No. 635
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 2, 2023

Belles of the Bowling Alley.

The athletic diversions of an association of dashing damsels in their club rooms in Chicago. 
June 6, 2011
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On a busy day in 1951, a hot dog vendor found himself captive to a hawker of cheap jewelry who set up shop across from his rickety food cart decorated with American flags. Horses still worked the side streets of the city. Stray dogs waited for food scraps to fall to the pavement. TV antennas […]
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Ephemeral New York - 11/27/2023
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An article I recently wrote for the British online magazine, New Politic, is now available online. The article, “The Criminal Origins of the United States of America,” is about British convict transportation to America, which took place between the years 1718 and 1775, and is the subject of my book, Bound with an Iron Chain: […]
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Early American Crime - 12/17/2021
On October 16, 1900, the Fall River Daily Herald reported an incident at Maplecroft. Lizzie took a tumble from a step ladder while adjusting a picture on the wall. Dr. Stephen Masury Gordon set the broken wrist. Dr. Gordon lived at 165 Rock St. and was a Harvard graduate. One has to wonder why Lizzie did not have one of the servants or her handy man doing the chore. Dr. Gordon
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 10/12/2023
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
The morning of February 5, 1895, Dr. John E Rader was found murdered in the house of Mrs. Catherine McQuinn in Jackson, Kentucky. Catherine told police they were drinking whiskey with her paramour Tom Smith and when Tom passed out, Dr. Rader assaulted her. She shot him in self-defense. Catherine could have committed the murder; she was a rough, course woman with a bad reputation. But the
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/2/2023
Soapy Smith in Leadville, ColoradoJuly 21, 1880Soapy and partner, rear, between carriagesCourtesy Kyle Rosene collection(Click image to enlarge) Soapy Smith's stereo-view photographLeadville, Colorado, July 21, 1880Where was it taken?WHERE IN LEADVILLE WAS THIS TAKEN?(Click image to enlarge)     Those who have read Alias Soapy Smith: The Life and Death of a Scoundrel may
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 9/14/2023
Spectacular Scenes & Sights Down on the Jersey Coast | The Bunco Game

Belles of the Bowling Alley.

Chicago, 1878 - Belles of the Bowling Alley -The athletic diversions of an association of dashing damsels in their club rooms in Chicago. 

Life in Chicago presents many phases not met with elsewhere, and one such is the establishment, a year since, of a club for social enjoyment by eight young ladies, all well educated and wealthy, who move in first-class circles.

They conceived the idea of setting up a club similar to the exclusive coteries in which the sterner sex find their relaxation. They accordingly secured suitable quarters fitted up with an attention to the luxurious details so dear to the feminine heart, but with a view also to the gratification of the fair clubbists for some sport as affected by their masculine prototypes. A well-arranged billiard room and a gymnasium with every improved appliance were among the conveniences, but the favorite feature proved to be the bowling alley. Some of the fair members have become quite expert players, and spirited contests are regularly held in which the participants vie with hoydenish, albeit gay and sparkling, enthusiasm.


Reprinted from The National Police Gazette - October 26, 1878