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Santa Pants One Size Tote Bag for Wine Bottle, Red

Merrill Township Community Center

In 1977, the construction of the Merrill Township Community Center in Michigan was almost complete. However, it was located in the middle of a forest, and no funds remained to build a road to it. Nor was there a parking lot. So the building sat empty, never used, until the roof collapsed two years later during a snow storm.

It seems that Merrill Township eventually got a community center built in a more accessible location. They don't mention the old community center on their website. The ruins must still be out there in the woods.

York Daily Record - Aug 24, 1977

The new Merrill Township Community Center

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 11, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: 1970s | Ruins and Other Abandoned or Shuttered Structures

Mystery Gadget 100

What's happening with these poor doggos?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.

More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Fri Feb 11, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Science | Dogs | 1930s

Ice-Block Skiing

It's like water-skiing, but on blocks of ice towed through city streets.

Wipeouts would be a lot more painful.

Info from the LA Public Library:

These three photographs show women in swimsuits near the streets of Venice Beach riding on blocks of ice. In the frame at [top], three women are sitting on a huge block of ice and are being towed by cars. The frame at [middle] shows three women sitting together on an ice block in siwmsuits and heels, holding on to a rope. In the third frame at bottom, three women are "ice-block" skiing, and waving to the camera. Appears to be a publicity photograph for the Miss California Bathing Beauty Contest.

I'm guessing the year was 1936, since the other images of the 'Miss California Bathing Beauty Contest' at the library are from that year.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 10, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Sports | 1930s

Ellen Harkonen, Potato Queen of 1936

Source: Keansburg News (Keansburg, New Jersey) 31 Dec 1936, Thu Page 4

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 10, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Agriculture | Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests | Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues | Food | 1930s

Frances Gabe’s Self-Cleaning House

Frances Gabe had a vision of putting an end to housework. No more dusting or vacuuming. All a homeowner would have to do would be to push a button and the house would clean itself, as if the entire structure was a giant dishwasher.

Of course, this meant that everything in the house had to be waterproofed. But it also meant that the actual dishwasher and clothes washer became redundant. Just hang dirty clothes in the closet and stack dishes in a cabinet — they'd get washed along with the rest of the house.

Gabe offered two stories for how she came up with the concept of the self-cleaning house. The first was that, as a newly married young woman, she once noticed a jam stain on the wall. Instead of scrubbing it off she decided to get a hose and sprayed it off.

The second story involved divine inspiration. After divorcing her husband she said that she was sitting, feeling despondent, and praying to God to provide her with some purpose to keep her going. Suddenly two angels appeared on her shoulders. And then, she said, "I picked up a pencil and began scribbling. I thought I was just doodling. Then I stopped and looked, and there was the self-cleaning house."

She received a patent (No. 4,428,085) for the self-cleaning house in 1984. She also transformed her own house in Newberg, Oregon into a prototype. From what I can gather, she never managed to make the entire house self-cleaning, but the kitchen could clean itself.

When she was alive she would offer tours of the house, but she died in 2016, and the new owners of the house haven't maintained its self-cleaning features.

Incidentally, Gabe was an invented name, so it's not what appears on her patent. Her full name, when married, was Frances Grace Arnholtz Bateson. She constructed 'Gabe' out of her initials.

More info:, wikipedia

Posted By: Alex - Wed Feb 09, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: Architecture | Inventions | Baths, Showers and Other Cleansing Methods


A classic business failure. In the early 1990s, the marketing team at General Mills came up with the idea of a cereal that could be eaten without milk any time of day. Despite spending millions to promote it, hardly anyone bought the stuff.

From Wikipedia:

The cereal pieces were shaped as hexagons and were advertised as food that could be eaten at any time of the day... Consumers were confused by the marketing concept when Fingos were released due to it being advertised as a snack despite being in the cereal section. Fingos were unsuccessful and were discontinued in 1994.

As the Gone But Not Forgotten Groceries blog notes: "All cereals can be eaten by hand if you don't add milk."

Posted By: Alex - Tue Feb 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Business | Cereal | 1990s

NRA Day Parades

The current era has been compared to the Depression and New Deal under Roosevelt. But what's lacking today as we seek to emerge from the pandemic malaise is--parades!

To celebrate "NRA Day," New York City threw a parade that utilized a quarter of a million participants.

But it wasn't just NYC. Smaller places joined in too. Such as Dothan, Alabama. Visit this page for the full account, with lots of great photos.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Feb 08, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Government | Money | Parades and Festivals | 1930s

The Tennessee Head Banger

Tom Myslinski, who was an offensive lineman for the Tennessee Volunteers, had an unusual pre-game ritual. He would psych himself up by banging his head against doors, cabinets, walls, towel dispensers, etc. Without a helmet.

One of his teammates explained that he did this "until his eyes get all bloodshot and, then, blood is pouring from his forehead."

Myslinski noted, "It's just my way to pick up the intensity. To tell you the truth, I have no idea why I do it. Afterwards, sometimes, I say to myself that it sure was stupid because my head hurts."

Myslinski went on to play for nine seasons in the NFL and is now a strength and conditioning coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kingsport Times - Nov 20, 1991

Arizona Republic - Dec 27, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Mon Feb 07, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Rituals and Superstitions | Sports | 1990s | Brain Damage

Olfactory Art Keller

A small new gallery in NYC that features smell exhibits.

Read about it here.

Their homepage.

Posted By: Paul - Mon Feb 07, 2022 - Comments (0)
Category: Art | Museums | Smells and Odors

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