The Museum of Hoaxes
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Baby Yoga, aka Swinging Your Kid Around Your Head
Bizarre pictographs of Emmanuel Domenech, 1860
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Fake Fish Photos
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
What do the lines on Solo cups mean?
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
The Hitler Diary Hoax, 1983
Rare planetary alignment decreases gravity, 1976
The Society for Insulting Women and Frightening Children
The Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1873 includes an article about the mathematician/inventor Charles Babbage. In this article, there's a page-long footnote discussing some hoaxes, and at the end of this footnote, there's a brief reference to the existence of a curious group that called itself the "Society for Insulting Women and Frightening Children":


What is this Society? I haven't been able to find it mentioned anywhere except in this Smithsonian Report. But it sounds like a clandestine group of 19th-century pranksters.

The footnote is signed "J.H.", which I assume stands for Joseph Henry, the Secretary of the Smithsonian at the time. He's a pretty credible source, so I assume he wasn't simply making up this Society.

If anyone has any information about this Society, let me know.
Categories: Pranks
Posted by The Curator on Wed Feb 15, 2012
Comments (2)
Why can't it be a joke unto itself (ie, The Ministry of Silly Walks from Monty Python)?
Posted by stopeatingmysesamecake  on  Wed Feb 15, 2012  at  11:56 AM
I think we should restart the group! I'd love to be part of it! grin
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Mon Feb 20, 2012  at  04:33 AM
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