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Category Archives: Unhappy families

Southern Patriot, August 6, 1845. This is intriguing: According to the inerrant Wikipedia, defibrillation was first demonstrated in 1899, and not used on a human until 1947. But here we would seem to have at least a one-off application 54 years earlier. Why no follow up? And where the hell was the current coming from and why was the wire handy? Someone just happened to get a Leyden jar for their birthday?

Ths Brattleboro, Vermont, Reporter, June 14, 1806. Hoo boy, heref a meffed-up ftory about a terrfically unhappy family. Bafically a confpiracy of children to kill their drunken, violent old man before he killed again. Gotta feel forry for the kidf, though my guess is the teenage murdereff probabaly fwung for thif. Read More »

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 »

huitresMacon Telegraph, June 17, 1889. Can you believe it? We’re talking here about an average sororal poundage of 175. And yet, this is a mere bagatelle in relation to some of the ensuing prodigies. For example: Read More »

pure uglinessDaily Critic (Washington, D.C.), May 24, 1878. I love the epistemological nuance of “She is now insane.”

a human frog 1Macon Weekly Telegraph, June 6, 1886. They ain’t kidding. This story is like a collaboration among Zora Neale Hurston, Erskine Caldwell and Edgar Allan Poe. Read More »

shotgunAtlanta Constitution, November 27, 1929. It had to be mince pie, it could only have been mince pie. Had she been making pumpkin, banana cream or shoofly pie, she would have lived to watch Murder, She Wrote.

2 in 8San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 1893. It’s been a while since we rocked the selbstmord. The Kirks are actually not the most suicidal family we’ve met, nor even the first pair of self-cancelling siblings. But as usual, the journalism steps all over present-day CDC guidelines on responsible suicide reportage. Read More »

sfc 9 23 21San Francisco Chronicle, September 23, 1921. So like a woman: having married the slob, she sets about to change him.

schoolboysNew York Tribune, May 24, 1921. Maybe they were Boy Scouts earning their “Vigilante” badges. Well done, lads. Note how revulsion against wife-beaters trumps revulsion at the spectacle of youths physically tormenting an old man. The KKK reference is significant: the Second Ku Klux Klan is riding high in 1921 and was big in and around Akron.