how not to cure hiccups

Magazine publisher, Thomas Gibson Bowles, was widowed in 1887, and left to raise four young children.

Thomas Gibson Bowles found here

Health, he decided, was the most important thing. Bowles had studied some statistics that suggested that Jewish children were less susceptible to disease than others. From then on his children were fed according to strict Mosiac law. The dressing of girl children seemed to him an unnecessarily complicated matter, so he decided to have his daughters outfitted by the naval tailor who made his sons’ clothes. As a result Sydney and Dorothy Bowles wore only thick blue serge naval uniforms and sailor’s caps until the age of seventeen.

Shirley Temple in sailor suit found here

Cap’en Tommy, as the cartoonists called him, had strict views on the correct way to take a bath. He dismissed the conventional method as merely ‘sitting in dirty water’. Instead, he took steam baths at his London club. When the family went to Scotland on holiday, however, he had to improvise, using some dog kennels in front of the house as a temporary Turkish bath. Bowles would sit steaming inside the first kennel, which had been lined with hot bricks, before emerging into the run where the butler was waiting on the roof of the next kennel to shower him with bucketfuls of cold water. From his position on the roof, the butler could also announce the approach of any strangers whose sensibility might not be equal to the spectacle.

Turkish Steam Bath found here

Henry Ford also had some strange ideas about health

The well known motor manufacturer was obsessed with diet. He campaigned for synthetic milk, insisting that cows were on the verge of obsolescence because they were unhygienic. He maintained that eating sugar was tantamount to committing suicide since its sharp crystals would cut a person’s stomach to shreds.

World’s biggest cow found here

He then took to leaving old razor blades to rust in the water he used to wash his hair because he thought rusty water acted as a hair restorer. And he was such an advocate of soya beans that he once wore a suit and tie made from soya-based products.

Hair Restorer found here

But John “Mad Jack” Mytton probably takes the cake when it comes to strange ideas about health

For exercise he liked to go fox hunting which he would do in any kind of weather. His usual winter gear was a light jacket, thin shoes, linen trousers and silk stockings – but in the thrill of the chase he could strip down and continue on naked. He is also recorded as crouching naked in snow drifts and swimming winter rivers in full spate.

Naked in snow found here

He would get out of bed in the middle of the night, remove his nightshirt and set off completely naked but carrying his favourite gun across the frozen fields towards his lake. Here he would ambush the ducks, fire a few shots and return to bed apparently none the worse for his ordeal. He frequently got up again half an hour later – stripped off and went through the whole process again. His most extraordinary day’s shooting came when he got fed up waiting for the birds to come within range, stripped naked, sat on the ice and slowly shuffled forward on the slippery surface until he was within range. It took over an hour but he never caught a cold or seemed in the least unwell after this or indeed after any of his naked shooting exploits.

image found here

He had a wardrobe consisting of 150 pairs of hunting breeches, 700 pairs of handmade hunting boots, 1000 hats and some 3,000 shirts. He also had numerous pets in his manor. Including some 2,000 dogs comprising fox hounds and other breeds such as gun dogs, pointers and retrievers, his favourites were fed on steak and champagne. Some dogs wore livery, others were costumed.

Dog masquerading as tiger found here

Mytton was also a drinking man and could drink eight bottles of port a day with a helping of brandy. Rather than sit down to a formal dinner every evening he would sustain himself throughout the day with ‘pounds of filberts’ when in season, a type of hazelnut, or dine with his tenant farmers eating full fat bacon and quaffing a quart of ale beside their fire before returning to Halston Hall.

Bacon Beer found here

He married a Baronet’s daughter, in 1818 but she died in 1820. His second wife Caroline Giffard ran away in 1830. His wives bore him children who he would affectionately toss into the air as babies and pelt with oranges.

orange baby monkey found here

During his stay in France he tried to cure his hiccups by setting his shirt on fire. “Damn this hiccup!!” said Mytton “I’ll frighten it away”; so seizing a lighted candle, applied it to the tail of his cotton nightshirt and was instantly enveloped in flames. A fellow guest and Mytton’s servant beat out the flames: “The hiccup is gone, by God!”, said he and reeled, naked, into bed’.

Published in: on March 24, 2011 at 7:15 am  Comments (63)  
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63 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Bacon beer. Umm. Thinking. No thank you.

  2. Beer? Bacon? haha…. when’s the last time either of those things touched your lips?

  3. I knew all along that port is good for the health!
    BTW, a good cure for hiccups is to chew on pickled ginger.

  4. Holding your breath for 30 minutes will cure the hiccups. I am surprised he didn’t just freeze them away.

  5. Are you suggesting that there’s something odd about crouching naked in snowdrifts?

  6. World’s biggest cow? Tee hee! I’ve known a few bigger than that….mainly two-legged ones!

  7. That is a drastic cure for hiccups – only marginally worse than rectal massage as a cure!

    As for Henry Ford he was one vile person

  8. Does money make people crazy? Or does it exacerbate their already existing lunacy?

    For some strange reason, I find the stern adult-like look on Shirley Temple’s face to be a bit off-putting.

