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Online Counter Lock, Stock, and History
Lock, Stock, and History
Fun history Fact
In January, 1987 the televangelist and faith healer Oral Roberts announced that if he didn’t raise $8 million by that March, God would “call him home”.  
By March he had raised over $9.1 million. 

Fun history Fact

In January, 1987 the televangelist and faith healer Oral Roberts announced that if he didn’t raise $8 million by that March, God would “call him home”.  

By March he had raised over $9.1 million. 

Dungeons and Dragons, The Devil’s Board Game,

The granddaddy of all role playing board games, Dungeons and Dragons is perhaps also the most popular and important RPG in gaming history.  Introduced in 1974, D&D quickly became a hit game among youngsters, teens, and college aged gamers.  By 1980 it was the most popular game board game, with an estimated 3 million players and 750,000 copies being sold annually.  

Like all things new, it wasn’t unusual for D&D to earn the suspicion of older generations.  Many people thought the D&D was a corrupting influence on American youth, blaming the game for moral decline and leading to psychological illness.  Then in 1979 the disappearance of a college student named James Dallas Egbert III fanned the flames into a roaring inferno.

Egbert was a student of Michigan State University, and a troubled teen who was being forced by his overly controlling parents into a career he did not want to pursue.  On the night August 15th, 1979 Egbert disappeared after entering a steam tunnel.  A large search was conducted but the boy was never found.  His parents blamed his disappearance on his favorite game; Dungeons and Dragons, claiming that in a fit of D&D induced mania their son had a psychological break from reality and went off on a real life D&D adventure.  The story made national headlines, and faster than the roll of a dice the evils of D&D spread across the country.  As it turned out Egbert had entered the tunnels to commit suicide, but instead ran away to become an oil worker in Louisiana.  He was discovered several months later and forced to resume his education by his parents. He committed suicide a year later.

The truth behind Egbert’s disappearance did little to stem the tide of anti-D&D sentiment, especially when the cause was taken up by the growing Christian Conservative movement.  Soon preachers and televangelists such as Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, Oral Roberts, and Jerry Falwell were railing against the board game at the pulpit.  Fundamentalist Christians accused the game of having satanic influence, encouraging occultism, black magic, and witchcraft.  Christian groups decried the game as an instrument of the devil and a propagator of evil among the nation’s youth, causing murder and suicide. 

Reaction against D&D was far from rational.  Christian Groups often successfully pressured schools and colleges into banning the game. A few successful groups even convinced local government officials to adopt ordinances forbidding the game within their boroughs or towns.  Inspired by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), a woman named Patricia Pulling founded BADD (Bothered By Dungeons & Dragons) with the aim of banning the board game everywhere, and if that couldn’t be done, then suing the game into bankruptcy.  Other groups raised money from donors, bought as many D&D sets with it as possible, and destroyed them in large bonfires.

Dungeons & Dragons was not the only victim, but a host of other 80’s icons such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Care Bears, Transformers, GI Joe, and many others faced similar accusations of satanic influence and evil.  In fact, the whole country was awash in a moral and religious panic over occultism and devil worship.  The subject became the focus of every talk show on TV.  The corporation Proctor & Gamble was accused of being a satanic company due to its centuries old logo, while rumors abounded that it’s president donated much of the company’s profits to The Church of Satan.  Hundreds of childcare workers were imprisoned on the charge of child abuse based on the claim that they had conducted “satanic rituals” on the children.  Many of the kids were toddlers, who were dragged into interrogation rooms and shouted at by detectives until they broke down and admitted to being the victims of weird satanic abuse. BADD head Patricia Pulling made the claim that 8% of the American population were satanists, which at the time amounted to around 20 million people.  When questioned by a reporter where she came up with that number, she claimed that 4% of teens and 4% of adults were satanists, hence 8%.  There was even a ridiculous claim parroted by the media that around 1 million people a year were murdered in occult human sacrifice rituals.  

The war on D&D and the satanic panic ended in the 1990’s when a number of scientific organizations debunked the rumors.  Among them were studies by Centers for Disease Control and the American Association of Suicidology which found that D&D had nothing to do with murder, suicide, or anti-social behavior.  Regardless the stigma is still held by a few.  In 2013, 700 Club leader Rev. Pat Robertson claimed on national TV that D&D, Harry Potter, and other “demonic games” was the source of teen suicide.

Cane with hidden revolver and dagger, Germany circa 1880.

