Harold Acton said of Sir George Sitwell that he was “the strangest old bugger you ever met.” Was this an accurate description, or was Acton being unfair? Read on and judge for yourself.
George Reresby Sitwell, 4th Baronet (1860-1943) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons. His inherited wealth and power only fueled the eccentricities of his youth. Visitors to his home at Renishaw Hall were greeted with a sign, warning, “I must ask anyone entering the house never to contradict me in any way, as it interferes with the functioning of the gastric juices and prevents my sleeping at night.”
Sitwell whiled away the hours by coming up with unusual inventions. One of his more memorable creations was a musical toothbrush. In the realm of culinary arts, he claimed credit for creating the Sitwell Egg, which consisted of a yolk of smoked meat surrounded by white rice. It was served to the delight of no one but himself. The invention that is most linked in the memories of his friends was a tiny pistol used for shooting wasps.
Sitwell’s daughter remarked, “My father’s principal worry was that the world did not understand that it had been created in order to prove his theories.”
Read more amusing stories about eccentric people.
Read about more interesting inventions.