The Mystery of Nell Cropsey, Part I

Ella Maud Cropsey, known to her friends and family as Nell, was born in July 1882 in Brooklyn, New York to William and Mary Louise Cropsey. Nell was the second of nine children, and she was especially close to her older sister Olive, who was nicknamed Ollie. In 1898, the family moved from New York…

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Charles Dana Gibson and his Gibson Girls

The last two posts have been about Evelyn Nesbit, and although there’s at least one more to go, I want to take a slight detour and talk about the Gibson Girls! The Gibson Girls are the invention of Charles Dana Gibson, an American illustrator. His illustrations appeared in the 1890s, and by the turn of the…

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The Life and Times of Typhoid Mary

If you hear the term “Typhoid Mary” today, it is usually about a person who spreads something undesirable, e.g., a common cold. But the original Typhoid Mary was much more than a germ host. In the first place, Mary Mallon, an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, never considered herself to be a carrier at all. Yet she was the…

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