No. 507
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
January 19, 2021

Slid Down the Firemen’s Pole.

How a plucky New Brunswick, N. J., girl won a wager from one of her doubting companions.
April 30, 2018
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While I wouldn’t say it’s an everyday occurrence for someone to discover a corpse in a chimney, it has happened more often than you’d like to think.  The following story is one that puts a particularly gruesome twist on such tragedies.September 20, 1987, started out as a perfectly ordinary day of work at the Georgia-Pacific paper mill in Bellingham, Washington.  At around 5:21 a.m., employee Roy
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Strange Company - 1/18/2021

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Surprising news broke tonight of the listing for sale of the popular bed & breakfast, open as a business for …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 1/10/2021

Benjamin Eistenstat was born in Philadelphia in 1915, and the few biographies I found about him suggest that he spent much of his artistic career in Pennsylvania. But in 1950 he was in New York City—where he created this lithograph of a street scene in a very masculine Manhattan. Perhaps this view is of a […]
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Ephemeral New York - 1/18/2021
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
 The Hangman, a newspaper dedicated to the abolition of capital punishment, celebrated the commutation of Orrin DeWolf’s death sentence on September 9, 1845.Did this young, drunken, diseased, conniving, duplicitous, murderous, libertine deserve mercy? You decide: Orrin DeWolf. 
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Murder By Gaslight - 1/16/2021

Ripley's Believe It Or NotUnknown newspaper1937Jeff Smith collection (Click image to enlarge)     OAPY SMITH'S SKULL STRANGE MONUMENT TO "SOAPY" SMITH Famous Bad Man of the Klondike, Fashioned from natural rock 25 feet high. On Moore's old wharf, alongside the bay and the railroad dock in Skagway, Alaska is an impressive wall of solid granite that is home to one of the most unique art
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 1/14/2021
[Editor’s note: Guest writer, Peter Dickson, lives in West Sussex, England and has been working with microfilm copies of The Duncan Campbell Papers from the State Library of NSW, Sydney, Australia. The following are some of his analyses of what he has discovered from reading these papers. Dickson has contributed many transcriptions to the Jamaica Family […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
The Queen of The May. | Great Base Ball Match.

Slid Down the Firemen’s Pole.

She Slid down the Pole

How a plucky New Brunswick, N. J., girl won a wager from one of her doubting companions. [more]

The other evening a party of New Brunswick, N.J., society belles who move in the highest circles called at the police station and asked a policeman to be shown through the engine house of Liberty Hose Company, next door, an explain to them the apparatus. The request was unusual, but the officer assented.

The girls expressed their admiration at everything they saw, fed bon bons to the horses and seemed particularly to admire the perfection of the fire alarm system.

“Oh, what is this police for? Said one of them.

He explained that the firemen slid down the pole form the dormitory.

“How lovely! Can you do it?” was the next question.

The policeman was not sure of his ability, but he would not acknowledge it, and successfully made the effort.

“Now, Laura, it’s your turn,” said on of the girls, and before the astonished officer could interfere, she had encircled the pole and disappeared through the hole in the floor.

She struck the rubber mat below with a bump but recovered herself quickly, and dared her companions to follow.

When all met on the floor below the girls told the policeman that the girl had won a new had and a box of candy by sliding down the pole as the result of a bet between her and her companions.

The apparent eagerness to inspect the apparatus was merely a ruse.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, October 3, 1896.