Even The Good Old Days Had Bad News
March 26, 2009 8:06 PM   Subscribe

The Hope Chest: Bad News from the Past is a new blog of old newspaper clippings, mostly from Detroit and Chicago in the 1930s, with true crime and other bizarre stories. Examples include Tries To Shoot A Cat And Hits Automobilist, Driver Loses His Arm Giving Traffic Signal, and Pastor Writes Spicy Book. Other highlights are a phony cop attacking a pornographer with acid and the teenage girl who became a tattooed atheist bandit.
posted by jonp72 (10 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
great link. I love the personalized reflective commentary the blogger appends - it's not a simple reposting of old microfilm, the blogger is interested in learning about the conventions of the reportage, about the culture of the time, etc.
posted by mwhybark at 8:31 PM on March 26, 2009

There are quite a few articles of people getting away with murder under the 'unwritten law'--a kind of nebulous moral law that seemed to overrule the written law of the time (a western Sharia?).
posted by eye of newt at 9:02 PM on March 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thank you for this. It brings me back to the days when I spent lots of time looking at microfilm and microfiche and gawking at the language and how society has evolved over a scant hundred years, and I would get really sucked in to the point where I didn't know hours had passed. (This was way back in ninety-aught-six, you see, before I got my first "graphical webbrowser"... now where did my tea go? Did it suddenly get cold in here?)
posted by not_on_display at 9:37 PM on March 26, 2009

Ah, well, I only thought I was going to sleep.
posted by loquacious at 11:25 PM on March 26, 2009

excellent stuff, thanks! I agree that the commentary is pretty droll.

$200 fine for hitting his wife with a poker?!
posted by patricio at 2:13 AM on March 27, 2009

I almost passed this post over until I saw " teenage girl who became a tattooed atheist bandit". I especially like her leer. Man, is that a movie of the week waiting to be made or what? They need to get Courtney Love to star
posted by ElvisJesus at 5:37 AM on March 27, 2009

Dorcas Bacon is my new hero. (jonp is second-banana hero for posting this)
posted by scratch at 6:29 AM on March 27, 2009

Not quite as interesting as the Daily Mirror and hey here's a link to my site with similar ideas.
posted by JJ86 at 6:39 AM on March 27, 2009

Anytime I see old articles like these, I can't help but wonder whatever became of these people. Especially the tattooed teenage girl; she seems like a character whose life either continued to be adventurous or ended badly.
posted by scarello at 7:01 AM on March 27, 2009

Original Source Documents get me hot.

posted by The Whelk at 9:45 AM on March 27, 2009

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