Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Ripley Believe-It-Or-Not Odditorium at A Century of Progress


RIPLEY'S BELIEVE-IT-OR-NOT ODDITORIUM AT THE 1933 CENTURY OF PROGRESS EXPOSITION

Robert Ripley began as a sports cartoonist. One time, when he was stumped for a topic in 1918, he drew a bunch of small odd sports comics all on one panel. This arrangement evolved into the Believe-It-Or-Not comics that began appearing in newspapers and  books. Ripley traveled the world collecting and reporting on oddities. He also had a weekly radio show from 1930 to 1944 and made 24 short documentary movies in 1931-1932. In 1933 he opened his first odditorium, a museum-like display of oddities and human freaks, at the 1933 Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. This was followed by odditoriums at other world's fairs. Ripley died in 1949. The first permanent Believe It Or Not! museum was opened in 1950. There are now 32 Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museums in ten countries, dozens of Ripley books and hundreds of television videos in the company’s archive vaults.

These postcards are official souvenir postcards from the 1933 Century of Progress Odditorium.


THE EYE-POPPER
MAN WHO SPEAKS WITHOUT VOCAL CORDS
2871 LEGIBLE LETTERS WRITTEN ON A GRAIN OF RICE



9 BASEBALLS PICKED UP WITH ONE HAND
PARROT WITH A HUMAN MIND
HUMAN HEAD REDUCED TO THE SIZE OF A BASEBALL
ARCHIMEDES SCREW




MULE-FACE WOMAN
MAGIC MULTIPLYING SQUARE
HINDU FIRE EATER
CANNIBAL FORK USED BY FIJIANS
4 ORIGINAL COOTIES FROM FRANCE
A ROCK THAT FLOATS
A STARFISH WITH 21 POINTS



LONGEST RED HAIR IN THE WORLD
LIFTING AND PULLING HEAVYWEIGHTS WITH THEIR YEE-LIDS



BABY WITH 4 LEGS AND 3 ARMS
LITTLE HALF GIRL BORN WITHOUT ARMS OR LEGS



ALLIGATOR SKIN BOY
RUBBER-SKINNED GIRL
RUBBER-NECKED MAN
LEOPARD-SKINNED MAN



HUMAN PINCUSHION --THE  PAIN-PROOF MAN
LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS WITH HOLES THRU HIS BREAST



MIRACLE MAN -- HUMAN OR ROBOT
MAN WITH AN OSTRICH STOMACH



THE ARMLESS WONDER
OSSIFIED MAN TURNING TO STONE

Read more about Ripley's Believe-It-Or-Not here.

This week a new public television series about Ripley began on January 6, 2015. The first video has a brief overview of that show (this may not be viewable in all areas--you may be asked to choose your local station). The second video has one of Ripley's early films.






Visit Sepia Saturday
For More Vintage Images

http://sepiasaturday.blogspot.com/2015/01/sepia-saturday-261-10-january-2015.html

13 comments:

  1. I had to start going through at a rapid clip. Some are disturbing. Too bad the baby with 4 arms and legs couldn't share with the baby with none.

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  2. Imperfection is in the eye of the beholder. A play on the phrase, but true. I remember an episode on the Twilight Zone wherein a plastic surgeon was attempting to make a woman appear normal so people wouldn't shun her. Throughout the program her face was wrapped in bandages and the doctors and nurses faces were never shown. Finally, the bandages were removed to reveal a beautiful woman, but the surgery was proclaimed a failure as the camera lifted to reveal the distorted faces of the others. I will admit, however, it is hard to look at pictures of misshapen people because we realize that could, possibly, have been us, except for luck or whatever else we wish to call it. I don't like the idea of exploiting them, however.

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  3. Oh gosh - some of these are just too hard to look at. Captain Ringman - OUCH!

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  4. Odd indeed, but an interesting post. I didn't see the Ripley show. I get kind of squeamish so I probably won't but it probably was interesting and the information you've included means I don't have to watch it.

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  5. I too found some of these images disturbing - not so much the image but the fact that these people used to be put on show for the world to either marvel, ridicule or pity. Brings back memories of my childhood when anybody with a physical disability became a figure of ridicule to thoughtless uncaring people.

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  6. I always enjoyed watching the show on TV as a kid. How times have changed. As a child, I was teased because I had epilepsy but that was nothing compared to some of these poor people!

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  7. Every Sunday, I used to read the Ripley's publication on the comics page...which must have been a bit disturbing to young readers, come to think of it!

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  8. La Nightingail and I share a memory of that Twilight Zone program -- it was amazing!

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  9. Oh my, these are a bit way over the top! But I know they did exist and draw so many folks! Many not for me!

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  10. Oh dear. I knew I shouldn’t have looked just before I sat down to eat - fascinating nevertheless.

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  11. Nice collection of souvenir cards! I've been to a couple of his "museums", in the States and in Blackpool. Cheesy is the word, I believe! However the live exhibits would have been amazing back in the day. Exhibiting deformities is definitely not politically correct anymore, but considering how much exploitation of one sort or another goes on everyday in the media, we're really not much better than the carnival audiences...

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  12. A perfect selection for this unusual theme. I wonder how many postcards were actually sent through the mail. Imagine Auntie Miriam's gasp at receiving a card with the Human Pincushion!

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