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The Oddment Emporium

A Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights

Posts tagged 1920s:

The Tiger Car
A 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I built for big game hunting in India, equipped with a hand-cranked machine gun in tow, an elephant rifle on the rear bumper, and a double barrel pistol hanging from its side. It would have originally been painted grey to better camouflage it during hunts and was owned by avid hunter Umed Singh II, the Maharaja of Kotah. {Source]

The Tiger Car

A 1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I built for big game hunting in India, equipped with a hand-cranked machine gun in tow, an elephant rifle on the rear bumper, and a double barrel pistol hanging from its side. It would have originally been painted grey to better camouflage it during hunts and was owned by avid hunter Umed Singh II, the Maharaja of Kotah. {Source]

"The Arkansas Ghost", or the Man who Testified at His Own Murder Trial
In January 1929 a man named Connie Franklin moved to the town of St. James, Arkansas. He worked on a farm and dated local girl Tillar Ruminer. Then in March, he vanished. A bloody hat, which supposedly belonged to Franklin, was found by Bertha Burns, but, as there was no other evidence to suggest anything untoward had happened, the investigation fell through. A few months later Burns took the local sheriff to a pit of ashes near her home and suggested there might be evidence of Franklin’s murder there. Indeed, the sheriff did find bone shards and teeth.
After a delay of some months Franklin’s girlfriend also came forward with additional information. She told how she and Franklin had intended to marry and were on their way to see The Justice of Peace, on March 9th, when they were attacked by four men, who she named. While she had been carried into the woods and raped, Franklin had apparently been tortured, mutilated and burned alive. The men were arrested and a trial date was set for December.
Before the trial there were reports that Franklin had been seen after the date of his supposed murder. Things were complicated when it became apparent that a man named Marion Franklin Rogers, who had escaped from The State Hospital for Nervous Disease, had been going around claiming to be Connie Franklin. Both Ruminer and her father claimed, hesitantly at first but later with more conviction, that this was not Franklin, however, others in the community, including the men convicted, said that it was. A doctor was brought in and, after studying the man’s military and medical records, he determined that Rogers and Franklin were indeed the same person.
At the trial it was revealed that the bones and teeth were not that of a human and, after Ruminer recounted her account of events, all the while claiming Rogers simply could not be Franklin, Franklin took the stand to give evidence at his own murder trial. He told how he had argued with Ruminer because she wanted to postpone their wedding; he had told her that if she did not marry him immediately she would never see him again. She wouldn’t concede so he went away. He also explained how the story had its roots in a liquor war between the involved parties. After a farcical two day trial the men were found “not guilty” of murder Connie Franklin, or, indeed, Marion Franklin Rogers.
[Sources: Wikipedia | Image (unrelated bone fragments)]

"The Arkansas Ghost", or the Man who Testified at His Own Murder Trial

In January 1929 a man named Connie Franklin moved to the town of St. James, Arkansas. He worked on a farm and dated local girl Tillar Ruminer. Then in March, he vanished. A bloody hat, which supposedly belonged to Franklin, was found by Bertha Burns, but, as there was no other evidence to suggest anything untoward had happened, the investigation fell through. A few months later Burns took the local sheriff to a pit of ashes near her home and suggested there might be evidence of Franklin’s murder there. Indeed, the sheriff did find bone shards and teeth.

After a delay of some months Franklin’s girlfriend also came forward with additional information. She told how she and Franklin had intended to marry and were on their way to see The Justice of Peace, on March 9th, when they were attacked by four men, who she named. While she had been carried into the woods and raped, Franklin had apparently been tortured, mutilated and burned alive. The men were arrested and a trial date was set for December.

Before the trial there were reports that Franklin had been seen after the date of his supposed murder. Things were complicated when it became apparent that a man named Marion Franklin Rogers, who had escaped from The State Hospital for Nervous Disease, had been going around claiming to be Connie Franklin. Both Ruminer and her father claimed, hesitantly at first but later with more conviction, that this was not Franklin, however, others in the community, including the men convicted, said that it was. A doctor was brought in and, after studying the man’s military and medical records, he determined that Rogers and Franklin were indeed the same person.

At the trial it was revealed that the bones and teeth were not that of a human and, after Ruminer recounted her account of events, all the while claiming Rogers simply could not be Franklin, Franklin took the stand to give evidence at his own murder trial. He told how he had argued with Ruminer because she wanted to postpone their wedding; he had told her that if she did not marry him immediately she would never see him again. She wouldn’t concede so he went away. He also explained how the story had its roots in a liquor war between the involved parties. After a farcical two day trial the men were found “not guilty” of murder Connie Franklin, or, indeed, Marion Franklin Rogers.

[Sources: Wikipedia | Image (unrelated bone fragments)]

Adolf Hitler Strikes a Pose

These images show Nazi leader Adolf Hitler rehearsing emphatic poses and wild gesticulations whilst listening to recordings of his hate-filled speeches in 1925. The photographs were taken by Heinrich Hoffman who wilfully ignored Hitler’s request to destroy them. They have now been published in Hoffman’s memoirs.

