Category Archives: 19th Century Factoids

What was life like in the 1800s? Well, pretty shitty for about 99.99% of Americans. But we still managed to find ways to make it interesting at the very least.

Elm Farm Ollie: America’s Flying Milking Cow

“What’s the use of flying if you can’t even milk a cow on a plane?”

What?  Bob, are you having a stroke?

“Blast the monkey jam, Betty!”

~Transcript from 1930 International Air Exposition planning meeting

ollie the flying cow

You are blessed to live in a time where it’s actively difficult to be truly bored.  No, we know that any combination of events, from work meetings to being stuck in traffic can leave you “bored” but none of you have experience real boredom, in the same way that you’ve been hungry before but not actively starving.  We have the internet to distract us, we carry tiny computers in our pockets that can call people and play stupid but additive games, and apparently radio and television are things that people still kind of use when they don’t want to pay for premium Spotify accounts or Netflix.

We point this out because in the early 1900’s, that was not the case at all.  The human mind needs to be distracted, and when all you have is books and a lot of public shaming regarding masturbation, you’re going to seek out some pretty desperate ways to entertain yourself.  That’s as close to a segue as we’re going to get so we’ll just go ahead and tell you what this article is going to be about.

This is about the first time a cow was ever milked mid-air.

[awkward pause]

[howling wind]

America was a lot easier entertained in 1930, okay guys?  Let’s dive into this.

Elm Farm Ollie:  America’s Flying Milking Cow

 elm farm ollie

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The Toledo War: That One Time We Had States Go to War and Shoot at Each Other or Something

“No no no I want it I WANT IT!”

~Michigan and Ohio representatives

toledo strip

While we spend most of our time fixating on our general awesomeness, Americans often forget that we are one of the most diverse countries in the world, both ethnically and ideologically.  When you take a moment and consider the vast differences in language and  culture in Europe, it’s not surprising that individual states in America, which could fit most of Europe within its borders, might have some different views than their neighbors.  It’s why people from Massachusetts give New Yorkers a hard time, why most sports rivalries exist, and why if you put a Californian in a room with a Texan for thirty minutes, neither will emerge alive, sort of like putting two Siamese fighting fish in the same tank.

Now, we tend to dismiss rivalries between states because, in the grand scheme of thing, they’re just little local quirks of a particular part of the nation.  Take Michigan and Ohio, for example.  Those of you who follow College Football (read as: actual Americans) know that the University of Michigan and THE (ugh) Ohio State University have an institutionalized hatred for each other that most people reserve for the producers of the Twilight franchise.  If you met someone from Michigan or Ohio, you make some joke at the other state’s expense, and they’d roll their eyes and go, “Ugh, yeah, fuck those guys.”  That’s just how Americans identify with their local community, and it’s all in good fun.  Naturally, we try not to take this too far into “irrational grudges” territory, because that’s just counterproductive.  Ha, it’s not like we’ve ever had states go to war and shoot at each other or anything.

Oh wait, what’s that?  What are you doing, article title?

The Toledo War:  That One Time We Had States Go to War and Shoot at Each Other or Something

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The Fenian Brotherhood: Invading Canada, From America, For Ireland

“Ha ha, guys, what are you doing?  Come on, stop that.”

~American and Canadian Forces, 1866

fenian

For years, we’ve treated Canada like our polite, little brother to the North.  They’re friendly, they send over some comedians we like, and excluding the time they killed the Baldwin family in the South Park movie, they’ve been an adequate ally and neighbor.  We tend to forget that they’re technically still a Commonwealth of England, with the Queen on their currency and everything, but we don’t really care about that, since we’ve not really had a beef with England since they burned down our White House and we were forced to replace it with a much more kickass presidential residence.

Now, while Canada has never really done anything wrong by us, England does have its fair share of people pissed off at them.  Like, say, the Irish.  Oh yeah, the Irish have a very sticky history with England and, well, there’s no nuanced way to say this so we’ll just spit it out—a bunch of Irish Americans invaded Canada as a “fuck you” to England, which is just about the closest we as a nation has come to invading Canada since the early 1800s.  So that’s a thing, a thing that happened, in history.  Let’s talk about it.

That One Time the Fenian Brotherhood Kept Invading Canada From America

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