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.
You've heard of "dead letters," but did you know they tend to go blind first? From The Romance of the British Post Office by Archibald Granger Bowie, 1897. The caption reads, "Deciphering the 'blind' letters."
All documents are haunted, as confirmed in Irving Malin's review of The Attic by Curtis Harnack: "Every chapter contains scenes which demonstrate the strangeness of daily experiences, the oddity of ordinary life. . . . [Harnack] is a ghost confronting other ghostly presences. Thus his memoir becomes a haunted document—aren’t all documents haunted?—and this very fact attacks our longing to know our beginnings, our desire to search our 'mental attics.'"—Contemporary Literature
Here's a positive that turned into a negative (we've had that happen, too!) from St. Nicholas magazine, 1910. The explanation posited by the magazine's Eastman Kodak representative is that the film must have been exposed to a strong light immediately after development and previous to rinising the developer from the surface and fixing.
We hear of Puritanism's lingering influence in the United States, but as recently as 1948, Illinois dairy farmers were weaning themselves off the wizardry of Druidism. Here's a headline that "You don't need a Magician" for high milk production. From the Illinois Agricultural Association Record, 1948.