THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF A LUNATIC WHO DIED IN THE “SUNNING INSANE ASYLUM” IN ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

 

THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF A LUNATIC WHO DIED IN THE “SUNNING INSANE ASYLUM” IN ILLINOIS, U.S.A.

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Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane cemetery – Photo: Corey Schjoth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My right to live, being but life estate, is not at my dis-
posal, but these things expected, all else in the world I now
proceed to devise and bequeath !

I give good fathers and mothers in trust for their
children all little words of praise and encouragement, and all
endearments ; and I charge the said parents to use them
generously as the needs of the children require.

I leave the children for the term of their childhood, the
flowers, fields, blossoms, and woods, with the rights to play
among them freely, warning them at the same time against
thistles and thorns.

I devise to the children the banks, the brooks, and the
golden sands beneath the waters therof, and the white
clouds that float high over the giant trees, and I leave to the
children long, long days to be merry in, and the night and the
moon and the train of the Milky Way to wonder at.

I devise to the boys all the idle fields and the pleasant
waters and the streams where one may fish, to have and hold
for the period of their boyhood. The meadows, with the
clover, blossoms and butterflies therof, the woods and all
their appurenances, squirrels, birds, echoes and strange
noises, all the distant places which may be visited, together
with the adventures there found. I give to the said boys
each his own place by the fireside at night, with the pic-
tures that may be seen in the burning wood, to enjoy without
let or hindrance or without any incumbrance or care.

To lovers I devise their imaginary world with whatever
they may need, as stars, sky, red roses by the wall, the bloom
of the hawthorn, the sweet strain of the music and the aught else
they may desire.

To young men I give disdain of weakness and undaunted
confidence in their own strength. I give them power to
make everlasting friendships, and gay companions, and to
them exclusively I give all merry songs and brave choruses.
as to those who are no longer children or youths or lovers
I leave Memory, and bequeath them the volumes of the
poems of Burns, Shakespeare, and the poets, and to live
over their old days again without tithe.

To the loved ones with ivory crowns I bequeath happiness,
old age, the love and gratitude of their children until they shall
fall asleep.

Date: unknown

Patient: unknown

Published: 1925 – Varia: A Miscellany of Verse & Prose Ancient & Modern

Compiled and Annoted by: Eleanore M. Brougham


Sunning Insane Asylum (Illinois Asylum for the  Insane) is located near Peoria, in the small town of Bartonville. It was originally built in 1897, atop an abandoned coal mine (according to legend) – causing the  underlying structural issues. It was stated the medieval castle’s style wasn’t suitable  for the treatment of the insane and was the reasoning behind the demolition of the building – not the mine itself.

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Sunning Insane Asylum – Photo: Corey Schjoth

The asylum was rebuilt by 1902, fashioned into  cottage-like buildings instead of one, large structure. When reopened, the asylum was under the direction of Dr. George Zeller. It is said  a gravedigger by the name of Manuel A. Bookbinder often stood next to a large elm tree as services for patients – most without families –  took place. Bookbinder would sob mournfully, often not knowing the resident of Sunning Asylum being buried.

– altered by Hystoria

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Sesame Street #847: An Episode Forever Lost

Margaret Hamilton, swooped down onto Sesame Street on February 10, 1976  guest starring as the Wicked Witch of the West.

She dropped her broom presumably in flight over the small town where David retrieved it from the street. David did not want the broom returned to her, fearing the trouble it could cause.

Hunting for her broom, she visited Mr. Hooper’s store where she made it rain inside – after being offered a coffee. Big Bird had been threatened to be turned into a feather duster.

