Over the last 100 years, humanity and technology have gone through several pretty drastic evolutions. The faster these things progress, the easier it is for people to forget the past. Reasonably, no one wants that to happen!
With the current technology development, it is easy to take many things for granted. However, with a little research, we learn to appreciate the way the world has progressed.
Just take the following 17 examples of incredible headlines from facts that happened over 100 years ago. You won’t believe what people were doing back then!
1. World War I soldiers used bed mattresses as lifejackets: Unluckily, what the military did not know was that the mattresses were made of absorbent material. Therefore, they did the complete opposite of their intent—usually pulling the sailors underwater.
2. Camouflage used to be a lot different: A long time before camouflage had advanced to becoming available in many shades like it is today, World War I soldiers used to wear these black and white striped suits to make themselves harder to target rather than making them blend in with the surroundings.
3. 10.000 German soldiers were killed on June 7, 1917, while a British blast was taking place: The explosion occurred after nineteen mines were detonated into tunnels underneath the German soldiers stationed at La Boisselle in Messines in France. It was obviously so loud that even people in Dublin and London could hear it. Also, the mushroom cloud was seen 4,000 feet in the air and led to a 200-feet-deep by 450-feet-wide crater.
4. A woman filed a complaint because her husband didn’t bathe: Yes, you read this newspaper headline correctly: As it turned out, the man in question refused to bathe, because, as he claimed, he was too fat to fit in the tub. He was sentenced to probation for his “crime”, and if he failed to bathe again, he would be put in jail
5. The Human Fly amazed the masses with his dangerous balancing act: A popular acrobat 100 years ago, John Reynolds, pushed the boundaries of balancing high in the sky. He was expected to draw a crowd upwards of 1,500 people any day.
6. Army personnel tried to listen for enemy planes with gigantic ear trumpets: That was, of course, before the invention of modern radar technology. Unfortunately for the officers, their inventions did not work very well.
7. R.B. Armitage was a male doctor who wrote and published a sex advice book for females: Of course, Private Sex Advice to Women contained several inaccuracies. Armitage claimed that the feeling of pain during menstruation was not normal and that people should not have sex during pregnancy. His ultimate goal was supposed to be to “enlighten young wives and young women who plan to marry.”
8. An enormous German zeppelin crashed in France: The gigantic aircraft fell into a valley when it was hit by bullets from one French fighter plane about 16,000 feet in the air. The ship was sized at 550 feet long by 70 feet wide in total.
9. Pigeons were trained by the German military to carry cameras: Once the cameras were placed in a harness and attached to the pigeons, officers would set a timer to take photographs at specific intervals automatically.
10. US immigration services placed a kid in the mail: A kid actually arrived in the US after making a 7,000-mile trip in the mail. The girl was returned when US immigration services pinned a return address to her and then left her at the post office.
11. The world used radioactive suppositories: Unfortunately, when this happened in 1917, people didn’t know the harmful side effects of radiation exposure. On the contrary, they used to believe that radiation exposure would “bombard organs with health-giving electric atoms.”
12. The cookbook titled A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband with Bettina’s Best Recipes was released and became wildly popular: It was about a fictional couple, Bob and Bettina, and aimed to teach women how to cook dishes such as creamed tuna on toast or jellied beef. Talk about outdated books..
13. One mother made poisoned pancakes: In 1917, arsenic was often found in people’s houses as a form of pest control. Unfortunately for this mother, it also looked similar to flour, so she accidentally used it to make her family pancakes.
14. An ostrich farm was a growing tourist attraction: Nobody had any idea that when entrepreneur Edwin Cawston sent fifty South African ostriches to California, he’d be creating not only the first ostrich farm ever made in the country but also one of its most significant touristic attractions to boot.
15. The first plastic surgery had taken place in the UK: In 1917, Harold Gillies performed a flap graft on Walter Yeo after he found a way to make the human body resilient enough to withstand a skin graft.
16. In 1917, Mata Hari, the famous Dutch exotic dancer, was executed by firing squad after being accused of being a German spy: As an exotic dancer, Mata usually performed for several wealthy men, one of whom happened to be a German officer. Therefore, a French court concluded she was a spy and double agent.
17. Two young girls managed to fool everyone with hoax fairy pictures: In 1917, nine-year-old Frances Griffith, and her sixteen-year-old cousin Elsie said to have seen fairies in the latter girl’s garden. Elsie borrowed her dad’s camera to take pictures of Frances with what the girls said it was fairies. While the public was interested in the resulting picture, it was later proven to be a hoax.
Reference: Boredom Therapy