In 1925, a death certificate from a
Canadian doctor in Edmonton, Canada, gave the cause of death as 'talked to
death'. He claimed that his patient would probably have made a recovery if he
had not been bothered by relatives anxious about the content of his will.
In 1761, a peddler in Oxford, England, sold concentrated beer in cubes, like sugar cubes. The cube was dropped into a tankard of water to produce a strong beer. The cubes were advertised as 'A tankard of beer on a teaspoon'. The cubes were popular with young men of the time who would carry them in their waistcoat pockets.
Many years ago the queen of Cyprus discovered that some royal bodyguards planned to assassinate her husband, the king. She decided to do something about it.
She invited each of the men up to her bed chamber for a tryst. She then asked each one to look out the bedroom window at the romantic view. She then pushed him out to his death one hundred feet below.
Prentice Olive was a cattle rancher who lived in Nebraska in the 1870's. He didn't like treapassers or squatters on his property. Being a vigilante, he and his cowhands would shoot or hang these undesirables, some of whom were innocent. Then one day Olive came up with an idea.
Men that Olive had marked for death were wrapped up in the hides of freshly skinned cows or bulls. The hot summer sun would shrink the animal hides and crush the victims. When the corpses were found their eyes were bulging out of their sockets and their black and swollen tongues were sticking out of their mouths.
Olive was finally brought to trial in April of 1879. Although he threaten to cut out the tongues of any jurors who went against him, he was still found guilty. For first degree murder he only got a year and a half in state prison.
The saying "kick the bucket" came down to us from colonial times. A person sentenced to be hanged stood on a bucket with a rope around his neck.
The Roman writer Cato claimed that kissing was invented by the Romans. Suspicious husbands would kiss their wives to find out whether or not they had been drinking wine.
In 1768 a man named Wolfgang Von Kempelen claimed to have invented a robotic chess player. Some competitors, who became sore losers, had the robot torn apart to see what was inside it. It was soon discovered that a midget, who was an expert chess player, was hidden in the machines operating its controls.