Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922), inventor of the telephone. Bell would have been known to history simply as Alexander Bell, but he was highly jealous of his brothers’ middle names and asked for and received one for his 11th birthday. His interest in acoustics developed during his childhood through his experiences with his deaf mother, influencing his later work with the deaf and experimentation with sound.
Victorian evening games - Slightly less humiliating was "The Laughing Game." One person began by saying, "Ha"; the next, "Ha-ha"; and so on around, while all tried not to actually laugh. Whoever succumbed was eliminated as the "Ha" repetitions continued to increase around.
Funeral mutes - The mute’s job was to stand vigil outside the door of the deceased, then accompany the coffin, wearing dark clothes, looking solemn and usually carrying a long stick (called a wand) covered in black crape. They were supplied by the undertaker.