No. 444
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 15, 2019

Belles of the Bowling Alley

June 6, 2011
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Our old familiar the Newgate Calendar supplies us with this narration of a Scottish Jacobin to pop the powdered wigs from Edinburgh to Westminster. A published version of the trial in question is available here, and a last-speech broadside awaits you here. Watt is the only monument in Executed Today‘s pages to the attempted creation […]
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Executed Today - 10/15/2019

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By Jo Anne Giovino with photography and research by Barbara Morrissey and Kristin Pepe *(All rights reserved, August 2019) Although …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 7/31/2019

Generally speaking, poltergeists are the bratty kids of the paranormal world. They create a lot of noise, cause some damage, and make obnoxious spectacles of themselves, but they are, on the whole, seemingly helpless to do any real harm. Their antics are tiresome, rather than evil. On occasion, however, polts exhibit threatening, even fiendish behavior. Reading these accounts, one
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Strange Company - 10/14/2019
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
John Delaney met Mary Jane Cox in October 1886; she smiled at him as they passed each other on Fulton Street in Brooklyn, and he turned to follow her. She was 17-years-old, he was 15. Mary Jane did not refuse his advances outright, but gave him her address and told him to write to her. Their relationship progressed quickly, and eight months later, Mary Jane told John she was pregnant, and he
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/12/2019

In this photo, some of the letters look red, others are definitely pink. No matter what colors the letters are, this gorgeous glowing sign for Neil’s Coffee Shop on 70th Street and Lexington Avenue is proof that New York bars and restaurants still feature the city’s iconic iridescent neon store signage. Neil’s is an under-the-radar […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/13/2019
[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
The Beecher-Tilton Scandal | Duel of the Divas

Belles of the Bowling Alley

Chicago, 1878 - Belles of the Bowling Alley -The athletic diversions of an association of dashing damsels in their club rooms in Chicago. [more]

Life in Chicago presents many phases not met with elsewhere, and one such is the establishment, a year since, of a club for social enjoyment by eight young ladies, all well educated and wealthy, who move in first-class circles.

They conceived the idea of setting up a club similar to the exclusive coteries in which the sterner sex find their relaxation. They accordingly secured suitable quarters fitted up with an attention to the luxurious details so dear to the feminine heart, but with a view also to the gratification of the fair clubbists for some sport as affected by their masculine prototypes. A well-arranged billiard room and a gymnasium with every improved appliance were among the conveniences, but the favorite feature proved to be the bowling alley. Some of the fair members have become quite expert players, and spirited contests are regularly held in which the participants vie with hoydenish, albeit gay and sparkling, enthusiasm.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette - October 26, 1878