CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
Here's an early example of the carnival "your face here" cutout photography prop. Only here the concept is reversed — instead of one background with a hole for multiple people, it's multiple backgrounds for a single couple. From The Judge, 1915.
Here's a precursor to The Prisoner, from Judge's Library, 1907. A "man without a number" suddenly finds himself in a strange place, not remembering how he got there but under the impression that he came from another sort of world. His mind flashes to events that happened previously. He is greeted by a woman who informs him that in this place, "we are all numbered," and that strangers are welcome if they are likely to become good citizens. (Bad citizens are referred to the "committee of three hundred.") Residents display their numbers on the hems of their garments so that they can be seen. She points out Number One walking down the street, "a very important personage." The man without a number is told that his own number would be (not the Prisoneresque Number Six) but Twenty-three. He then wakes up from what turned out to be a pipe dream. Note that the character's name, "Lyomelph Cospatrick," could be read as containing an unlikely prediction of Patrick McGoohan.