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Margaret Hamilton with Oscar the Grouch

However,  children at home didn’t seem as pleased with the Witch, nor did parents:

This episode prompted an unusually large amount of mail responses from parents, almost entirely negative, within a short time frame. Typical responses included parents concerned that their children were afraid and now refused to watch the show, using such phrases as “screams and tears” and “the threat of the witch’s power remains in children’s eyes.” A somewhat atypical missive came from a self-proclaimed Wiccan, concerned with the perpetuation of a negative fairy tale stereotype and recommended a segment “portraying witches as they really are, now.” [2] – Muppet Wiki

 

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behind-the-scenes polaroid of Caroll Spinney at Hooper’s Store with Margaret Hamilton, holding a feather duster.

 

The Witch tried with all her might to retrieve her broom, but when the mean threats didn’t work – incognito as a friendly, old lady! It was the episode’s intent to teach “the value of planning by creating and implementing methods of retrieving the broom.”

In turn, children became test subjects:

Due to the overwhelming reaction, additional test screenings were held from March 1 through the 5th, “to assess children’s reactions to the Wicked Witch of the West.” The tests showed that children were “exceptionally attentive during the Margaret Hamilton segments,” and those who watched the episode in color were fascinated by her green face. The issue of fear was difficult to fully judge, due to confusing answers and the fact that the children were surrounded by their peers and adults, and not alone watching. However, due to the parents’ reactions, the letter content and testing observations, Anna Herera of the CTW Research Department suggested “that the Margaret Hamilton show not be re-run.” [3] – Muppet Wiki

Oscar the Grouch, on the other hand, took a shine to the Witch leaving some feeling he may have become smitten with her. Even the big yellow fellow took a liking to her and seemed slightly depressed when she took-off back to her castle.

Could you imagine if all we had left of the classic film “The Wizard Of Oz”, were a few polaroid pictures of the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy and her dog Toto?

– altered by Hystoria

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Our Fancy: Japanese Puzzle Boxes

Japanese puzzle boxes were designed a century and a half ago – mainly to store workman’s tools. Some are now being crafted by Kenji Nakazato in Hakone, Tokyo at the Izumiya company as extraordinary, decorative novelties.

An original Super Cubi 324-step Yosegi Muku to keep the bored busy.

72-step Japanese puzzle box .

5-Sun 21-step puzzle box

4-Sun Japanese puzzle box

Marc Weber is visiting a store which specializes in Japanese puzzle boxes – all requiring some expertise in opening – some boxes have up to 1500 or more moves and sliding panels. You can see the designer Kenji, demonstrate opening a 72-step box in the video below:

– altered by Hystoria

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The Lilliputian Library – Josef Tari Collection: Miniature Books

 

Josef Tari is a Hungarian gentleman whom began his collection of miniature books in 1972. His library of petite reads – the smallest book being only 2.9 x 3.2 millimeters and some over 100 years old – has grown to over 5000. These darling little novelties arrived about the year 1475 and remained a popular item throughout history – until about the 1970’s.

 

 

Josef is a printer by trade, which is what first attracted him to the little books. Most of the miniatures are Hungarian, but Josef states “I have several books in other languages. I have books e.g. from Canada, Mexico, the USA, Australia, Indonesia and Japan, and from almost all European countries.” – and has 400 books he is willing to exchange. Josef has also published his own mini books seen here.

 

 

Now, for the collection.

I believe we’ve saved the best book for last:

 

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Miniatures Josef finds the most interesting within his collection

 

Book in 15 languages ca. 1974  – 1 x 2 mm

 

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Josua Reichert: Bilder – ABC ca. 2000 –  2.9 x 2.4 mm

 

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Móra Ferenc: Dióbél királyfi –  14 x 16 mm

 

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Kovács Sándor 60 éves ca. 1972 – 9 x 10 mm

 

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Im Reich der Tiere ca. 2004 – 19 x 16 mm

 

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Das Grosse Tierbuch –  18 x 25 mm

 

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Miatyánk – zsákkönyv ca. 2000 – 29 x 39 mm

 

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Apokalipszis ca. 1998 – 31 x 42 mm

 

 

Josef Tari also holds in his possession the very tiniest editions of The Typographia (December 18, 1990 Vol.122) and 2 other newspapers.

