No. 482
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 03, 2020

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

May 15, 2017
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This 2004 episode from Manx Radio gives us the story of John Kewish, hanged on this date in 1872 for killing his father with a pitchfork. Kewish is the last person ever executed on the Isle of Man — indeed even at his own time such a punishment was so passe that the local gallows-makers […]
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Executed Today - 8/1/2020

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You have to admire the energy and endurance of those Victorian ladies.  Even in the sweltering heat of a July …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/24/2020

"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan Mandijn It's time for the Link Dump! And tea is served! Do you want to buy an Irish mansion inhabited by the Devil?  Of course you do.If you want to lose what little faith in humanity you have left, contemplate the fact that somebody out there would spend $12,000 for a pizza that looks like something I wouldn't eat for free.Maurice the Rooster and "
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Strange Company - 7/31/2020
Soapy Smith in July 4th paradeSkagway, Alaska 1898Broadway and Fourth Ave.Note Soapy is on the left of center, behind Joe Brooks.Behind him is Brooks' Pack TrainWhere is the Skaguay Military Company?Where is the Fitzhugh Lee wagon?Courtesy ofKlondike Gold Rush National Historical Park (Click image to enlarge) ow Soapy Smith conned his way to be Grand Marshal of the 4th of July With
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 7/10/2020
On January 6, 1873, Edward Stokes was sentenced to hang for the murder of financier and railroad magnate James Fisk. Stokes was well-connected politically and he awaited his appeal in a comfortably furnished cell in the Tombs with meals catered by Delmonicos. Stokes was granted a new trial, was convicted of manslaughter and senteneced to six years in Sing Sing prison. Read the full story here
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/1/2020

This is Broadway approaching Times Square in 1913. It’s hard to make out some of the store and theater signs in this postcard, but you can see the ad for the Hotel Normandie (once located on 38th Street) advertising itself as “absolutely fireproof”—a definite selling point at the time. What strikes me most in this […]
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Ephemeral New York - 7/27/2020
[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
What a New York Girl Did. | The Graces in a High Wind.

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

Booze keyhole

An inebriate while locked in a room by his friends to sober him up, has his cocktails supplied by a pretty servant through the keyhole by the aid of a straw; New York.[more]

The oldest son of a wealthy broker in this city is given to frequent indulgences in the cups. His sprees are periodical, and when on one he keeps at it until nature is exhausted. A party of friends undertook to sober him up recently by locking him in a room at a hotel, leaving him nothing but a nightshirt. By some means he succeeded in getting into the good graces of a pretty servant girl, who sympathized with him in his forced abstinence, and set herself about breaking it up. Going to the bar-tender she obtained at different times whiskey cocktails on pretense of taking them to the room of a regular boarder. She also obtained a number of straws. Putting one through the key-hole, with one end in the glass and the other in the prisoner’s mouth, he was supplied with “Inspiration.” His friends could not account for his keeping drunk, but finally discovered the means by which it was done.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 13, 1880.