No. 445
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
October 23, 2019

A Human Rat Eater.

An employee of the Boston Gas Works boasted his ability to kill a rat with his teeth.
August 14, 2017
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Chapter 2
via Newspapers.com In which an opera house gets an unusual gate-crasher. The "Ottawa Citizen," December 20, 1930: LONDON (By mail) A ghost-floating over the heads of a thousand dancers at Covent Garden opera house one night recently brought the music to an abrupt stop, while Mr. Herman Darewski, the conductor, sank into a chair horrified, and the baton slipped from his fingers. The light
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Strange Company - 10/23/2019


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Lizzie’s Old School Chum, Augusta Poole (Mrs. Cyrus Tripp) Shelley M. Dziedzic, October 2019 (all rights reserved) During the hot …

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Lizzie Borden : Warps & Wefts - 10/19/2019
On this date in 1943, French abortionist Désiré Pioge was guillotined in Paris by the family-values Vichy regime. Very much overshadowed by the like fate shared by Marie-Louise Giraud a few weeks before, Pioge doesn’t even boast his own French Wikipedia entry — just a passing mention on Giraud’s. (Many other Giraud posts aver that […]
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ExecutedToday.com - 10/22/2019

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
In October 1893, 64-year-old Patrick Finney of New Bedford, Pennsylvania, was visiting his old friend and drinking buddy James Campbell in Hazelton, Ohio.  Campbell had been a saloonkeeper in Pittsburgh before retiring and moving with his wife to Hazelton, a suburb of Youngstown.  As was their custom, Finney and the Campbells were drinking heavily the night of October 9. James Campbell had a
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Murder by Gaslight - 10/19/2019
George Grosz made a name for himself drawing and painting caricatures of life in his native Germany during the postwar Weimar era. But this Expressionist painter who helped lead the Dada movement left Germany in 1932 and relocated to New York City, turning his cynical eye on his adopted home city. “New York Harbor,” from […]
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Ephemeral New York - 10/20/2019
[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 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.