  9. Mytton sounds lovely! especially the part about pelting babies with oranges. just out of a crowded airport, full of tired people. where are the tangerines when i need them?

  10. You forgot John Harvey Kellogg (half of the brothers who invented flake cereal)

    From wikipedia:

    Kellogg made sure that the bowel of each and every patient was plied with water, from above and below. His favorite device was an enema machine that could rapidly instill several gallons of water in a series of enemas. Every water enema was followed by a pint of yogurt — half was eaten, the other half was administered by enema, “thus planting the protective germs where they are most needed and may render most effective service.” The yogurt served to replace the intestinal flora of the bowel, creating what Kellogg claimed was a squeaky-clean intestine.[8]

    • So is this why he invented All Bran?

  11. I spent half my childhood in antique bookshops while my parents searched for a copy of what they called “Madcap Mytton”. Finally they found one for a king’s ransom. Now of course it’s worth a fortune. Oh so many memories of my father reading excerpts from that book.

    Thank you

    The King

    • Queenwilly and I expect to be read to from that book in 2012

      • I don’t think you’ll be able to stop the old boy once he gets started!

        I’m rather looking forward to it myself.

        The King

  12. There’s nowt so queer as folk…I shall be pelting The Boy with oranges this evening, but he’s too heavy to toss

  13. I’m almost with him on the bath part… only I’d certainly prefer a nice roof shower to a steam bath.

  14. I wonder if people with tracheotomies get hiccups?

  15. I have several soya bean suits, they are quite comfy, but they do make one hell of a mess of your car seats in the summer. It’s the feckin baked bean shoes I cannae get on with!

    • I know what you mean. Tomato sauce all over the carpet 😦

  16. I’ve always enjoyed a good fox hunt in the buff as well. Sure people would call me crazy, but I’d always respond, “Yea, crazy like a fox!”

    Then they’d just look at me and call the cops.

  17. I think the eight bottles of port a day probably helps explain the ability to run around naked in the snow with no concern. Eight BOTTLES? A DAY? Plus brandy and ale. Crikey.

    • sorry but how could you not DIE?

  18. That Turkish bath looks heavenly. I always think that “Hammam” is the sound you make when lyng back amid the steam and pretty tiles. Hammmmmammmmmmmmm.

  19. Tag Larkin cures a lot of people’s problems by setting their shirts on fire. Hiccups. Dandruff. Constipation.

  20. How can you go wrong with someone named “Mad Jack?” 🙂

  21. … love the dog tiger, when I find a jaguar I shall paint it to look like a cow

  22. I love baths, and my family thinks it’s totally gross to loll about in dirty water. Maybe they have a point. I’m going to look into some nice dog kennels. And a butler.

  23. I’ve always wanted a dog tiger!

    • Always? It’s never occurred to me. Until now.

  24. Holy … cow.

  25. I’ve had the hiccups for a prolonged period before and there’s a certain point where lighting your shirt on fire might just sound feasible.

    • My father once had hiccups for 3 weeks

  26. I love every single sentence in this post! Tommy in the kennel, Ford dancing the tetanus tango with his razors, gorgeous tiger labrador, ass grabbing, baby monkey, crazy naked loonies… thank you!

    • The Labrador was just for you sweetie

  27. for some reason, my mom used to dress me up as a boy when i was young. so my brother and i usually wore the same clothes in different sizes.

    ‘sitting in dirty water’. that makes sense.

  28. Bravo, you’re usual mix of the lascivious and the lovely. You naughty, naughty girl. Oh, if I could only entice you into my parlour and be……….hospitable!

  29. This is such a wondrous post, people really did have some very odd ideas, didn’t they? Personally, I never feel so clean as when I just leave the sauna.

    This whole post makes me wonder if you have seen the movie “The Road to Wellville”, and if you haven’t you MUST!

    • I’ve read the book by T Coraghessan Boyle but not seen the movie. It looks pretty funny in the film clip

  30. Bacon and beer – I’m in.
    Shooting naked… nah.

  31. He is also recorded as crouching naked in snow drifts and swimming winter rivers in full spate.

    Sounds like a typical Canadian to me.

    • Obviously he wasn’t bothered by shrinkage. Is that also a typical Canadian trait?

  32. So is it wrong that that is the sexiest picture of Shirley Temple ever?

    • Yes Malach it is VERY wrong

  33. hunting ducks naked in the ice. What can one say about this?

    did not realize Henry ford was such a freak also.

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