How did fameballs get famous in 18th-century Britain? They died! Now that we have the Internet, you don't have to wait for your own death to get written up in the papers—you can publish all your career-killing overshares yourself. But back then, "research by the University of Warwick shows [that] death gave birth to the modern cult of celebrity, as the sudden rise in the popularity of obituaries of unusual people in the 1700s provided people with the... equivalent of a celebrity gossip magazine," says Eureka Alert. It was often the eccentrics "from all walks of life" that people loved to read about, such as a man who would "hire himself out to impersonate a doctor and tell fortunes in a fur cap, a large white beard and a worn damask night gown." Hm, what sort of eccentrics would we write about today in those obits? Perhaps a girl from the Midwest who came to the big city, and whose quest for any sort of fame involved buying 180 candy bars, removing the wrappers, and stitching them together to make an eye-catching outfit:

[via Nonsociety]