Joseph Oller was an entrepreneur with an incredible head for business. He revolutionized gambling practices as a young man, and also opened the most famous burlesque house of all time -- The Moulin Rouge. Read the show notes here.
Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode of stuff you miss in history class, is brought to you by the completely redesigned twenty twenty Ford explorer. This is not a vehicle is going to take you to the moon or to the bottom of the sea, but it's one that you can use for all kinds of exploration and adventure and your everyday life azure going around town if you're travelling just going over to the grocery store to get everything you need for your kids birthday party once again, that is the all new twenty twenty Ford explore. The greatest operation vehicle of all time. Look into stealthy, missed in history from house upward, stuck, on the one hand, have highly fry and accuracy. Well then,
normally when a person revolutionise is not one but two industries, you think they would become a household main and that's not really the case with today's topic. This isn't exactly a globe trotting tail. He spent most of his life and his two capacities that the person that were primarily talking about but elements of his life story are certainly no in the world over and it is his home areas he's quite well known, and so this is about a man it's gambling. It's about burlesque as well as other forms of entertainment. But you don't need to worry this kid safe unless you do not want them exposed to the concept of bidding on animals which has its own ball of problems, but what it's about sort of above everything else, is entrepreneurial spirit and going to be talking about the entrepreneurial spirit of one may and in particular, whose name was Joseph relay so start at the beginning, Joseph
He was born in Toronto, Spain on February tenth, eighteen, thirty, nine and his father work in the family business, which was textiles, although it apparently did not particularly suit the elderly, whose name was Francois, but when Joseph was born. His father, who was twenty five at the time, had already moved to Paris to work with his cousin in his textile mill. So he didn't want to run this small family businesses, but he was ok with staying in textiles and France, I feel like we should point out, had not abandoned his family to go to Paris. He moved there intending to set up a stable situation so that he could then send for his wife married her eyes and their new baby. Two years after Joseph was born Marie to rise and her toddler. Child made the move to Paris and France Lion, his wife expanded their family with two more children, Alexander and gene, and growing up Joseph worked for his father in Paris. But
eventually, Francois became concerned that his son, who had been born in Spain and with Catalan, had never learn to speak Spanish. So when Joseph was seventeen, he was shipped off to Bilbao, Spain as a sort of immersion plan, although that they speak a very different language in Bilbao than the Catalan would normally speak. So that was a little bit weird, but it ended up being important for him. here, attending cock fights, the Joseph witnessed a number of bedding disputes among the spectators and it's likely that this kind of planted in his young mind that would terminate later yeah, he participated in the bedding from a very early age. He was into gambling and I just feel like we should say is a sidebar. Personally, I will give my own opinion on this cop writings, horrible and terrible, and I dont think of it as a sport, and it is sort of troubling to me that people bet on animals fighting but just have to included as part of the historical record, but after he returned to Paris or labour
Came a fan of horse races in the betting that went on there and the horse racing was really becoming extremely popular in Paris, particularly in the eighteen sixties and on, and he attended races all over the city, because tracks were basically popping up everywhere and he would witness these wagers that were struck between. You know: men of means latest personal waiters between two men, but he really became super interested in the concept of these sort of, like smaller potatoes bet makers like this concept of the betting pool, and in this instance this is where multiple gamblers, with smaller amounts of cash to wager they couldn't make the big bedstead, wealthier men, could would basically purchase random
Tickets and those tickets would be assigned to specific courses, and the holder of the ticket associated with the winning horse would take the pool. So it's kind of a randomized bedding pool in eighteen. Sixty five, he opened a business to take advantage of the popularity of this poor many also had a mobile office, which was a gambling wagon that he would park Saunders Marsh with other mobile offices. Already take bets sort of like a food truck park with gambling instead of sesame rise yeah like not the delicious food, but all of these little mobile gambling trucks would show up and they would all be no be available to take back for these bedding pools and pool gambling was extremely popular
as you can imagine what it was. A little bit problematic. Gambling on games of chance was actually illegal in Paris at this time and lay was concerned that he could be shut down for his enterprise because he sold random ticket assignments. So it was basically a huge game of chance and this whole dilemma led to a complete shift. Way. Sports betting was handled so before we get into how he kind of revolutionized bedding. Let's take a quick ass from a sponsor, ok, so back to Joseph Delay and his gambling methodology, to combat this problem of this previous method of bedding being surely chance, phased lay came up with a bedding system that put the gamblers knowledge to work in this became known as the Perry mutual system. So his new approach to bedding required the gambler to select the horse. They believe.
