How did they do it? Some smartypants realized that while they had no telephone wire, they had plenty of barbed wire to go around — around their fields, to be specific. Turns out, all metal wire is pretty much the same for these purposes, and the stuff used to keep people at a distance could also keep them connected. To join these networks, all you had to do was buy a phone from Sears Roebuck and clip it to your fence, as long as you didn’t mind having all your cows listening in on your conversations.
The Daily Herald“Unlimited texting if you add a mailbox.”
The one major difference between the official networks and their barbed wire counterparts was that these pirate networks had no switchboard, so all the phones used the same line. So when these rural communities got connected, they did so with nothing but a prickling conscience to stop someone from listening in on a neighbor’s calls. Ironic, really, given that barbed wire tends to be used to get rid of snoopers, not make it easier for them.
Paris Unclogged Its Sewers With Giant Balls Of Iron
Have you told your toilet how much you love it today? You should. Toilets are still the pinnacle of human achievement, a vast network of pipes and porcelain keeping homes shit-free. But even these miracles are not without flaws. Whenever a toilet gets clogged, we curse our diet, grit our teeth, and grab a plunger. But what happens when sewers get backed up? Did old-timey people even have plungers big enough to defeat such barricades of poop?
Atlas ObscuraLike many problems of the past, what they lacked in technology, they compensated for with sheer balls.
In the 1850s, the good people of Paris started cleaning their sewers using a method that can only be described as “epic.” You see, they got these enormous iron balls, 10-15 feet in diameter, and then applied velocity. The balls were lifted and sent hurtling through sewer pipes like bowling balls of the gods, clearing any blockages with speed and ferocity. Called boules de curage or “balls of courage,” these poop torpedoes can today be seen in person at the Paris Sewer Museum, which we assume has a less-than-successful gift shop.
FilipAlso, its probably the only museum where tourists dont need to be reminded not to touch anything.
Though the sewers have been modernized in the intervening years, the balls are occasionally taken out of retirement and sent down the chute for a crap roundup. After all, what sanitation worker wouldn’t jump on the opportunity to play pinball with an entire city?
Tell your toilet how much you really love it with hearts on the toilet paper. Everyone will think it’s adorable and not weird at all.
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