No. 423
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
April 23, 2019

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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Spanish general Jose Aranguren was shot on this date in 1939 by Franco’s Spain. A brigadier general of the Civil Guard — an internal-to-Spain paramilitary/law enforcement force that remained predominantly loyal to the Republic during the Spanish Civil War — Aranguren (the very cursory English Wikipedia entry | the more detailed Spanish) at the outset […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 4/22/2019

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The Savoy bookstore in Westerly, R.I. was cram-packed with Borden case enthusiasts this evening as author Cara Robertson held forth …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 3/26/2019
"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

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
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
[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.