No. 522
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
May 14, 2021

His Mouth Full of Ivory.

May 4, 2021
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"The Witches' Cove," Follower of Jan MandijnYes, it's time for yet another Link Dump.Let's get the show started!The murder of Alice Sterling.The Los Angeles alley that made film history.The theft of the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.The last WWII German holdouts...were by the North Pole.Before the Wright brothers, there was Aerodrome No. 5.Murders that were allegedly carried out by a
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Strange Company - 5/14/2021

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A few weeks ago, Ephemeral New York put together a post about the former Czech neighborhood once centered around 72nd Street between First and Second Avenues on the Upper East Side. The post generated many comments, with readers either reminiscing about a vanished enclave they remember well or wishing Manhattan still had pockets of ethnic […]
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Ephemeral New York - 5/9/2021

Along with Bertie Whitehead, Abby’s half-sister, May 13th was also the birthday of Helen Craig, famous stage actress best-remembered for Johnny Belinda. Helen Craig, who played Abby in The Legend of Lizzie Borden was born May 13, 1912, a month after Titanic sank. Helen Craig was not a great beauty by Hollywood standards, but a very fine actress. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0185871/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1 Her portrayal of Abby Borden as a mean, greedy glutton, more than any other thing, has affected the way most people think of Abby Borden. Sadly it was not an accurate portrayal. Helen did some television in her later career, most notably The Waltons. She died in New York City in 1986. She was married to stage and film actor John Beal who played Dr. Bowen in Legend of Lizzie Borden. They are seen together in the publicity photo below.
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 5/13/2021
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 […]
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Executed Today - 11/13/2020
8-year-old Alice Sterling disappeared from the steps in front of her father’s Boston barbershop the afternoon of April 10, 1895. The three-day search for Alice ended at a shallow grave in the floor of a nearby barn. Angus Gilbert, a friend of the Sterling family especially fond of little Alice, lived in a room above the barn. Gilbert was charged with her
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Murder By Gaslight - 5/8/2021

LOOK OUT FOR "SOAPY" SMITHSt. Louis DispatchSeptember 23, 1897(Click image to enlarge) e reported himself in good health and money."   New information showing that Soapy Smith did go to St. Louis to check up on his ailing wife, Mary, after leaving Skagway.  Below is the transcription of the article from the St. Louis Dispatch, September 23, 1897. LOOK OUT FOR “SOAPY” SMITH ― The Smooth Man
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 5/11/2021
[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 […]
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Early American Crime - 2/7/2019
A Terrible Punishment. | The Deathly Opium-Drug.

His Mouth Full of Ivory.

billiard-ball"Run for a doctor, the man will choke to death!" excitedly exclaimed a gentleman in the Adams House billiard room in Boston, the other afternoon, as his companion, with whom he had been playing, gave every indication that lie was strangling to death. His face was red to blackness, and his eyes bulged from their sockets until it seemed as if they would break from their fastenings. The score or more of people who were in the room rushed to the distressed young man and watched with pitying gaze his struggles to keep on the materialistic side of life.

"What's the matter with him?" was asked of a man with a weed on his hat, who seemed to be well acquainted with the wriggling victim.

"He's got a billiard ball in his mouth," was the feeling reply; "he bet me a cigar that lie could put the red ball in his facial pocket, and I took him up, and the result you see before you. The ivory went into his mouth all right, but when he attempted to take it out, it so completely tilled the orifice that he couldn't get a hold on it, and there it remains. He's got a had cold in his head, and, as you see, it is with the utmost difficulty he keeps his pneumatic arrangement at work at all. It looks now as if he would never put an 'English' on a ball again."

"Pull his teeth out," suggested a little man who had a mouthful of artificial dentine.

"Can't the ball be cracked in some way?" said another.

While these views were being offered, the distressed young man was giving signs of an early collapse. The scarlet tinge had left his face, and it was now as ashen as the inside of chocolate caramel. At this critical moment the keeper of the saloon rushed up to where the excited gathering stood, and hurriedly took in the situation. He immediately began pressing upon the cheeks of the doing billiardist just behind the ivory sphere, and, by gradually working it along, its shining surface began to appear in view. With all the strength he could command, he gave a vise-like squeeze with the palms of his hands against the globe of albumen, and it rolled across the floor to the opposite side of the room. A sigh of relief went up from the circle of sympathizing friends who had witnessed the sudden transition from impending death to a state of unusual healthfulness.

As soon as the young man had sufficiently recovered to work his stiffened jaw, he called for the cigar he had paid so dearly for, and emphatically declared he would not try the experiment of eating billiard balls again.


From Illustrated Police News, June 18, 1887.