 

 

– altered by Hystoria

 

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Dai Vernon – The Man Who Fooled Houdini

 

Dai Vernon “The Professor”

Dai Vernon (June 11, 1894 – August 21, 1992) – born David Frederick Wingfield Verner, in Ottawa,Canada, was and still is  known  for his contributions to the world of magic.

Vernon’s interest in magic was passed down to him by his father, whom would once in a while entertain his son with tricks. When old enough, he borrowed magic  books from Ottawa’s Carnegie library and by the age of 7, Vernon was well seasoned in cardistry – so much so, that when he met his idol, Howard Thurston (1869-1936) he easily tricked him with a simple sleight-of-hand card trick.

In 1902, when Vernon was the ripe old age of 8, he purchased a book not suitable for children – “The Expert At The Table”,  a how-to-guide on counting cards, shuffling, how to cheat your opponents and other techniques which would help him sharpen his cardistry skills. “The Expert..” became his Bible and by age 13, he had it memorized to mesmerize throughout the remainder of his life.

It seems Dai had his sites set on Houdini, as he didn’t believe Houdini to be a true magician.  Vernon, an unknown at this time, as he was just a child, calmly handed Houdini a deck of cards and gave his  instructions. After having boasted that he (Houdini) could figure out any magician’s technique after viewing the trick’s performance just 3 times, was eluded by the “Hand of Fate” – 7 times – putting Houdini’s foot in his mouth. You can hear  in Vernon’s voice (in the video “Vernon Fooled Houdini”), that he may not have had all that much respect for Harry. You can also watch the “Hand Of Fate” being performed by Bruce Cervon.

 


Dai Vernon “The Spirit of Magic” is a 46-minute documentary which gives a sneak-peek into the life of Vernon. You’ll also get a small tour of the Magic Castle  he enjoyed entertaining his colleagues in, by sharing his many tricks.

 

Hundreds of his tricks are still performed today.

His trick ‘Cups and Balls’ (video below ca. 1970’s – and at 42:53 of “The Spirit of Magic”) is still performed and is used as a template for most in the industry. Vernon was one of the first to levitate and saw women in half – YIKES! – and what a whiz at 3 Card Monty.

 

 

A favorite story Vernon liked to tell later in life, and which is told by himself in “The Spirit of Magic”  –  Vernon had caught wind about a gent named Allen Kennedy of Wichita, Kansas, who could deal from the center of the deck. Dai and a pal named Miller, packed their suitcases in pursuit of the talented ‘cheat’. The men  tried to track him down in ‘venues’ where men such as Kennedy might turn up – gambling halls, pool parlours… When Dai and Miller had just about enough of walking through bowling alleys and not finding their man who could perform such an incredible feat, they packed up their belongings and started on their way.  Dai noticed a little girl eating an ice cream in front of a store as they were passing through:

“And I said, ‘Do you know a Mr. Kennedy in town?’ and she said, ‘Mr. Kennedy lives in that white house at the top of the hill’ I’m not a Bible student, but I thought – a little child should lead them. I thought – I’ve been looking all around Charlie Miller and I – in banks and filling stations and here is a little child.”

Out of the mouth of babes…

 

We will now leave you with Dai’s trick, “The Cone and Ball”.

 

– altered by Hystoria

 

 

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Houdini in “The Grim Game” Recovered Footage & His Voice on Wax Cylinders

 

“The Grim Game” – a silent film in which Houdini performed a high-flying stunt where two planes collide high above the onlookers below. One plane hurtles down towards the crowd and slams into the street with, of course, the damsel in distress. Many today are still struggling with the idea whether or not the stunt was accidental, or not and if the whole scene was a true act of heroism. It wasn’t. It was movie magic, folks.

 

Houdini’s voice was recorded onto wax cylinders – all were well preserved and are now owned by illusionist, David Copperfield.

