Shortly after the discovery of X-rays
in 1895, an imaginative English businessman started selling x-ray proof
undergarments to women who thought that they would be stared at by men wearing
One morning in 1705, the people of West Hartlepool, England, saw a hairy odd-looking character climb out of a rowboat onto their shore. It was an ape, formerly the mascot of a wrecked ship. The villagers had never seen an ape before. England was at war with France and when the primate started jabbering, they thought it was speaking French. They court-martialed the animal, found it guilty and hanged it for being a spy.
The famed lawyer Clarence Darrow, of the Scopes Monkey Trial, always smoked cigars in the courtroom. He would light up his smoke shortly before the prosecution started its argument. He would sit motionless as the cigar ash grew longer and longer. The attention of the jurors would always shift from the prosecution talk to the lengthy cigar ash as they waited for it to drop. It was later found out that Darrow ran a wire through his cigar to hold the ash in place.
Thomas Dreier was a novelist who wrote the book "The Vagabond". One day he went on a Sunday outing with a young woman. Their excursion boat had just left the wharf when her purse fell into the water. The young lady burst into tears and excitedly explained that she had lost sixty dollars, which she needed to buy a train ticket to New York. Dreier consoled her and told her not to worry, that he would replace the sixty dollars for her. The next day he hired a small boat and began to search for the lost purse. The novelist found the handbag but he also found that it was filled with small stones.
One day Western Union offered to buy the original ticker tape from its inventor Thomas Edison. Edison was unable to name a price so he talked it over with his wife. Mrs Edison suggested that he ask the company for twenty thousand dollars. To Edison this seemed like too much, but he reluctantly agreed. When the inventor showed up at the Western Union office he was asked if he had decided on a price. Edison said that he did, but found himself unable to speak. The Western Union man broke the silence when he said: "We'll give you $100,000 for it".
In January of 1649 England's Charles the first was beheaded. His remains were stored at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle but had disappeared. In 1813, workers working in Windsor Castle discovered some bones in the tomb of Henry the eighth. Sir Henry Halford, the royal physician, identified the remains as those of Charles the first. A souvenir hunter, he removed the severed vertebra from the king's neck and had it set in gold. For the next fifty years he and his descendants used it as a salt shaker. Queen Victoria found out about it and became so angry that she ordered that the bone be returned to the royal coffin.
King Almotamid was a Moorish monarch who ruled southern Spain in the 11th century A.D. He married a Christian slave named Itamad; a woman who had never seen snow and always wanted to know what it looked like. To please her the king planted a Spanish hillside entirely with almond trees. In spring the white petals would fall and give the appearance of a snowfall.