For starters: BEARD PERM.
All his life, Minor had one obsession: words. Three years before the branding meltdown, he agreed to contribute to a new edition of Webster's An American Dictionary of the English Language by defining words in the natural history category. The problem was that he suuuuuuucked. Minor sucked so hard that his definitions were called "defective" and "inverted," which is 19th century speak for "a diaper full of diarrhea water" and "stanky." One expert published five whole pages cataloging Minor's mistakes. Picture this guy with that "You Had a Bad Day" song playing on a loop, all day, everyday.
So after he did some murder (of a person and the English language), Minor was committed to the Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum in 1874. Cut to 1879, when the editor of the yet-to-be-published Oxford English Dictionary put out a call for help. Unlike America's one-volume slapdash effort, the Oxford English Dictionary would use as many volumes as it needed to define every word ever, complete with illustrations and lots of quotes from verifiable sources backing up definitions. Think of the OED as the world's first Wikipedia.