when an for regular betters dismayed gambling into something of a science, because they would benefit from learning about the resources both in general and in the specific sense of track. Particular animals, animals performance, found sort of self explanatory today, yeah, I'm a mirror so common now to just hear even like friends or lay coworkers discussing leg, a person's batting average and how that's gonna effect the team in their likelihood or when they pick fantasy football like they, everybody has all the stats, and that's really. This was the birth of that idea and that approach to betting on sports delay, and so this new business venture being brand new, you would think would have been a gamble in and of itself, but it was not in the least it paid off immediately and heat. I mean he,
immediately had people ready to place bats, and I think it's also part of this sort of that Human Spirit, where you liked to put your knowledge to work a little bit. So it was very appealing on a different level than just gambling and even started publishing the bulletin. Their cars, which was in fact the first racing form where it would include the stats on horses in any information about them, and he even started offering betting for races that were taking place, not just in France but also in great Britain. So he was kind of expanding the bedding options for people the first year of this off course. Business, was the same year that Paris hosted Napoleon two thirds pet project. The Paris exhibition- and this meant that, in addition to his regular parisian customers, who was getting some international travellers in the mix as well, which contributed to his success and the rapid growth of his business and the waste, was making money off of all of this was that he was taking a commission for taking.
Managing all of these bats. And he was getting five to ten percent of the money So if it was a really big pool, he would only take five percent if it was smaller, he would take ten, but there was so much cash flowing his office, and there were so many races, especially once he had expanded the race offerings into other countries into being able to bet on races and other countries that he amassed a small fortune rather quickly and the late eighteen Steve french authorities really crackdown on gambling, and this could have just put him out of business that his switch away from pull batting had proved to be a really wise move. Yeah Perry, mutual kind of saved him. In the end, the court of Cassettes Young, if I'm proposing that quickly, which is the highest court in France, had was examining. This idea of you know how gambling and bedding should be handled
I was gonna, be legal in what was then, and they did in that indeed decide that pool gambling was illegal in a ruling that was made on June sixth of eighteen. Sixty nine but Perry Mutual was determined to be safe from this judgment, as it was not considered a game of chance because it relied on people's intellect and knowledge. doesn't mean that his enterprise just failed right. Along now outside of the gambling world, Other events unfolding but made Paris are really tumultuous place to live. Yes, during the winter of eighteen. Seventy two eighteen. Seventy one professions which are leading several independent german states that France had been at odds with surrounded Paris and they eventually defeated France. in the Franco Prussian WAR, right on the heels of that debate.
as Napoleon the third government was crumbling and a peace treaty with Germany was being negotiated. The people of Paris rose up against the french government and the events of the resistance known as the Paris commune lasted for March. Eighteenth two may twenty eighth eighteen. Seventy one and those could easily be topics in and of themselves for full podcast, but I decided to give you a quick kind of here's. What was going on and why just lay had in fact gotten out Paris for awhile. He fled the London before the prussian invasion, even happened, but once the political turmoil of the winter of eighteen, seventy in the first half of eighteen, seventy one had died down. He returned to Paris, and he pickers business right back up where he had left off, and it was immediately successful again. So after he came back to France
modernized, his bookmaking business, five printing out tickets mechanically, and this proved to be another boost to sales. Further, this point has growth became a detriment: his five billion francs a year business and ATO printed for now viewed as illegal gambling by the french government, the essence he was autumn. Equally generating suddenly tickets. I think my understanding is that it then kind of got a little fuzzy or in terms of this isn't always a scientific process like people aren't always relying on their research and lay Try to negotiate a deal with the authorities where the government would take control of Perry mutual bedding, but this and fell on deaf ears. They were not willing, are ready to create a whole new sort of government office to handle that and he ended up going to trial in eighteen. Seventy five for his illegal business and this trial did not.
