Curiosities (December 1901)

 The last set of Curiosities of Volume 22. I like ‘Whatever Is This?’ and wonder just how they managed to get hold of all the stamps needed to make the snake. Vertical strawberry planters are quite common, although normally not made out of wood barrels these days.



WHERE SHERLOCK HOLMES DIED.

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“I am sending you herewith a photo. of the Lower Reichenbach Falls, Switzerland, which I took about three years ago. It was taken not long after the time when Dr. Conan Doyle, in the series of detective tales which appeared in The Strand, ended the life of his hero, Sherlock Holmes, at the famous Reichenbach Falls, and the place shown in the photo. is that which many of the guides at Meiringen were then pointing out to visitors as ‘the identical spot where the body of your great English detective, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, was found.’ Sherlock Holmes, having once more come to life, I thought your readers might be interested in seeing a photo, of the place where his body is stated to have been recovered.”–Mr. Herbert J. Mason, Carlton House, George Road, Edgbaston.

AN EXTRAORDINARY SHADOW.

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“The photo. of an extraordinary shadow, which I send you, was taken in Kingsham Garden, Chichester. It has curiously enough taken the distinct form of a horse’s head with the reins most distinctly shown.”–Master R. Habin, Chichester.

A MUSICAL JOKE

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“I send you one of Sir John Stainer’s musical jokes, two hymns in one–in B flat or G major, according to the manner in which it is read, upside up or upside down. It was written as an autograph for a friend of his son’s.”–Miss Warmington, 146, Burnt Ash Hill, Lee, S.E.

A VERTICAL STRAWBERRY-BED.

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“I send you a couple of photographs of my somewhat novel strawberry-bed. I took an old barrel and made a number of holes into it, as seen in the first photograph. I then filled the barrel with suitable ground and planted the young strawberry plants through the holes. The first photograph shows the first stage of the strawberry-bed soon after planting. The second photo. was taken later. The barrel is covered with foliage, flower and fruit being found among the leaves in great profusion.”–Frau Behrend, Arnau, East Prussia.

AN ANCHOR IN MID-AIR.

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“The photo. represents an anchor dropping from a height of 12ft. on to a 2in. iron slab placed on a bed of concrete, 6ft. thick, so as to fulfil the drop test to meet the requirements of Lloyd’s Register of British and Foreign Shipping before being accepted as fit for use on board of merchant ships. The anchor is made of cast steel, weighing over 1 1/4 tons, and was manufactured by Messrs. W. Shaw and Co., Wellington Foundry, Middlesbrough, and is one of Messrs. Tyzack and Co.’s Patent Bulldog Stockless Anchors.”–An anonymous contributor.

AN APPLE TREE WORTH HAVING.

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“Inclosed is a photo. which may prove of interest to your readers. It is of a bunch of five fine apples growing on the stock of a tree about 2ft. from the ground and 5ft. or 6ft. from the branches. According to gardeners in the neighbourhood this is quite unique. The genuineness of the fact can be vouched for (if necessary) by the gentleman in whose garden the incident occurred and by his gardener.”–Mr. P. R. Palmer, Hartley Whitney, Winchfield.

A CAMERA THAT “TELLS STORIES.”

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“Perhaps you might find space under the head of ‘Curiosities’ in your Magazine for the inclosed photograph. You will see that a man appears to be rowing a boat up a mountain side. It was taken by me in North Wales at Lal-y-llyn Lake, and, of course, what appears to be a mountain is in reality the lake; the result, I suppose, of two exposures by mistake on one film, or it may have been reflection.”–Lieut.-Colonel M. O. Stanley, 63, Gloucester Terrace, Hyde Park, W.

A WIDE-AWAKE BANK MANAGER.

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“‘Westerners,’ as residents of the State of Nebraska are known along the Atlantic Coast, although Nebraska is almost the geographical centre of the United States, are reputed to be ‘hustlers,’ and the accompanying photograph bears testimony to that reputation. It shows ‘The Bank of Callaway’ the day after a fire had destroyed all of the bank building but the vault. With characteristic enterprise Mr. H. H. Andrews, the cashier of the bank, placed a chair and a table in the vault, opened the door, and, by painting the title of the bank on the exterior of the vault, announced that he was ready for business. This photograph he sent to a friend, who is vice-president of one of the largest banks in Boston, and on the back of it he wrote: ‘Still in the ring, though decidedly disfigured.'”–Mr. Thomas J. Feeney, Boston Herald, Boston, Mass.

