Misc. Tidings of Yore

Forgotten Lore & Historical Curiosities



The Fourth of July: It’s Probably Safer To Stay Home

The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, 14  July 1909
Deseret Evening News, 5 July 1904
Deseret Evening News, 5 July 1904
The Norfolk Weekly News-Journal, 5 July 1901
Arizona Republican, 6 July 1913
The Scranton Tribune, 6 July 1896

Dies at Behest of Baby Ghost (1907)

There were a handful of clippings from newspapers across the country in 1907 reporting that Mrs. Daniel Clauer of Springfield, Ohio died after repeatedly seeing visions of her niece’s ghost.

The Paducah Evening Sun printed part of a conversation between Mrs. Clauer and her daughter, Mrs. Yost:
Alice has been calling and beckoning to me for a month and now that Daniel is gone there is no reason that I should not go to be with them.

The Paducah evening Sun March 25, 1907
The Paducah Evening Sun, March 25, 1907

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Easter Suicides and Fatal Accidents in the Midst of a Blizzard (1915)

From the New York Tribune, April 5, 1915:


Deaths and Accidents in Wake of Blizzard Make Day a Tragic One.
Another, Despondent Over War, Stabs Self Through Heart-Man Killed in L.I. Tube.
     Misfortune stalked out of Saturday’s blizzard and Easter Sunday ended with a tale of suicide, accidental deaths and minor accidents that few days have equalled. Against this record the Tombs court set a mark that can be bettered in only one way, and that an absolutely clear docket. One case was all Magistrate Ten Eyck had to handle.

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The Perils of Crinoline

Not only is crinoline uncomfortable to wear, it has led to the death and destruction of many women (and in some cases men) who horrifically caught fire when the highly combustible underskirt liner came too close to the flames.

Punch Magazine, August 1856
Punch Magazine, August 1856

The Wyandot Pioneer 26 Nov. 1857
The Wyandot Pioneer 26 Nov. 1857

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Ballerinas On Fire (1861)

Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, September 28, 1861

Philadelphia’s Continental Theater on Walnut Street was the site of a handful of deadly fires in the late 1800s, the first of these tragedies being the subject of this entry. At least eight, but possibly nine ballerinas perished in an inferno ignited after one of the dancer’s gauzy green costumes came into contact with flames from a gas tube backstage.

A crowd of fifteen hundred watched William Wheatley’s production of the first act of The Tempest on the evening of September 14, 1861. The show was interrupted by strange lights from behind the scenery, followed shortly by screams, stage carpenters rushing onto the platform and the appearance of a young dancer engulfed in flames. This dancer, Zelia Gale, screamed and waved her arms frantically as her costume and skin melted away. She finally fell beneath the stage where a carpenter covered her in a sea cloth from the set design.

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