 

Recovered, rare footage and photographs of Houdini’s feats – some from high atop bridges with onlookers  also high above, clinging to the sturdy ironwork as Harry successfully executes his escapes and leaps into the icy waters below.

 

Houdini’s straight jacket escape said to have taken place in Boston, MA.

 

Houdini’s very dramatic rope escape complete with sleeping guard.

 

 

– altered by Hystoria

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Our Fancy- Double Or Nothing: Ulf Hannerz

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Ulf Hannerz (June 9, 1942) aged 14

If you’re taking a break from Candy Crush Soda Saga, you’re going to love this! And don’t forget to grab yourself a ‘reading treat’ – Swedish Fish will suffice!

Ulf Hannerz was just 14 years old when he appeared on the very first episode of Sweden’s game show Kvitt eller dubbeltTiotusenkronorsfrågan : Double or Nothing – The 10,000 Kronor Question. The boy’s nickname ‘The Shark’ was appropriate for his debute and his strategic attack. Tropical aquarium fish were the topic of questioning and Ulf reeled it in for the $10,000 Kronos win by challenging the host and the judges when an error occurred on the program.

The judge asked him which of the seven displayed fish had lids. He answered “hundfisk¨” (mudminnow). No, the judge said, it’s “slamkrypare” (mudskipper); he wanted to dismiss young Ulf from the game show. However, Ulf Hannerz was indeed correct and the name slamkrypare (mudskipper) entered the Swedish language as a term for a cocksure, but incorrect, assertion.[5][6][7] – Wikipedia

Ulf Hannez is better known now for his work as an Anthropologist – or at least should be – and most notably so for the new subcategory: Urban Anthropology. Ulf Hannerz quotes a 1960s remark that traditional anthropologists were “a notoriously agoraphobic lot, anti-urban by definition”. We could also go as far to say that the world’s population is also agoraphobic when it comes to globalization. Everyone is afraid to give up their space, worried there will be no jobs left for them and so forth due to migration. Some groups are concerned they will have to give up their culture in favour of another Country’s form of government policies such as Democracy. Those fears are understandable, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Business and trade need to run more efficiently globally – but, you can still hold strong to your beliefs and traditions – just maybe speed up on your human rights.

One important topic that most people are concerned with – poverty.

The needy. Who are they? The people waiting in line at the food bank, who live in ‘dumps’ within the projects or ghettos? Could it be those who have to compete with the Jones’, or Princess  on the phone calling the receptionist at the spa every name in the book because she can’t get an appointment for TODAY! or for THIS WEEK! for that mani and pedicure because the spa is booked up solid? Maybe Prince, because he didn’t make the football team and has had a tantrum because he can’t cope with rejection? Who knows?

 

Maybe Ulf Hannerz might have answers for you.

For those who have a good ear for Swede

 

 

– altered by Hystoria

 

 

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Leo Fender’s Storks

August 10, 19o9 – Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender (August 10, 1909 – March 21, 1991), the founder of the famous guitar company – Fender Electric Manufacturing Co., graces the world with his presence.

Leo Fender is famous for sending out the storks to drop guitars and amps safely onto your porches and front lawns. OK. We know Leo didn’t actually do this – but, it all had to begin somewhere. Where was Leo born and how and where did he get his start building his marvelous instruments and amps? Did he invent the first electric guitar? Let’s begin answering these questions.

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Leo Fender – the man who started it all. Leonidas: Greek warrior King of Sparta!

 

He was born in sunny Anaheim, California and became interested in electronics at a young age. He lived on the small family farm where, at the age of 14, he worked on electronics in the small repair shop. Leo did not invent the first electric guitar there, nor anywhere else. He did, however, create the first successful company designing and building guitars, the bass and amplifiers.