Oh well harm you to our gambling joined betting poles as an illegal enterprise and who lay was sent to jail time of eighteen days. His whole betting business was shut down, so after lay, had gone to jail and served his time, which apparently was very of setting for him. As you can imagine, he really felt like that was a mark of failure to some degree. He went back to his life, but he he really wasn't me by that incidents. He did continue to have a hand in the racing and gambling world, even after his imprisonment the legal areas of it, but he primarily on the other money making enterprises he apparently
he had been in London that brief time during the political tumult in Paris, he had been introduced to the theatre and the idea of entertainment in that arena, and so he turned his betting office that he had had into a cafe in a theater, and this actually kicked off a series of ventures in entertainment that he established, one of which was called le Nouveau Cirque, which actually featured Circa, shows during the winter liking cooler months. It was an indoor circus and then, in warmer months it transition and became a in swimming centre. So it's kind of a multi use facility, but his most famous entertainment endeavour was the creation of a venue that still entertaining crowds today so to set the scene. Eighteen. Eighty nine Paris was deep in the belly epoch during which France was full of optimism. There was so much in the areas of art and science. And at this point the middle class began to end
a sort of the leisure activities that had once been reserved exclusively for the wealthy and, as a consequence, the entertainment industry really boomed how to raise became an ever more popular form of entertainment, and they were popping up all over. The city list New are and lay for labour. There we're just two of establishments that were attracting crowds and making money. You're here really switched his sort of focus as another. were over the entertainment at exactly the right time As this entertainment industry glue, he had become. You know, pretty experience in opening and running these sorts of venues, and he decided that again in eighty nine that he was going to partner with a man named Charles did, and he was a show and who would be able to run the data they operations of a dance hall and sort of bridge the gap between the the business side of it and the artists, and
name sounds familiar by the way Jim Broadbent Character heralds Hitler in Basel Chairman's MILAN Rouge is based at least partly on him, Although there are some historians say there really heralds. Hitler is a combo of lay and Charles Hitler, the two of them bought this dilapidated dance hall called the White Queen and it was a mess with a crumbling facade. They renovated building they put a huge windmill on top and painted it read, and this of course became a Paris icon. Yet it was an extremely ambitious plan for a really crappy look and building it would be like we're. Gonna make a fabulous palace out of this old shack, but it will and although there were alike, for innovations kind of constantly going on in Lyons Hitler really kind of for the stars and all of their planning. They work done everything on time, but delay was pretty adamant that they sticks. schedule. So, even though there were still sort of Transition Rennie,
she's going on and things were not complete. They open the doors as scheduled on October sixth of eighteen. Eighty nine promptly at eight p m The new law rules through crowds right out of the gate, but and the dollar one contempt to simply coexist with the other dance halls. They wanted to outdo them all. So they started a hiring the top acts away from other venues, including Louise, whoever better known as like Hulu or the glutton, because of her endless thirst for alcohol, whether what outrageous in every way and during the belly poke that was a huge draw and then they also by the mammoth wooden elephant from the nineteen hundred world fair and they moved into the garden which surrounded their dance hall and they built a stage inside the elephant that offered semi private shows for men. Only so is a little bit more adult in their. So all of these famous icons that we assist
with Paris, particularly the new Irish, were really the ideas of Charles Taylor and just lay history of the MILAN route is Paul. Stories and scandal and drama which could become podcast. Our. Own. But the important thing for the scope of this episode is to know that you later with a great deal of time, money and energy into making it spectacular and his eyes. He was making a theatre of the I order, even if the acts or often pretty wanchee he'd likely never could have its anticipated. The historical of them. We laundries, but he was always aiming as high as he could with it sort of a man who created success so now We had a revolutionise bedding, but he really kind of raised the boy in the entertainment industry and made it about like always plus in it, and you know never to be content, you could
always be building more. You could always be bringing in more audience. You could always make the crowd more astounded, so those sorts of concepts really were kind of born with him, which I think is fabulous it is worth noting that, while lay had been focusing on entertainment from the eighteen seventys on, I mentioned earlier that he did still have a hand in the legal aspects of bedding, although to a much lesser degree. But France did. fully implements a version of lays Perry, mutual betting system as sort of a gun an operation- and this was in eighteen. Eighty seven any lay did get a piece of the action. The government involved him and he worked with government agency that was set up to run the systems that he kind of advised and manage the mask
Of it and he also patented a machine that could issue and keep track of the sales of tickets and financially actually hear the word parent mutual used to refer to machines that generate tickets. Embedding establishments in October, nineteen nineteen Carmen Callow, who is lays wife, since eighteen sixty nine died and he moved out of their home next to the Tsar down the Perry which encircled the MILAN ruse and into an apartment and he live. There are the rest of his life, although he travelled to coaches you're in the winter months each year and lay died on April nineteenth of nineteen twenty two and his grey in parallel, as who several other topics, people that have been topics- supermarkets that we talked about are also very there and his grave bears the inscription song Intelligence Adela, some care, which translates to his intelligence, equal.