Rare cased pocket knife/pistol by Rodgers and Crooke, late 19th century.

Gun is cocked by pulling knob hammer at rear and fired by depressing trigger lever on top of knife.

Sold at Auction: $10,782.50

Uniquely carved percussion pistol signed “Fr. Senfert in Jena”.  Originated from Germany, mid 19th century.

Uniquely carved percussion pistol signed “Fr. Senfert in Jena”.  Originated from Germany, mid 19th century.

Fun History Fact,
Pope John XXIII (1410 - 1415), originally named Baldassarre Cossa, made a living as a pirate before being elected to the Papacy.  During his reign he organized a “holy order” of “monks” who would extort people for protection money.
John XXIII was later declared an “Anti-Pope”, or an illegitimate Pope.

Fun History Fact,

Pope John XXIII (1410 - 1415), originally named Baldassarre Cossa, made a living as a pirate before being elected to the Papacy.  During his reign he organized a “holy order” of “monks” who would extort people for protection money.

John XXIII was later declared an “Anti-Pope”, or an illegitimate Pope.

The Weirdest Trial in History,
One of the Popes of the 9th century, Pope Formosus’ reign was fraught with war, chaos, and political intrigue.  During his five year reign Formosus made many enemies, among them was his successor, Stephen VI.  Pope Stephen hated Formosus so much, that he would take weird to a whole new level in order to exact revenge on his former enemy.
In January of 897, about seven months after Formosus’ death, Pope Stephen ordered Formosus’ corpse exhumed from its grave and put on trial.  In what would become known as the “Cadaver Synod”, Pope Stephen charged Formosus with a number of crimes including perjury and having ascended the Papacy illegally.  During the trial, Formosus’ rotting corpse was propped up on a throne and clothed in Papal vestments.  Stephen himself acted as prosecutor while a church deacon was appointed to serve as Formosus’ defense attorney.  While judges were appointed from local priests, the synod amounted to nothing more than a show trial in which Stephen maniacally screamed, raved, and hurled insults at the dead corpse.  Formosus’ was declared guilty on all charges.  As punishment, his corpse was stripped of its Papal vestments, three fingers on its right hand were removed (the fingers used to conduct blessings), and all orders issued by Formosus’ were nullified.  Formosus’ corpse was buried in an unmarked paupers grave.  Later it was again disinterred and cast into the Tiber River.  
The Cadaver Synod turned out to be Stephen VI’s undoing, as the people of Rome were too weirded out by his bizarre and insane behavior.  He was quickly deposed and imprisoned, where he was strangled to death during the night.  In the meantime Formosus’ corpse had been recovered from the Tiber and reburied in its proper grave at St. Peters Basilica.  The next Pope, John IX, nullified the Cadaver Synod and issued a Papal decree banning the trial of a dead person.

The Weirdest Trial in History,

One of the Popes of the 9th century, Pope Formosus’ reign was fraught with war, chaos, and political intrigue.  During his five year reign Formosus made many enemies, among them was his successor, Stephen VI.  Pope Stephen hated Formosus so much, that he would take weird to a whole new level in order to exact revenge on his former enemy.

In January of 897, about seven months after Formosus’ death, Pope Stephen ordered Formosus’ corpse exhumed from its grave and put on trial.  In what would become known as the “Cadaver Synod”, Pope Stephen charged Formosus with a number of crimes including perjury and having ascended the Papacy illegally.  During the trial, Formosus’ rotting corpse was propped up on a throne and clothed in Papal vestments.  Stephen himself acted as prosecutor while a church deacon was appointed to serve as Formosus’ defense attorney.  While judges were appointed from local priests, the synod amounted to nothing more than a show trial in which Stephen maniacally screamed, raved, and hurled insults at the dead corpse.  Formosus’ was declared guilty on all charges.  As punishment, his corpse was stripped of its Papal vestments, three fingers on its right hand were removed (the fingers used to conduct blessings), and all orders issued by Formosus’ were nullified.  Formosus’ corpse was buried in an unmarked paupers grave.  Later it was again disinterred and cast into the Tiber River.  

The Cadaver Synod turned out to be Stephen VI’s undoing, as the people of Rome were too weirded out by his bizarre and insane behavior.  He was quickly deposed and imprisoned, where he was strangled to death during the night.  In the meantime Formosus’ corpse had been recovered from the Tiber and reburied in its proper grave at St. Peters Basilica.  The next Pope, John IX, nullified the Cadaver Synod and issued a Papal decree banning the trial of a dead person.

