No. 427
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 17, 2019

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
...
...

The Crete patriot Ioannis Vlachos — better known as Daskalogiannis — lost his skin to the Turks on this date in 1771. Statue of the D-man at Anopolis, Crete. (cc) image by AWI. A wealthy shipping magnate, Daskalogiannis led the Cretan arm of the nationalist Orlov Revolt, which also featured on the Peloponnese. This affair […]
More...
Executed Today - 6/17/2019

`
Dressing Miss Lizzie, which is a paper doll book featuring Lizzie’s garments described in newspapers of 1892 -1893 is now …

Continue reading

More...
Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/30/2019

Not our Mabel, but I'm sure she'd approve. Medieval women are often stereotyped as rather dull creatures: lacking power or influence, constrained by their narrow position in life. Pious, gentle, helpless pawns of their male-dominated world. Utterly harmless. And then we turn to Mabel, Dame d'Alencon, de Seez, and de Belleme, Countess of Shrewsbury and Lady of Arundel. Most of what we
More...
Strange Company - 6/17/2019
Jeff and Joe Soapy Smith buries Joe Simmons The Illustrated Police News April 9, 1892 (Click image to enlarge) oe Simmons was a tall, slender gambler known to many as “Gambler Joe” Simmons, a member of the Soap Gang who managed Soapy Smith's Tivoli Club in Denver, 1890, and Soapy's Orleans Club in Creede, 1892. According to William Devere’s poem "Two Little Busted Shoes," Simmons
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Two children playing near their house in Greenwich, New York, the morning of Saturday, October 20, 1889, found a woman’s hat and jacket lying on a log and reported them to a group of men who were working on a road nearby. Reuben Stewart, Superintendent of Streets who was also President of the Village, thought the circumstances were suspicious and went down to take a look for himself. It was a
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2019

I’m not sure which Brooklyn beach this is—Brighton? Coney Island? Wherever we are, it’s clear that this tight circle of ladies in their summer frocks and elaborate hats appears to be enjoying the seashore. So is the next group, a coed clique with two men wearing what look like dark hats and suits! [Bettman-Corbis, 1900]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 6/16/2019
[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 […]
More...
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.