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April Fool's Day, 1953

←1952      1954→

Rare Ostrich Discovered in Australian Zoo (1953) "Australian scientists reportedly are puzzled by a strange species of ostrich, left, discovered in the Melbourne zoo. It has a beautiful neck, shapely legs, and feet resembling high-heeled shoes. April Fool! Under the plumage is Renita Kramer, a novelty dancer." [International Photo]
Make Your Own Vacuum Tube Kit (1953) Radio-Electronics magazine ran an article, credited to Prof. Adolph Glockenspiel, describing a new do-it-yourself kit that allowed "any intelligent service technician with a minimum amount of experience" to make his own vacuum tubes, for little more than two cents per tube. The secret to the kit was the discovery of a new gas, Celosine, which made vacuum pumps unnecessary — these being hitherto the "almost insuperable obstacle to tube-making on a small scale." This newly discovered gas came in a solid form. When placed inside a tube, the celosine exploded as soon as the filament was heated, consuming all the gases in the tube and creating a very high vacuum.
Workers Fake Strike (1953) "MISHAWAKA, April 1 — President W.R. Nace couldn't understand why his 15 dayshift employees walked off their jobs at the Precision Piece Parts, Inc., today.
"I've never had any labor trouble," he moaned. "Nothing like this ever happened to me before." The men were picketing the plant and carrying banners. Ten minutes later a picket poked his head in the door and grinned at Nace. "April fool!" the picket said. Then he and the others returned to work."


Context: in April 1953, thousands of AFL and CIO union members really were staging strikes. The biggest walkout occurred at a U.S. Rubber Co. plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, where some 4200 workers left the job after a breakdown in wage negotiations.