World’s Strangest

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8 Weird and Wonderful Local Festivals

Some years ago, I wrote about 8 Wacky Fall Festivals, which didn’t even scratch the surface of the roster of odd municipal celebrations around the USA. At one time, most of these fairs and festivals were scheduled for harvest season, to show off the bounty and recognize the finest produce and livestock with ribbons. Now, [...]

He Put the “Tupper” in Tupperware

Home parties are everywhere now – Longaberger, Avon, Mary Kay, Silpada, Pampered Chef – and those are just the ones my mom has had in the past year .(I kid. She’ll kill me when she reads this.) But none of those companies would exist today if Earl Tupper hadn’t patterned some polyethylene after a paint [...]

The Guy Who Put the “Tupper” in Tupperware

Home parties are everywhere now – Longaberger, Avon, Mary Kay, Silpada, Pampered Chef – and those are just the ones my mom has had in the past year (I kid. She’ll kill me when she reads this). But none of those companies would exist today if Earl Tupper hadn’t patterned some polyethylene after a paint [...]

Month in Review: September’s Most Popular Stories

If you’re keeping score at home, September was the second-best month we’ve ever had. (The halcyon days of August ‘09 will be tough to top.) Thanks to everyone who has made mental_floss part of your routine, especially the folks who’ve been here for years and have aggressively spread the word about our site and magazine. [...]

15 Companies That Originally Sold Something Else

Some companies find their niche and stick to it. Others, though, have to adapt to changing markets in order to thrive. Here’s a look at some companies that switched industries at some point in their histories, usually for the better. 1. Avon David H. McConnell started Avon in 1886 without really meaning to. McConnell sold books door-to-door, [...]