Heart. That's interesting to me, because that's one of those people that again, I think most french citizens would know about him, and perhaps spanish as well, since he was really from Spain, but we never hear about him here. Certainly, and I would bet Alan found so many shipwrecks which artemus nurse love that we started to make jokes about it like we were like, and this is a shipwreck that wasn't found by that vessel. I ever pronounce friends were definite progress. That is not an aim I was familiar with at all before doing this episode now and you'll see see like people pop up questions on the intern, about whether or not heralds if there was based on a real person or whoever was a real person, and sometimes those will mention like the answers to those will be like no. There was a man named Charles had learned that he sort of based on, but they dont always mentioned, who lay, even though she was really sort of the mastermind behind a lot of it. So I thought it was time he get
a moment in the sun and, like I said I would love to do a whole on Pakistan. Will irish history, because that is a rich and deep pool so one day, In the meantime, I have listener. Mayo bring one of my favorite kinds of listener. Male list, a real about clothes from our listener lorry. Until his dear Tracy Unhappy, she thinks is further Marchesa. She says I currently live in Hong Kong rating. english and French, two small kids and my brain is semi melted by both my audience and the temperature. I have an hour can you up and down, and your podcast keeps me alert and inform. So thank you. We are happy to do that for you lorry. She says I've been meaning to write for a long time, but you Santa Rosa tat made me realize I had no excuse not to any more I trained as a museum conservative and a couple of years ago, I had the chance to work in a dress that I'm sure you would be interested in. She is absolutely correct by the way she
I'm safe from what we know it was originally. In early eighteenth century french court dress in blue silk, entirely embroidered with flowers. The original shape is meant to minimize the waste and emphasise the hips, which had penny, which are the basket type undergarments that made the hips wide the the whole ways in absolute terms, even without all the jewels in the gold thread of a coordination down because of the amount and quality of fabric used. This dress would have been worth a huge amount of money at the time and was certainly an investment for a lady of the french court. Usually, though, these kinds of dresses would have been recycled, the fabric would very likely have been re used for a new dress or trims, and ribbons would have been added to stick to fashion as much without having to buy an entirely new outfit. That aside, we talked about that a little bit in the rule. Britannia episode that part of her job as a milliner was to kind of refit outfits for the next season, so that they could get a little style refresh
Laurie goes on to say you will see in the picture if it she sent us at the shape, looks a bit loose and some parts of the outfit look a bit discoloured. This dress was event use during the victorian era as a costume dress, but by a rather larger lady than its original owner. So the waste had to be loosened considerably in the skirt. Lengthened The victorian bits were nowhere near is getting quality is the original, garment and discoloured, while the blue silk looks just a striking as when it was made. feel rather annoyed at the additions which don't do anything for the dress and which we camera because they are historical repairs which is conservator jargon for, but it's there it is part of the objects history it. If I take it away, I will take away part of the objects history. I am very glad that the stress wasn't taken apart or thrown away when french Court fashion was no longer needed. So thank you. fat Victoria leaf, and then I will not reading her whole think is its a bit lengthy. She also goes on with appears that I love, which is. We just got our annual passes to Disneyland Hong Kong
and though they have no Junta mansion. They have something called mystic manner, which is based on early designs for a museum of the supernatural. It finally happened and enhancement compose the music as a museum, in former CAS member and any open fanatic. That's something a dream come true yeah. I have heard me times about, particularly in the victorian era. Existing historical garments really got used in all kinds of ways, and part of it was just a costume, ball. Popularity surge and part of it with that victorian era kind of went through this thing, where they were fascinated with history and other cultures and kind of training, integrate them a little bit into their day to day lives. And so that's why you ll see a lot of you know like fabric from the Orient making their way into the orient as it was called in the victorian era, making their way into victorian clothes one interesting thing about these types of gowns, ushering about from the Rico
era is that they have legal leasing in the back, even though they usually buttoned are hooked on the front. They had a leasing in the back, so you could have a little bit of ease and give so that if the wearer, because they were very expensive, you know MOSS waiter gained way. They could still keep the dress for quite a while, but apparently in this case it transcended the ability of the dress to expand and they had to add in these additional pieces. The pictures are absolutely beautiful.
And as for mystic manner very jealous. But that is an awesome letter lorry and I love looking at the pictures she vincennes beautiful pictures of like the him of the dress, so we could see where the wear and tear was and is quite spectacular. So thank you. If you would like to write to us than talk to us about historical clothes or Disneyland or Disneyland, Hong Kong are really anything that we ve talked runner relates to things. In fact, about. You should do that at history, pockets had discovery dot com. You can also connect with us at Facebook that count slash missed in history on twitter, at missed in history, at mister, history, dot, tumblr com, enough interest, our com, Slash missed in history. You can also make our dear wait. You are still fairly young website which is missed in history, dot, com, where you can find all of our episodes and show notes
If you would like to learn more about what we ve talked about today, you can go to are parent age, which is how to work, start come and do a search for the term gambling, and you will turn up to articles which struck me as funding because they list one right after the other. One is ten quick ways to make money in. It mentions gambling as potential way and the other is ten ways. People rack up dead and also speak softly and fully it's a double edged sword. If you'd like to learn more about that or just about anything we ve talked about today or on other podcast, you can research that at our website, which is support for thousands of other works.