[Source: Daily Mail - also more images]

I love miniature things and I love royalty, so you can imagine my excitement upon discovering that this website exists!

Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House is the largest, most beautiful, and most famous dolls’ house in the world. Built for Queen Mary, consort of King George V, by the leading British architect Sir Edwin Lutyens between 1921 and 1924, it includes contributions from over 1,500 of the finest artists, craftsmen and manufacturers of the early 20th century. From life below stairs to the high-society setting of the saloon and dining room, a library bursting with original works by the top literary names of the day, a fully stocked wine cellar and a garden created by Gertrude Jekyll, no detail was forgotten – the Queen’s Dolls’ House even includes electricity, running hot and cold water and working lifts. Each room, is fully furnished in every way, and waiting to be explored.

The Anti-Flirt Club

The Anti-Flirt Club was an American club active in Washington, D.C., during the early 1920s. The club was composed of women who had been embarrassed by men in automobiles on street corners with the aim of protecting them from unwelcome attention in the future. The Anti-Flirt Club launched an “Anti-Flirt” week, which began on March 4, 1923.

The club had a series of rules, which were intended as sound and serious advice. These were:

  1. Don’t flirt: those who flirt in haste oft repent in leisure.
  2. Don’t accept rides from flirting motorists—they don’t invite you in to save you a walk.
  3. Don’t use your eyes for ogling—they were made for worthier purposes.
  4. Don’t go out with men you don’t know—they may be married, and you may be in for a hair-pulling match.
  5. Don’t wink—a flutter of one eye may cause a tear in the other.
  6. Don’t smile at flirtatious strangers—save them for people you know.
  7. Don’t annex all the men you can get—by flirting with many, you may lose out on the one.
  8. Don’t fall for the slick, dandified cake eater—the unpolished gold of a real man is worth more than the gloss of a lounge lizard.
  9. Don’t let elderly men with an eye to a flirtation pat you on the shoulder and take a fatherly interest in you. Those are usually the kind who want to forget they are fathers.
  10. Don’t ignore the man you are sure of while you flirt with another. When you return to the first one you may find him gone.

[Image Source: 1]

(Source: Wikipedia)

Virginia House: The House that Moved Homes

The house which would become Virginia House was originally built in the 12th century and served as a priory until Henry VIII split from the Catholic church and closed the hundreds of monasteries and nunneries around Britain. Over the next four hundred years the house would change hands numerous times, with each owner adding a personal touch; such as knocking down the surrounding monastic buildings and adding curvilinear Dutch gables to the front façade around 1620. The fortunes of the house rose a fell throughout the centuries with one owner entertaining Queen Elizabeth I there and another, in the early 20th century, being forced to sell it.

In 1925, Alexander and Virginia Weddell bought it at a demolition sale. They had it dismantled and rebuilt part of it in Richmond, Virginia, where they hoped the west wing would serve as a museum for the Virginia Historical Society. 

The company that was to demolish the Priory felt the stones would crumble in the process, so they decided to make a small explosion in the middle of the building and send only those stones that survived the blast to America. To their amazement, most of the stones fell intact. The more fragile ornaments were packed in boxes with sand to cushion them. The ship bringing the stones to America had to turn back to port as it was taking on water. Consequently, when the stones arrived in Richmond they were soaked in seawater and had to be washed and dried. The first group of stones arrived in Richmond in the spring of 1926. 

Virginia House was completed in 1928, and in 1929 it was presented to the Virginia Historical Society with the Weddells retaining lifetime tenancy.


[Image One: The house in England : Image Two: The House in Virginia : Images 3-5: (courtesy of Vintage-Royalty) The House now]

(Source: vahistorical.org)

The Death-Defying Stunts of the Barnstormers

“Up! Down! Flying around
Looping the loop and defying the ground
They’re all, frightfully keen
Those magnificent men in their flying machines
They can fly upside down with their feet in the air
They don’t think of danger
They really don’t care”

So go the lyrics to the song “Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines,” from the movie of the same name. The words aptly describe the aerial exploits of a group of stuntmen and stuntwomen who, during the 1920s, repeatedly risked their lives in a quest for thrills and entertainment; and, at the end of the day, to earn a living.

Airplane acrobats, known as aerialists, seemed to have no fear of gravity. They leapt from plane to plane while up in the air, danced or played tennis on the wings, and burst through walls of fire. The stuntmen used the word “barnstorming” to describe their practice of touring around the country, because their shows often used farms as makeshift airfields.

