The Arsenic Eaters

Arsenic was not uncommon at the turn of the century. It was a common means of pest control – often as rat poison. In humans, arsenic poisoning produces symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, abdominal pain, and death. In a 1927 Scientific Monthly article, Professor Norman Harrar described arsenic this way: “One of the poisons known […]

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The Notorious George Seymour

Over the weekend, I purchased an old mugshot, dated January 1900. I had no idea who George Seymour was when I bought it and found, to my surprise, he was once one of the most famous criminals in the country. If we begin with his arrest in Pittsburg in January 1900, we can assume this was […]

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Criminal Profile: The Masher

There was an epidemic of mashing at the turn of the century, and it was an offense worthy of hundreds of news articles, civic leagues, and sermons. Masher was a slang term that loosely referred to a man who took advantage of women who appeared alone in public. The caricature of a masher was a well-dressed […]

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