No. 584
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
December 7, 2022

A New Wrinkle.

How the fashionable women of “sawciety” get their complexions whit the assistance of a hypodermic in
December 14, 2015
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Not George Talkington, but there must have been a strong resemblance.Many people could be called “accident prone,” but, fortunately, few take it to the level of the subject of today’s post.  From the “Bath Chronicle,” November 21, 1833 (via Newspapers.com):George Talkington, once a celebrated horse-dealer at Uttoxeter, who died on the 8th of April, 1826, at Cheadle, Cheshire, in his eighty-third
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Strange Company - 12/7/2022
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Wishing you a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving Day! Lizzie is thankful for turkey and all the trimmings – and no mutton broth in sight!
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Lizzie Borden: Warps and Wefts - 11/22/2022
CAME NEAR LOSING HIS MONEYSan Francisco ChronicleMay 6, 1893(Click image to enlarge)  San Francisco Man Taken in by Denver Card Sharks "First time I ever got caught" (Soapy Smith) This post was originally supposed to be about a new "victim" (Charles Anderson) swindled by the soap gang that I recently uncovered during a search through newspaper archives, but in looking through my files I found
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Soapy Smith's Soap Box - 12/6/2022
On this date in 2002, Pakistani Mir Aimal Kansi, Kasi, or Qazi was executed by lethal injection in Virginia, U.S.A. “Real angry with the policy of the U.S. government in the Middle East, particularly toward the Palestinian people,”* Qazi on January 25, 1993 revenged himself on Central Intelligence Agency commuters queued for a left turn […]
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Executed Today - 11/14/2022
 When tried for the 1840 murder of Catherine Merry, Charles Cook pled innocent by reason of insanity. Despite a history of medical treatment for extreme melancholy, and strange behavior such as running through the streets of Schenectady, wearing nothing but a blanket, proclaiming himself to be the Savior of the world, the jury rejected his plea and found him guilty.Before his execution, Cook
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Murder By Gaslight - 12/3/2022
For years I’ve walked by the delightfully shabby Joe’s Tavern sign at the corner of Tenth Avenue and 25th Street. I’ve never seen the vintage vertical beauty lit up, unfortunately. Even stranger, I’ve never seen any sign of life inside 258 Tenth Avenue, which once housed what I imagine to have been an old-school neighborhood […]
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Ephemeral New York - 12/5/2022
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
Heroism of a Society Belle. | Absolutely Pure.

A New Wrinkle.

A New Wrinkle

How the fashionable women of “sawciety” get their complexions whit the assistance of a hypodermic injection. [more]

A New Way to Color the Cheeks. Avery clever Philadelphia lady and the wife of a popular naval officer has encountered a new idea of great social importance. She was running on about society matters generally, when a gentleman remarked that a certain young lady possessed remarkably pretty cheeks, having that peculiarly lovely tinge of pink rarely seen among fashionable women, and which cannot be imitated by the brush.

“Oh pshaw! You men don’t know anything about it. The same effect is now produced with a syringe.”

“The syringe!” he exclaimed.

“Yes; why, don’t you know that fashionable women restore color in their cheeks by hypodermic injection? Thy have a small syringe, the same as used for administering an anesthetic, and with this they inject a coloring fluid beneath the skin. Peach-blow cheeks are very desirable, and if there is no blood there to make them, the minute veins can be forced full of coloring matter which answers for blood. The trouble is it is only temporary and will eventually injure the skin permanently. But what of that! Drunkenness is only temporary and will eventually ruin those who indulge so why sneer at the woman who wishes to look interesting for an hour? There are women I know who habitually resort to the syringe for their color. When the effect is gone—that is, when the coloring matter is absorbed in the skin and carried away by the blood—the face is absolutely ghastly. The skillful use of the instrument is quite disastrous. There are the daughters of admiral ------, both of whom use it. By nature they haven’t a particle of color. One of them—well, if you ever see her you will see a sight! I mean if your ever see her in daylight. The coloring matter forced into the chees has been taken up in the glands beneath the eyes and carried into the end of the nose. She looks like—like—what do you call it? Yes, and old ‘bum!’ It is too funny for anything! There’s the other difficulty, don’t you see, you can’t tell where the color is going to finally show up.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 6, 1886.