No. 484
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
August 14, 2020

What it Has Come To.

A scene from feal life in a sixth avenue smoking car—giddy girls who believe in taking a “whiff of t
June 22, 2015
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The August 12, 1469 beheading of a Ferrara nobleman named Andrea Viarani is the subject of a chapter in the very fine volume The Art of Executing Well: Rituals of Execution in Renaissance Italy. This scholarly tome explores via six chapters with different authors and several translated texts the spiritual and ritual experience of execution, […]
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Executed Today - 8/12/2020

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There are so many questions and things to ponder when considering the Borden case in its entirety, but let’s just …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/8/2020

Via Newspapers.com I always say, nothing completes a library quite like a ghost. And if it’s a “nice, gentlemanly” one, all the better. From the “Great Bend Daily Item,” July 25, 1908: New York.--Columbia University holds that ghost stories may be dismissed with a laugh, until an educated, nice, old gentlemanly ghost gets to hovering 'round Columbia's library building of nights. In other
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Strange Company - 8/12/2020
The Web of Arachne by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932) Colorized by Curtis Byrne (Click image to enlarge) HE WEB OF ARACHNE COLORIZED. It's great to see what this painting may have originally looked like.      As I recently hung my framed print of The Web of Arachne, by Fernand Le Quesne (1856 - 1932), in my new place, I wondered why the artist didn't colorize it? Then I
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 8/4/2020
John Dilleber was a wealthy 28-year-old wholesale liquor dealer who lived and worked in New York City. In June 1975, he divorced his wife, left his home, and took up residence at the Westminster Hotel on 16th Street.  It was Dilleber’s habit, after dinner, to wander the halls of the hotel while smoking a cigar. Romaine Dillon, another of the Westminster Hotel’s outcast residents, was much
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Murder By Gaslight - 8/8/2020

As a social realist painter, William Glackens often depicted scenes of day-to-day life he witnessed in city parks, particularly Washington Square Park. (Makes sense; he lived on Washington Square South in the early 1900s.) This time, he took his inspiration from Central Park. “The Drive, Central Park” was completed in 1905 and likely shows the […]
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Ephemeral New York - 8/10/2020
[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
Oscar Wilde Gets a Reception. | A Bloody Ruction.

What it Has Come To.

Girls Smoking

A scene from feal life in a sixth avenue smoking car—giddy girls who believe in taking a “whiff of the weed” in public as well as in private. [more]

That smoking cigarettes has become quite a common custom among women in their homes, is well known. But like all habits of this kind, their devotees soon grow bold. A scene was witnessed on a Sixth avenue smoking car one day this week which shows that some of the fair sex, at least, do not propose to have their nicotinian enjoyment confined to their house, but boldly practice it in public, Two handsomely attired ladies stepped on to one of the Sixth avenue smoking cars, in which were seated two or three gentlemen, all smoking cigars. The fact that the ladies were deemed intruders, caused the smokers to puff away. In the most careless manner possible, and with the air of one who had smoked from childhood, both of the females opened their reticules, taking therefrom a package of cigarettes and a case of cigars. Requesting a light from one of the gentlemen, they joined in making the air blue with smoke. They paid no heed to the attention which their action caused. Both seemed to think that they were doing the “propahcapah.” Credulous readers may deem this a fancy story, but it is a fact which can be vouched for at any time. What made this action more noticeable is that it was performed in broad daylight, while the avenue was thronged with promenaders.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 6, 1880.