Historical Insights: Peculiar Facts From ‘Prior To’ Our Time – Part 2

To read the part 1 of this series, click here.

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26WWII Rubber Boot Testing

WWII Rubber Boot Testing

During WWII, the German footwear company Continental used to test their rubber boot soles by using concentration camp prisoners who would march 30-40 km per day. The SS executed those who slowed down or fell.

27. US presidents used to give out special presidential packs of cigarettes to guests boarding Air Force One. They were later changed to packs of presidential M&M's over health concerns.

28. Southern sweet tea was originally used to show wealth, as tea, ice, and sugar were all very expensive at the time.

29. Dunkin' Donuts' donuts used to have a handle on them to dunk the donuts.

30. Spanish noblewomen used to eat clay pots. The habit caused a paler complexion (due to anemia), which was considered attractive. It also served as a contraceptive since the negative health effects caused a delay in menstrual cycles, leading to death in some cases.

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317-Up's Lithium Citrate Content

7-Up's Lithium Citrate Content

7-Up used to contain lithium citrate, a known mood stabilizer that is still used today to treat bipolar disorder and mania.

32. Royal women used to give birth in front of an audience to prove that the child was indeed the fruit of the royal woman's womb.

33. Before the Internet, chess players used to play each other all over the world by taking turns mailing a postcard to each other describing the move they had made.

34. Before 1954, stop signs used to be yellow with black lettering because there was no red dye that would not fade over time. However, by 1954, sign makers began using fade-resistant porcelain enamel, and it was declared that stop signs would be red with white lettering.

35. The USPS used to burn letters sent to "Santa." Now, nonprofit organizations respond to children's letters on behalf of Santa.

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36Giraffes: Once Camelopards

Giraffes: Once Camelopards

Giraffes used to be called "camelopards" because medieval Europeans believed them to be mythical hybrid creatures born from the union of a leopard and a camel. As such, giraffes are still called "camelopards" in European heraldry.

37. There used to be a government agency in the United States whose only responsibility was tasting imported tea.

38. A color named Tyrian purple used to be worth its weight in gold, as it took 250,000 snails to make one ounce of this dye.

39. France used to be on the same time zone as Britain, but during the German occupation of France, its time zone was changed to Central European Time, and it has since remained unchanged.

40. The eye sockets of the Moai statues on Easter Island used to have eyes made of coral.

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41Apron vs. Napron Evolution

Apron vs. Napron Evolution

The word 'apron' used to be 'napron,' but people so frequently misheard 'a napron' as 'an apron' that it changed.

42. The "nut" in "Honey Nut Cheerios" used to be ground almonds in the recipe, but it is now made from natural almond flavoring, typically manufactured not from almonds but from peach pits.

43. Plane hijackings used to be common in the US among Cuban-Americans wanting to return to Cuba. In a 7-year span from 1968 to 1974, 130 planes were hijacked.

44. There used to be 4 billion American chestnut trees in the USA, but they all disappeared because of a fungus that killed them as saplings.

45. In the 1950s, there used to be a bus route from London in England to Calcutta in India. It took about 50 days for the bus to reach Calcutta from London.

46Hotmail's HTML Connection

Hotmail's HTML Connection

Hotmail used to be written as HoTMaiL because it was designed to include the letters HTML.

47. People used to grind human bones into flour to make 'bone bread.'

48. Town planning was once an Olympic event, as were several other architectural disciplines. The Olympics were to be about the arts as much as sport, and contestants could compete in literature, music, and several other non-sporting pursuits.

49. In 1800s America, popcorn was used as a breakfast food, with it being mixed with milk and a sweetener similar to cereal.

50. It used to be compulsory for figure skaters to slowly trace precise, intricate shapes into the ice to be inspected by judges for scoring-hence the name 'figure skating.'

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