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How to cure female hysteria in the 19th Century,

Female hysteria was a disease recognized as a legitimate illness by physicians from ancient times up to the early 20th century.  Female hysteria was characterized by faintness, nervousness, sexual desire, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in the abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”.  In essence, female hysteria was a catchall term for a number of disorders.  In fact, one physician wrote a 75 page paper on the possible symptoms of female hysteria.  Some were legitimate, such as what we would now recognize as schizophrenia, manic depression, or other mental disorders.  Others were merely the result of societal norms which expected women to be submissive housewives and babymakers.

The height of female hysteria occurred during the 19th century.  Before the 19th century there was little doctors could do about female hysteria. Often women with severe cases spent their lives in mental asylums, the hell holes of 18th, 19th, and early 20th century societies.  However, in the later half of the 19th century physicians began to take a scientific look at female hysteria.  In an age that produced the likes of Sigmund Freud, its not unusual that 19th century physicians would come up with some truly bizarre ideas.

The mainstream theory at the time was that the womb contained a “female semen”, which intermixed with male semen during sexual intercourse allowing the fertilization of the egg.  It was also believed that female semen could become poisonous if a woman didn’t experience intercourse of climax often enough.  To regulate the female semen levels of women, 19th century physicians developed ways to induce “hysterical paroxysm” (orgasm) among women afflicted with the disease.  At first physicians, with the assistance of a midwife, would simply use  bare hands to administer a “pelvic massage” on a woman’s nether regions.  Then the rise of technology led to new treatments.  One was used high pressure water hoses to perform the massage.  Eventually, industrialization led to the invention of mechanical and electrical vibrators.

The decline of female hysteria came in the 20th century, when modern medicine and science discovered somewhat more rational reasons for disease.  Over time the diagnosis of female hysteria would gain a reputation as a BS diagnosis from an ignorant past.  The use of pelvic massage was seen as a gross, degrading, and offensive treatment. Considering it was sometimes done on mentally ill patients against their will, today it would be considered sexual assault.  However, the early 20th century would see a new cure-all for mental illness which was even more horrifying; the lobotomy.

Scarce “Little All Right Firearms Company” .22 caliber palm pistol.
Estimated Value: $1,400 - $2,250

Scarce “Little All Right Firearms Company” .22 caliber palm pistol.

Estimated Value: $1,400 - $2,250

Rare cased and engraved Jarre ten shot percussion harmonica pistol, made in Paris, mid 19th century.

Sold at Auction:   10,000

A rare bone and pearl decorated flintlock axe pistol originating from Silesia, circa 1670.

A map of Africa by Sebastian Munster circa 1554. 
Among the oddities of this map;
Modern day Somalia is labeled as “The Kingdom of Ceylon” (Sri Lanka).
A part of Libya is in West Africa.
Ethiopia is located in Central Africa.
There is a dense forest shown in the Sahara Desert.
The fabled city of Hamarich, capital city of the Kingdom of Prester John is located in Sudan or Darfur.  According to Christian European legend, Prester John was the king or emperor of a mighty Christian realm located either in Africa or Asia.  The belief in Prester John’s kingdom persisted up to the 17th century, when it was proven to have never existed.  
A cyclops is clearly shown sitting on the border between modern day Nigeria and Cameroon.  Appearently Europeans believed a tribe of one eyed people called the “Moniculi” live there.

A map of Africa by Sebastian Munster circa 1554. 

Among the oddities of this map;

  • Modern day Somalia is labeled as “The Kingdom of Ceylon” (Sri Lanka).
  • A part of Libya is in West Africa.
  • Ethiopia is located in Central Africa.
  • There is a dense forest shown in the Sahara Desert.
  • The fabled city of Hamarich, capital city of the Kingdom of Prester John is located in Sudan or Darfur.  According to Christian European legend, Prester John was the king or emperor of a mighty Christian realm located either in Africa or Asia.  The belief in Prester John’s kingdom persisted up to the 17th century, when it was proven to have never existed.  
  • A cyclops is clearly shown sitting on the border between modern day Nigeria and Cameroon.  Appearently Europeans believed a tribe of one eyed people called the “Moniculi” live there.

A rare Jarre style harmonica pistol produced by S. Osborne Company in the US.  Mid 19th century.

Miniature flintlock duckfoot pistol, 19th century.

Miniature flintlock duckfoot pistol, 19th century.