No. 531
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
July 26, 2021

A Human Rat Eater.

An employee of the Boston Gas Works boasted his ability to kill a rat with his teeth.
August 14, 2017
...
...

32 Coxwell Road was not, even by the standards of council houses in 1950s Birmingham, England, anything special to look at.  But for the family of 31-year-old ex-paratrooper Frank Pell, it was a palace compared to their previous lodgings--a house so dilapidated it was officially condemned.  The three-bedroom home was newly decorated, on a quiet road close to all necessary services.  And the rent
More...
Strange Company - 7/26/2021

`
Youth With Executioner by Nuremberg native Albrecht Dürer … although it’s dated to 1493, which was during a period of several years when Dürer worked abroad. November 13 [1617]. Burnt alive here a miller of Manberna, who however was lately engaged as a carrier of wine, because he and his brother, with the help of […]
More...
Executed Today - 11/13/2020

When painters depict the East River, it’s usually from the Manhattan side: a steel bridge, choppy waters, and a Brooklyn or Queens waterfront either thick with factories or quaint and almost rural. But when Richard Hayley Lever decided to paint the river in 1936, he did it from Astoria. What he captured in “Queensboro Bridge […]
More...
Ephemeral New York - 7/26/2021
[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 […]
More...
Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
When Horatio Sherman took sick after returning home from a week-long drunken spree, he said it was just one of his “old spells.” His wife Lydia agreed, and dosed him with brandy as usual. But Horatio’s doctor, who had treated his alcohol induced “spells” before, was suspicious this time. Horatio died two days later, and the doctor ordered a post-mortem examination which revealed the cause of
More...
Murder By Gaslight - 7/24/2021

Harrison Ave.Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Luke and Wheeler photographers(Click image to enlarge)  S THAT SOAPY'S PARTNER IN CRIME? Those who have read Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel, you may recall seeing the photograph (#6A) below, in the first photograph section of the book.  Soapy Smith and his partner in crimeHarrison Ave.Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Luke and
More...
Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 7/21/2021
The Lady Flashes Dance. | The Country Cureall.

A Human Rat Eater.

Human Rat Eater

[more] One of the employees in the Boston Gas Works boasted his ability to kill a rat with his teeth. For a bet of five dollars the experiment was tried. A room was procured and a table, in the centre of which a hole was bored, and through this a string extended, one end being fastened below and the other end was tied to the legs of a large rat. The chewer’s hands were tied behind him, He quietly applied his mouth to the orifice in the table; with the aid of his tongue he picked up the string and held it in his dentals. The ne quietly and slowly slid his face along in the direction of the rat, until within “distance,” and then, eying his victim a moment, he made a sudden snap. There was a crunch, a sharp squeak, and the bet was won.


Reprinted from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, January 25, 1868.