates this moment in time. Bolstered from success in 1963 with Walt Disney’s  Enchanted Tiki Room and the 1964 World’s Fair, WED’s preceding attractions reflect their confidence and ingenuity. These attractions were also the last to be personally overseen by Walt Disney who passed away in 1967. Audio Animatronic figures quickly became the standard showpiece of attractions and high capacity people moving systems ensured that many Disneyland guests would get to partake in these new adventures. The first attraction to accomplish this was Pirates of the Caribbean. The Haunted Mansion followed, but in formula only, perhaps making the duo a sort of 'call and response’ for WED’s attractions in the late 1960s. Where Pirates is joyfully meandering and appropriately takes place on the water, Mansion is bound to the confines of a labyrinth of a structure and follows a pattern of illusions and effects. Although not confined to a strict narrative, the Mansion does have its experiences follow a semblance of rising and falling action to better intrigue and interest guests. 

These technical aspects giving way to the demands of experience and illusion are markers of the artists and engineers who took part in the design and creation of the attraction. The Haunted Mansion had its humble beginnings in Rolly Crump's Museum of the Weird, a walkthrough attraction of historical and mystical oddities that would have found a home in the alleys of New Orleans Square. In time, this grew into a greater haunted house concept with Ken Anderson at the helm. And finally, the Haunted Mansion evolved into Claude Coats’ eerie and effect heavy first act, and Marc Davis’ jubilant finale. 

This melange of styles and methods is perhaps what makes the Haunted Mansion so beloved after 45 years. It is archetypically chilling and spooky, but not overtly so- just enough to make you a little on edge and to elicit and nervous laugh. And its finale of happy haunts and of music and of a party offers a subtle message of morality: In the end, we’re all dead, but we’re all happy.

45 years on, WED’s haunted house remains one of Disney’s pinnacles of themed entertainment and a staple at the magic kingdoms around the world.