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Leo’s shop

In 1938, he opened his own shop – Fender’s Repair Service, offering the obvious – repairs to musical instruments, custom PA systems and electric guitars. Fender decided to ditch accounting and returned to his first true love – electronics. He borrowed $600 to start Fender Radio Service in Fullerton. It wasn’t long before he was flogging and renting out his PA systems, amplification equipment for acoustic guitars and  the “Hawaiian Lap”, which was to become popular in Country music – all which he masterfully created himself.

 

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Fender Hawaiian Lap

 

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Grestsch Broadkaster drum

Leo’s most popular creation was the Fender Precision bass. Second on that list was the Fender Broadcaster – next the Telecaster. The Telecaster is still being happily produced today, while the Broadcaster Why? There had already been a product on the market called the Grestsch Broadkaster drum.

 

If you’re curious as to the similarities between a Broadcaster and the Telecaster, it’s all in the electronics. Note that in Fig 1. (below) that the tone potentiometer (pot) is labeled tone. Then, look at the diagram of Fig 2. (below this image) – that pot is labeled blend, and not tone. This would then blend the two pickups together in the second position of the switch.

(Fig 1.)

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(Fig 2.)

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Now, less techie mumbo-jumbo and more fun stuff.

Some famous musicians who mastered the Fender and its accessories – – Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, David Gilmour, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, Buddy Holly, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Dick Dale and many more.

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Jimi Hendrix relaxing with a dart while strumming his Strat

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Rick Nelson on a customized acoustic guitar with a  Fender neck with James Burton on a Tele

Buddy Guy kissing his Strat

Fender’s guitars are unique for their clean and bright tone. They were simple, solid and durable – just a carved slab of wood for a body and a bolt-on neck – they were and still are monsters (hope you caught the Frankenstein reference!) made to take abuse from their players.

Fender sold his company to CBS in 1965. Sadly, we lost Leo Fender in 1991, before never having learned to play guitar himself.

This article created by a Grade 8 Graduate, amateur musician and future Luthier.

– altered by Hystoria

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John Thompson’s Modern Course For the Piano 1936 – Pg.s 1 – 13

 

John Sylvanus Thompson (1889 Williamstown, Pennsylvania – 1963 Tucson, Arizona), was an American pianist, with a mysterious existence with very little to none of a biography left to tell his story. The pages provided to you, by Hystoria, proves that Mr. Thompson was indeed a different type of fellow.

Please do pay attention to song #6 on page #12 “The Scissors Grinder” – Accidentals: Always Be Careful to observe accidentals.

John Sylvanus Thompson

Dibble, Cameron Shawn. John Sylvanus Thompson: Pianist, Pedagogue, Composer. D.M.A. paper, Kansas, MO.: University of Missouri, 1992, 261 p. UM 9224624. To the knowledge of the author, there are no biographies of John Thompson in existence, except the short background sketches given, for example, in the 1927 Duo-Art Catalog, published by the Aeolian Company, and the profiles of Thompson printed in his published music. – The Pianist’s Bookshelf: A Practical Guide to Books, Videos, and Other Resources

 

 

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John Thompson’s Modern Course For The Piano cover – ca. 1936.

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– altered by Hystoria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Granny’s Cook Book -Featuring Allspice

From Great Granny’s 1947 copy of “The American Woman’s Cook Book”, Hystoria brings you 3 pudding recipes – one featuring Allspice – yum!

A little history first, from The Epicentre – only because Great Granny would have loved their take – it’s the best! To get you started:

 

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Angielskie Ziele (French) – photo by Hystoria

“Allspice was used by the Mayans as an embalming agent and by other South American Indians to flavour chocolate.

The name ‘Jamaica’ comes from Xamayca, meaning ‘land of wood and water’ in the language of the Arawaks.

These natives used allspice to help cure and preserve meats, sometimes animals, sometimes their enemies. The allspice cured meat was known in Arawak as boucan and so later Europeans who cured meat this way came to be known as boucaniers, which ultimately became ‘buccaneers’.”

 

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– altered by Hystoria

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