Top 25 weirdest and most inappropriate children's books of all time

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I have stacks of children's book, either because I loved them as a kid, bought them for my first two kids, or, as an illustrator, purchased them for the inspiring art.

And now, I'm restocking for our newborn son Aiden.

But once in awhile I'll stumble across something that'll just make me just scratch my head. As in, "What the f**k were they thinking?!" And since I also love to share, here are some highlights ...for you!

Many are just plain crazy, a few have double entendres that might not have been intended, many suffer because innocent words have had a change of meaning over the years, or it could be I'm just snickering because I have a dirty mind.

There also might be a smidgen of sophisticated humor in the selections that follow, but most of the guffaws and titters will fall smack dab in the juvenile category. "Titters"! Hee hee hee!

There are a lot of "funny" children's book cover floating around the internet, but often they've just been photoshopped creations (I'd love to believe that "My Big Book of Pretty Pussies" is real)

So, if I don't actually have a physical copy in my hands, it won't make the cut. As for it being "The Top 25," keep checking back, I'm sure at some point I'll be up to 100!

Top 25 weirdest and most inappropriate children's books of all time

1893 solution to bicycle-chasing dogs


From The Wheel and Cycling Trade Review, August 1893.

Read the rest

Model for a “Creeping Baby Doll” patented in 1871

What child wouldn't want to be surprised by this adorable wax-headed baby doll crawling out from under their bed at 2am?

Creeping Baby Doll (Via Pickover)

The greatest toy ever made


There are too many awesome things about this to count. (Via Arcane Images)

We Have No Names

Buy And Name Us.

An awesome 1917 patent for adding dialogue to silent movies

Charles F. Pidgin came up with a great idea - a coiled paper tube with words printed on it. When actors in a silent movie needed to deliver a line of dialog, they simply blew on the tube to inflate it and show the words. Too bad all movies aren't made this way.

The Non-Talking Talkie--Soundless Talking Pictures (1917) and the Beauty of Timelessly Bad Ideas

40 outrageously offensive vintage ads

Most of the vintage ads in this Collectors Weekly round-up were designed to shame women into buying a product that would make them more attractive to their mate. The Mad Man-era ad above was designed to assure Eastern Airlines passengers that they wouldn't be served by "loser" stewardesses.

Selling Shame

The Joker goes surfing

Magic Transistor is an excellent online radio station with a cool photo Tumblr, which is where I saw this picture of The Joker posing with a custom surfboard. Why isn't he laughing hysterically?

Radio Man walks, talks, and yodels

It yodels because it is a Swiss radio man. (Via Magic Transistor)

The Real Mermaids of San Marcos, Texas

Ben Marks say: "When Collectors Weekly writer and producer Hunter Oatman-Stanford was growing up in Austin, Texas, one of his favorite places to go as a kid was Aquarena Springs in nearby San Marcos. Though the attraction boasted an alligator pit, Ralph the Swimming Pig (famous, of course, for his 'swine dive'), and an aerial gondola ride, the biggest lure was the mermaid show, in which swimmers would perform dance moves and tricks, like eating or drinking underwater, while viewers watched through thick glass windows.

"Turns out, Hunter's great-aunt, Sue Cregg, had been an aquamaid, as the performers were called, in the 1960s. So, for his article on Aquarena Springs, Hunter spoke to Cregg, as well as Peggy Sparks, who got her start at the amusement park in the 1950s. Cregg and Sparks explain what it was really like to be a mermaid, from the cold temperatures they endured in the water to the balls of frozen dog food they'd prepare to feed to the fish they swam with as part of the act."

Read the rest

Wegee photo of a man about to be executed wearing a hood with a Westinghouse logo on it

This execution brought to you by Westinghouse? I'd have guessed that Thomas "DC current is safer" Edison was behind it, but this fellow is in the gas chamber, not on an electric chair.

From the Getty Images description: circa 1945: An American prisoner, sentenced to death, is strapped into a chair in the gas chamber. The black hood carries a Westinghouse Electric Company logo.

See full image here

Gallery of "terrifying beauty treatments"

Anorak has a gallery of creepy "20th Century contraptions designed to make you the belle of the ball."

Strange Medicine, by Nathan Belofsky: exclusive excerpt

In Ancient Egypt, doctors applied electric eels to patients with migraines. In the medieval times dentists burned candles into patients’ mouths to kill off those pesky invisible worms gnawing at their teeth.

Read the rest

Vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes

Deanna of Kitsch-Slapped takes us on a tour of vintage plaster and chalk nude statuettes.

[Some] vintage plaster or chalkware figurines have little fabric skirts or loincloths, which may come on as modest cover-up... Surprise, these vintage pieces show the genitalia! Aren’t you just dying to flip the grass skirt made of string aside on this vintage piece by what appears to be Ferguson Studios?

Odd and inappropriate Valentine's cards of yesteryear

Here's a small sampling of artist Mitch O'Connell's fabulous Valentine's card collection gallery. (These are real cards, not something Mitch made up.)

Just in time to send to your Valentine sweetheart, a huge selection of the offbeat, odd, perplexing, inappropriate, outlandish, bizarre, sexist, eccentric and far-out funny cards, all collected in one place ...for YOU (with love)!

Subject matter includes anger issues, from punching, stabbing, shooting your loved one to running them over with your car. "A woman's place is in the home" themes with pots 'n pans, brooms and dust pans expressing how your heart beats for them. "Find the hidden penis" is a M.O'C Blog Valentine favorite with suggestively placed rulers, logs, bananas, balloons, rocket ships, and hot dogs showing how you really, REALLY feel!

Unintentionally Hilarious Vintage Valentine's Day Cards! See the top 100 Risque, Rude and Sexy examples of all time!

Mitch also has a new art book -- Mitch O'Connell, the World's Best Artist by Mitch O'Connell! Look for an exclusive preview soon on Boing Boing. It's available for pre-order on Amazon, or directly from Mitch's site.