THIS MARE SITS DOWN WHEN TIRED.

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“Mr. P. J. Turnbull, a Cleveland (Ohio) plumber, is the owner of a horse which has developed a peculiarity unusual to the equine race. The animal, a young grey mare, when broken to harness displayed a balky spirit, and when overtaken by a fit of sulks immediately sits upon her haunches like a dog. Neither persuasion nor punishment has the slightest effect until the fit passes. The accompanying photograph was secured while the mare was taking a half-hour’s rest on one of the West Side streets. The animal always attracts curious crowds when taking her peculiar rests.”–Mr. Clifford Quigley, 413, American Trust Building, Cleveland, O.

WHAT EVER IS THIS?

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“I send a photo., which I hope you will insert in The Strand. It was taken at the seaside during the holidays, and just as the snap-shot was taken the dog got behind the baby. When the photo. was developed it took some time to make out what the awful creature sitting beside the baby was. The dog’s head is near the ground, and its tail forms the monster’s head, but we cannot account at all for the face. The dog’s ear makes the animal’s tail.”–Mr. T. S. Dixon, 12, Brambledown, Crouch Hill, N.

A WHITE SPARROW.

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“I am sending you a photo. of a white sparrow, which my father caught in the garden last July. He kept it in a cage for about a month, and then it died, so he had it stuffed. The taxidermist said he had never seen one before, and I have never heard of one before. I wonder if any of your readers have ever heard of a white sparrow. I hope you will think it worthy of your ‘Curiosity’ page.”–Mr. W. R. Gaskell, “Roseleigh,” Woolton.

THE POST-OFFICE AND OURSELVES.

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As our readers will readily assume, Messrs. Geo. Newnes, Ltd., are on remarkably good terms with the postal authorities. It is no small compliment to the perspicacity of that hard-worked and much-abused body that the envelope, of which the direction is formed by a photograph of part of our offices, was delivered within a few hours of posting at St. Neots, Hunts. We sincerely hope, by the way, that the publication of this photograph will not throw too great a strain upon the experts who deal with this phase of the country’s correspondence by inducing those of our subscribers who are photographically inclined to go and do likewise.

WORTHY SONS OF A SPORTSMAN.

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“The clever feat illustrated by the accompanying photograph is one performed by the plucky sons of Mr. Winans, the celebrated revolver-shot. The boys ride down the steps on their bicycles at the rate of ten miles an hour, turning the corners without any trouble!”–Mr. Hugh Penfold, 100, High Street, Ashford.

“ONLY HALF AN ACCIDENT.”

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“Here is a rather peculiar photograph. While bending over a drawing on which I was engaged I chanced to move my arm, and feeling my elbow coming in contact with something I looked round, expecting to find that a bottle of Chinese ink had been overturned. I was surprised, however, to see it standing in the position shown, exactly balanced on its edge, in which position it remained long enough for me to get a snapshot of it, a camera fortunately being ready to hand. After replacing it in its correct position it was only with the greatest difficulty that it was again restored to the critical position on its edge, so it was a most curious occurrence that it should have been accidentally knocked into it, the bottle being half full at the time.”–Mr. C. Stirling, 26, Palace Street, S.W.

A JUBILEE STAMP-SNAKE.

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“This remarkable snake is made entirely of penny English stamps, no halfpenny ones. There are 32,500 stamps, not including the head, which is cloth covered with stamps. The snake is 9yds. in length, and took me about nine years to make. It weighs 5 3/4lb.”–Miss Bleare Cranesbie, Elmsley Road, Mossley Hill, Liverpool.

THE RESULT OF A LANDSLIP.

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“This photograph was taken in the Hebrides. The view is the face of a cliff which had a wire railing along the edge to prevent cattle from falling over. One of the iron supports was leaded into a large stone. A landslip occurred, leaving the stone suspended in mid-air.”–Mr. A. N. Dowding, H.M.S. Britannia, Dartmouth.

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