No. 494
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 24, 2020

A Hot Day in New York.

While New York is by no means the hottest city in the country, there have been a few days during the
July 20, 2015
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 "The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnIt's Friday morning!Are you ready for Saturday night?Watch out for those deadly clouds!The Biggerstaff Hanging Tree.A brief history of California social novels.The black cat train.Mayans had remarkably sophisticated water-filtration systems.What we know--and, more often, don't know--about Viking children.Science, I've found, is always unsettled.A tour
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Strange Company - 10/23/2020

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A CHAMPIONSan Francisco ChronicleOctober 12, 1898(Click image to enlarge)     ASCOMB IS A CHAMPION    Guess Bascomb Smith wasn't all bad. The texts of the newspaper appear below.  Miss Hall finds a champion. Brother of  “ Soapy” Smith claims her as his wife.There is another side to the pathetic story told to the police by Minnie Hall, the Vaudeville actress to jump into the bay from Howard
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/25/2020

On this date in 1979, Jesse Bishop was gassed in Nevada. The third person executed under the “modern” U.S. death penalty regime — after Gary Gilmore in 1976 and John Spenkelink earlier in 1979 — Bishop was a career felon with a years-long rap sheet of armed robberies and drug crimes. In 1977, he was […]
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Executed Today - 10/22/2020
Colorization can sometimes add another whole dimension to vintage black and white photos. We’ve done this one of the crime …

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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 8/31/2020
 Dr. Henry Meyer, his wife Maria, and their associate Ludwig Brant devised an elaborate plan to defraud insurance companies. Maria and Brant held a mock wedding then took out several insurance policies on his life with Maria as beneficiary. The plan was to then obtain a cadaver, declare it was the body of Ludwig Brant, and collect the insurance. Unbeknownst to Brant, Dr. Meyer and Maria decided
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Murder By Gaslight - 10/24/2020

Cigarette ads, a burlesque house, a struggling theater, a flea circus and freak show (likely Hubert’s Museum): If you visited 42nd Street on the west side of Broadway at Times Square in 1932, this is what you’d find. “42nd Street West of Broadway” was painted that year by Edmund Yaghjian, an Armenian immigrant who depicted […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/18/2020
[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
They Are a Bad Lot. | A Duel with Whips.

A Hot Day in New York.

Hot day in New York

While New York is by no means the hottest city in the country, there have been a few days during the present season when the temperature reached a height altogether incompatible with human comfort. There were two such days last week, when the temperature reached ninety-four degrees in the shade, and the sufferings of those exposed to the torrid rays of the sun were intense. On the 23d, especially the heat was most oppressive and man and beast alike succumbed to its influences. The air was moist, no breeze was stirring, and when the noonday sun looked down upon Broadway it saw not one but many thousands of wilted men and women. Among the tenement houses the suffering was great, perhaps than at any time during the summer. The streets were deserted in the middle of the day, and the sweltering thousands labored and drudged in their hot and dismal rooms with no chance of relief. In the evening they swarmed about doorsteps and hallways and filled the streets.

Our illustration strikingly depicts the incidents of one of these hot days—the feverish consultation of the thermometer, the eager quest for comfort on the shady side of the street, the prostration of man and beast by the pitiless heat. Happy are they who in such “torrid times” as these are able to find cool retreats on mountain tops or by the sea or in fragrant forest depths where no ray of sun can ever penetrate.


Reprinted from the National Police Gazette, September 1, 1883