Carrying Legacies: 40 Intriguing Items Held Close by People

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1 Nielsen’s Portable Fart Noisemaker

Nielsen's Portable Fart Noisemaker

Leslie Nielsen used to carry a fart noisemaker with him wherever he went.


2. Marie Curie, who discovered polonium and radium, used to carry them around in her pocket. She even admired the glow of the substances at night, which ultimately led to her death due to prolonged exposure to radiation.


3. Until 2006, Russian cosmonauts used to carry triple-barreled pistols to space stations, including the ISS, as part of their survival kit. The pistols supported rifle bullets, shotgun shells, and flares and were intended for defense against predators after landing.


4. Lord Collingwood, Nelson’s second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar, would carry a pocket full of acorns on walks in the countryside. He planted them along the way to ensure the Navy would never lack oak for building the fighting ships upon which the country’s safety depended.


5. The Dalai Lama carries a high-end Swiss pocket watch, a gift from Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943.


6 Miyamoto’s Object Measuring Hobby

Miyamoto's Object Measuring Hobby

Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Nintendo games like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Zelda, has a hobby of guessing the measurements of objects and then checking if they are correct. He enjoys this hobby so much that he carries a tape measure with him everywhere.


7. Louis Armstrong always wore a Star of David as an homage to a Jewish family that took him in when he was young and gave him his first horn.


8. Christopher Lee was attached to three different special forces units in World War 2, two of which were the SOE and the SAS. While alive, he always carried the SAS ID card with him.


9. Theodore Roosevelt used to carry a vial of morphine with him for years, just in case he needed to take his own life.


10. David Bowie used to travel around in New York carrying a Greek newspaper in the belief that people would assume he was just a Greek man who looked like David Bowie and leave him alone.


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11 Madame Queen’s Razor Incident

Madame Queen's Razor Incident

Madame Queen was a black female gang leader who ran numerous criminal enterprises in Harlem, New York, during the 1920s and 1930s. She once cut off a man’s scrotum with the razor she always carried strapped to her thighs.


12. Frank Sinatra always kept a collection of ten dimes with him. This practice originated from a moment of concern when he feared running out of change while negotiating with his son’s kidnappers. Interestingly, he was laid to rest with these dimes in his pocket.


13. Sir David Attenborough always wears a blue shirt and khaki pants to help with continuity when filming months and sometimes thousands of miles apart.


14. Andrew Jackson carried a locket with a picture of his deceased wife, Rachel Jackson, and propped it up in front of his bed every night. This way, she would be the last thing he saw when falling asleep and the first thing when he woke up.


15. The vine staff that Roman centurions carried is where the term “swagger stick” (a short stick used to demonstrate authority, typically made of rattan) originated. General Patton famously carried one that allegedly concealed a hidden dagger.


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16 Japanese Citizens’ Personal Stamp

Japanese Citizens' Personal Stamp

Japanese citizens carry a personal stamp called a “Hanko” that they use to sign financial and legal documents.


17. Bono always wears sunglasses because his eyes are so sensitive to light that even the flash from a camera can cause swelling.


18. As a part of the “Five Articles of Faith,” Sikhs are required to carry a curved dagger at all times, specifically for the defense of the innocent and those in peril.


19. Babe Ruth always wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep his head cool. In South Korea, this is considered unsporting unless the player has a doctor’s note.


20. Johnny Depp always travels with his Jack Sparrow costume so he can randomly visit children’s hospitals dressed in character.


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21 James Jones’ Royalty Generosity

James Jones' Royalty Generosity

Novelist James Jones would carry around envelopes containing 67ยข-his royalty from each copy of From Here to Eternity sold-to give to any of his friends who had bought the book, as he didn’t want to make money from his friends.


22. American trucking entrepreneur JB Hunt used to carry around a clip of $100 bills and hand them out to people he thought could use them.


23. During World War II, soldiers would carry metal-plated Bibles designed to fit securely into their uniform’s chest pocket, called “Heart Shield Bibles.” As their name implies, the Bibles were designed to stop a bullet from reaching the soldier’s heart.


24. Scottish soldiers in the 14th century would carry a metal plate and a sack of oats on them for portable nutrition, oatcakes being the goal.


25. Coal miners used to carry caged canaries down into the mines as a detector of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide and methane. The canary would show signs of distress and/or die before the gases affected the miners, giving them time to escape.


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