No. 427
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 16, 2019

Booze Through a Key-Hole.

May 15, 2017
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(Thanks to the late University of Illinois history professor Clarence Walworth Alvord for the guest post, which originally appeared in an essay he wrote for the centennial of the Land of Lincoln‘s 1818 statehood. For context to this 1779 execution, the area comprising the future U.S. state of Illinois had been attached by the British […]
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Executed Today - 6/15/2019

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

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

This handsome cat displays an expression not uncommon among those who visit this blog for the first time. Watch out for those haunted elevators! Watch out for those haunted cars! Watch out for those Swedish ghost pigs! The Chevalier and his Clowder. Why gin explains a lot about the 18th century. Some bridesmaid superstitions. The murder of a roadhouse keeper. The barber and
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Strange Company - 6/14/2019
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
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
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Murder By Gaslight - 6/15/2019

Countless artists have painted the Brooklyn Bridge. But not Edward Hopper. Instead of focusing on the city’s most beloved and beatified bridge, Hopper in 1928 used the nearby but less-loved Manhattan Bridge to depict the isolation and solitude of modern urban life. “In his powerful and evocative painting, Manhattan Bridge Loop, Edward Hopper has frozen […]
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Ephemeral New York - 6/9/2019
[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.