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Category Archives: Divorce

Chicago Inter-Ocean, August 11, 1874. It was strongly talked of, see? It was not the passing subject of gay badinage and persiflage, nor something obliquely alluded to in a manner that went over the heads of most. The talk of lynching was strong.

Miami Herald, August 29, 1914. That, my friends, is a world-historically beautiful opening sentence, belonging in the company of “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . .,” “Happy families are all alike. . .,” “It is a truth universally acknowledged. . . ,” and “A couple of days later the phone rang.” Read More »

burn munnyBoston Journal, December 2, 1905. It must be a bitter thing, having to pay alimony to someone that’s torched a bundle of bills and securities worth 15 large (and large it was, back then.*) “Collecting curios and antiques”–I wonder if that’s journalistic code for “invert.”

*I will never be smart enough to know what any of these mean, but here are various ways to translate $15K from 1905 into the strobing, intangible, virtual, Christian- Science dollars of this, our fantastical year of 2009:

$378,610.20 using the Consumer Price Index
$292,347.59 using the GDP deflator
$855,704.70 using the value of consumer bundle
$1,634,713.38 using the unskilled wage
$2,071,170.28 using the nominal GDP per capita
$7,524,679.49 using the relative share of GDP

So: somewhere between a quarter million and 8 million simoleons. A pretty serious chunk of change, whatever.

mac tel 12 17 03-1Macon Telegraph, December 17, 1903. To be fair to this dude, there were no established guidelines for negotiating a three-way in the Edwardian era.

friscoSan Francisco Chronicle, August 23, 1913. That’s my kind of jurist.

LegsAChicago Tribune, September 4, 1933. It occurs to me that we’ve been a bit light on actual mayhem lately, so we’re running a special on post-marital dismemberments. “Roughly hacked” seems like a telling detail: “We’re looking for an amateur here, boys, someone with no finesse. Exclude all packing plant workers from your criminal canvass.” Read More »

Canadian vampiresAChicago Tribune, August 20, 1921. Technically the Trib was a broadsheet paper, as opposed to a tabloid, but content-wise it tended to blur the barrier between the two schools of journalism. A dude stepping out on his wife scarcely fit the New York Times‘s definition of “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” But how about that Miss Gertrude Ingleby, putting out all over Chinatown?! Scandalous!

vegasaDetroit News, May 30, 1931. It used to be so much easier to get your name in the papers.

burn5-29-09Detroit News, May 29, 1931. I think the judge made the right call here.

dateaDetroit News, May 2, 1931. That is one passive-aggressive break-up strategy.