[Many more photographs/information at the source]

(Source: environmentalgraffiti.com)

Imposter Prince
Ramendra Narayan Roy was a kumar (“prince”) of the large Bhawal Estate in modern-Bangladesh. One of three brothers who inherited the estate from their father, he spent his time hunting, in festivities and with women. In 1909 he went to Darjeeling to seek treatment for syphilis but died there at the age of 25. 
Later there was much discussion of what had exactly happened the day of the funeral: some testified that a hailstorm had interrupted the cremation just before the pyre was lit and the body might have disappeared when the mourners sought shelter. There were rumours that Ramendra’s body had not been successfully cremated, that it had disappeared or had been swapped. His sister gradually became convinced that her brother was still alive.
In 1920 a man appeared in Dhaka covered in ashes. He sat on the street for four months, attracting attention because he was in unusually good physical condition. There were rumors that the kumar had returned, even when the man said he had renounced his family. It was arranged for him to visit the kumars’ family and they became convinced that he was Ramendra.  When they questioned him, he remembered the name of his wet nurse, a fact that was not public. He said he had wandered around India without recollection of his past until his memory began to return and his guru, a man he met in the jungle, told him to return home.
There was considerable rural acceptance that the man was the Second Kumar. Many of his former tenants began paying him rent, which he used to buy lawyers to help him win back his estate from the colonial British. A bitter legal battle ensued in which it was suggested that the claimant must be a fraud and, therefore, not entitled to the estate, because the kumar’s syphilis had advanced to the state of open sores but there were no  syphilitic scars on the claimant’s body; the claimant spoke mainly Urdu, rather than the kumar’s Bengali; and he was illiterate. A full comparison of the kumar and claimant’s physical resemblance can be seen here.
Bizarrely, a court eventually ruled in a favour of the claimant, however, that same evening, when he went to offer prayers, he suffered a stroke and died. Funeral rites were performed on August 13, 1946.

Imposter Prince

Ramendra Narayan Roy was a kumar (“prince”) of the large Bhawal Estate in modern-Bangladesh. One of three brothers who inherited the estate from their father, he spent his time hunting, in festivities and with women. In 1909 he went to Darjeeling to seek treatment for syphilis but died there at the age of 25. 

Later there was much discussion of what had exactly happened the day of the funeral: some testified that a hailstorm had interrupted the cremation just before the pyre was lit and the body might have disappeared when the mourners sought shelter. There were rumours that Ramendra’s body had not been successfully cremated, that it had disappeared or had been swapped. His sister gradually became convinced that her brother was still alive.

In 1920 a man appeared in Dhaka covered in ashes. He sat on the street for four months, attracting attention because he was in unusually good physical condition. There were rumors that the kumar had returned, even when the man said he had renounced his family. It was arranged for him to visit the kumars’ family and they became convinced that he was Ramendra.  When they questioned him, he remembered the name of his wet nurse, a fact that was not public. He said he had wandered around India without recollection of his past until his memory began to return and his guru, a man he met in the jungle, told him to return home.

There was considerable rural acceptance that the man was the Second Kumar. Many of his former tenants began paying him rent, which he used to buy lawyers to help him win back his estate from the colonial British. A bitter legal battle ensued in which it was suggested that the claimant must be a fraud and, therefore, not entitled to the estate, because the kumar’s syphilis had advanced to the state of open sores but there were no  syphilitic scars on the claimant’s body; the claimant spoke mainly Urdu, rather than the kumar’s Bengali; and he was illiterate. A full comparison of the kumar and claimant’s physical resemblance can be seen here.

Bizarrely, a court eventually ruled in a favour of the claimant, however, that same evening, when he went to offer prayers, he suffered a stroke and died. Funeral rites were performed on August 13, 1946.

Agatha Christie’s Greatest Mystery

Agatha Christie was a British crime writer best remembered for her detective novels. Her greatest mystery, however, is a personal one…

On 3rd Dec., around 9.45pm, without warning, she drove away from her Berkshire home, having first gone upstairs to kiss her sleeping daughter. Her abandoned car was later found down a slope near Guildford. There was no sign of her.

For 11 days the country buzzed with conjecture about the disappearance. All the elements of a classic Christie story were there. The Silent Pool, a natural spring near the accident scene, for instance, was said to be the site of the death of a young girl and her brother and many thought the novelist had drowned herself there. Others suggested the incident was a publicity stunt, while, more chillingly, some clues seemed to point in the direction of murder at the hands of her unfaithful husband.

Even the celebrated crime writers Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L Sayers were drawn into the puzzle. Conan Doyle, who was interested in the occult, took a discarded glove of Christie’s to a medium, while Sayers visited the scene of the disappearance.

Christie was eventually discovered safe, but in circumstances that raised more questions than they answered. Alone, and using an assumed name, she had been living in a hotel in Harrogate since the day after her disappearance, even though news of her case had reached as far as the front page of the New York Times.

The two most popular theories offered for these strange events have been that either Christie was suffering from memory loss after a car crash, or that she had planned the whole thing to thwart her husband’s plans to spend a weekend with his mistress at a house close to where she abandoned her car. [Source]

Edward VIII. 1926ish.
Probably my favourite photo.

Edward VIII. 1926ish.

Probably my favourite photo.

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