No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 24, 2019

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

May 15, 2017
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Coming in May! Warps and Wefts is excited to announce the publication of “Dressing Miss Lizzie”, a collection of paper …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 4/23/2019

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I count six transportation options Brooklynites had in 1915, according to this rich and detailed postcard of Flatbush Avenue. There’s the elevated train, of course, as well as a streetcar, automobile, bicycle, horse and wagon, and of course, getting around on foot, as most of the crowd seems to be doing—when they’re not mugging for […]
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Ephemeral New York - 4/21/2019
Hanged April 23, 1845 for poisoning her brother Charles Dimond — and commonly suspected to have offed several other family members by means of arsenic — the “Shapwick Murderess” Sarah Freeman insisted her innocence to her very last breath. “I am as innocent as a lamb,” she said to the hangman William Calcraft as he […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/23/2019

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
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 3/25/2019
Rosa Buckstahlen and Ida Bjornstad, servants in the Chicago mansion of Amos J. Snell, were awakened at 2:00 the morning of February 8, 1888, by the sound of a gunshot from the floor below. They heard someone shout “Get out! Get out of here!” followed by more gunshots, then silence. Thinking that all was well—or more likely, too frightened to do anything else—the girls went back to sleep.
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Murder by Gaslight - 4/20/2019
"Roses are red, Violets are blue, And my cat is, too." Cats and weird little stories from the past.  What could be more Strange Company than that?  For this reason, I'm delighted to temporarily pass the blog's steering wheel over to Peggy Gavan, whose upcoming book, "The Cat Men of Gotham: Tales of Feline Friendships in Old New York" (Rutgers University Press, May 3, 2019,) is now available
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Strange Company - 4/22/2019
[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 […]
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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.