The Weird History project is the brainchild of Andrew Radar, and there are so many weird and wonderful things listed on its Twitter feed.
Last time, we brought you shepherd’s stilts, hospital cows, and a toilet bomb. This time, it’s parachuting beavers, the last photo of officers on the Titantic, and Yo-yo the basset hound who is officially categorized as a cat.
The best altitude for dropping a beaver by parachute is between 500 and 800 feet, according to a 1948 operation that relocated 76 beavers to a remote lake in Idaho. pic.twitter.com/moaWTLkcav
— Weird History (@weird_hist) April 1, 2021
Remember that time when 76 beavers were parachuted to their new home? No? Don’t worry – here’s a picture to mark this bizarre event.
Vincent Price & Peter Lorre's black cat audition, 1961. pic.twitter.com/s7uVeVhCMh
— Weird History (@weird_hist) August 13, 2021
Everyone wants to work with the master of horror, Vincent Price, and these cats were no different when they auditioned for the lead role in an adaption of Poe’s The Black Cat for the 1962 horror compilation Tales of Terror.
Autochrome Lumière photograph from early 1900s Paris. The color is intrinsic to the film, not colorized. pic.twitter.com/tLg1cdEKxd
— Weird History (@weird_hist) May 15, 2021
Nope, this isn’t colorized!
An Ostrakon – a piece of pottery on which you'd write the names of people you wanted to expel in Ancient Greece. Hence 'ostracize'. pic.twitter.com/A5K83YYCL2
— Weird History (@weird_hist) July 8, 2021
Lots of people would write on broken pieces of pot in ancient times, as it was more plentiful than paper. But in Athens, citizens would vote for a person to be exiled from the city by writing their name on a piece of pottery. If the vote went against the individual, they would be “ostracized.”
Wearing one of these undoubtedly made it hard to eat your inflight meal.
The game of darts was originally played with a blowpipe. pic.twitter.com/cBr2Zl3tMu
— Weird History (@weird_hist) February 12, 2021
We can understand why this didn’t catch on in pubs and bars.
Tsar Nicholas II goofing around with the princes of Greece and Denmark (1899). pic.twitter.com/4VbJXQ2APS
— Weird History (@weird_hist) May 25, 2021
The media has always been obsessed with showing the private life of royal families – even as far back as 1899.
Officers of the Titanic before sailing. pic.twitter.com/ocCcaVqZXP
— Weird History (@weird_hist) March 15, 2021
They couldn’t possibly know that this voyage would be their last.
Castle Vischering in Germany. It dates back to the Middle Ages, but the fortified keep was removed during the Renaissance. pic.twitter.com/4OlFu8UOFr
— Weird History (@weird_hist) March 13, 2021
Taking the idea of a moat to extremes.
Building the London Underground, 1898. pic.twitter.com/hw9Ns2a9VU
— Weird History (@weird_hist) March 7, 2021
The Germans invented a helicopter 'jetpack' during WW2 – not widely used due to tendency to decapitate the pilot. pic.twitter.com/Ogv4nI3VQJ
— Weird History (@weird_hist) May 30, 2021
Does anyone want a go on this? Anyone…?
1947 wedding dress made by the bride from the silk parachute that saved the groom's life during the war. pic.twitter.com/KfR8GnQ46z
— Weird History (@weird_hist) March 18, 2021
So very touching and beautiful.
A folding globe from 1852. pic.twitter.com/RAQMECETQv
— Weird History (@weird_hist) February 14, 2019
Want to ace your geography test in 1852? Put this in your schoolbag and you’re halfway there.
In the 19th Century, women cyclists were warned they might get "bicycle face" with bulging eyes and jutting chins. pic.twitter.com/6YBP9D5vO9
— Weird History (@weird_hist) July 5, 2021
Mind you, if you were a girl traveling to school, you had to make sure you didn’t cycle because you would risk getting “bicycle face” on the way.
Book box from Medieval Italy. Looks like a backpack a kid into heavy metal would bring to school. pic.twitter.com/LnhyLMcHJL
— Weird History (@weird_hist) April 1, 2020
And if you want your schoolbooks to travel in style, then there’s this book box from Medieval Italy.
Dogs are banned at Selwyn College, Cambridge, so Yo-yo the basset hound is classified as a "very large cat". pic.twitter.com/3hlT8TL9cc
— Weird History (@weird_hist) August 15, 2021
If your studies lead you to Cambridge University, you’ll have to leave your beloved pooch behind as a previous master banned all dogs from college accommodation. Luckily, when Mr. Mosey became Master in October 2013, he was able to convince the college that his dog, Yo Yo, was simply “a very large cat.”
Commercial air travel before pressurized airplane cabins (Boston, 1939). pic.twitter.com/pAeMqKsnar
— Weird History (@weird_hist) April 30, 2021
This certainly can’t have been the most comfortable way to travel!