Crazy Images From the Past

From guns on bicycles to tennis on the wing of an airplane; these people knew how to party

If you think life in the early 20th century was a laid-back, nap-on-the-porch, grandma and grandpa sort of existence, a trip through these pictures will change your mind; these people were crazy. Safety and self-preservation were yet to be discovered concepts, and a now infamous symbol had an entirely different identity.

Ah, the good old days of the Swastika. Not only did Hitler ruin a perfectly good mustache for future generations, (not to mention the name “Adolph”), he forever deprived the world of one of the classic good-luck symbols of all time: the Swastika. Seriously, prior to its use by the Nazis, the Swastika got around. Check it out:

The Windsor Swastikas were a Canadian hockey team from 1905–1916. It’s safe to say that these uniforms have never been busted out for “throw-back jersey” night, don’t you think?

Then of course there was women’s hockey:

We also had the 1909 Chilocco Indian basketball team and the San Francisco YMCA Swastika:

A bicycle built for two. Has a nostalgic, kinda romantic ring to it, doesn’t it? For these guys — not so much:

This 1890’s photo is of the legendary “Armless Wonder” Charles Tripp of Woodstock, Canada, who was born without arms. In front of him sits Eli Bowen of Ohio, who was born without legs. Is this a match made in heaven, or what? By my calculation, Eli would have to sit on Chuck’s lap for them to drive a car, is that the way you see it?

Tennis, anyone? I don’t know much about physics, but something tells me the ball would never make it to the guy on the other side of the net. I know what you’re thinking; they had to hit it towards the front of the plane to compensate for the wind, right? What about that pesky propeller?

From the “weapons that looked good on paper” department, we have this clever little killing machine:

This would still be funny even if the guy wasn’t wearing a tie, bowler hat and dress shoes. Apparently, natty attire provided a strategic advantage to those brave combatants of yesteryear.

Teddy Roosevelt had a completely different idea for gaining an edge on the enemy:

This picture is real. It was taken during the 1900 presidential election campaign. Beats kissing babies I guess.

Hum Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls just want to have fun” while reading this: From the “Klan just wants to have fun” category, here’s that zany bunch of misfits enjoying a light-hearted day at the fair:

I imagine they stayed away from the roller coaster to avoid the risk of those peek-a-boo hoods flying off, don’t you? Klan babes chose a different form of relaxation back in the day. Who doesn’t love a parade?

From the “who in their right mind would do this the first time?” files, here’s an amusing form of entertainment:

How exactly does one practice for this? Why didn’t the horse refuse to cooperate the second time?

Finally, in the spirit of “it sounded like a good idea at the time,” we have the “Model T vending machine.”

I wonder what you had to do if you put a nickel in the slot, and your car got stuck at the top — like a bag of chips? Shaking or kicking the machine doesn’t seem like it would’ve done the trick, does it?

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