Boarding House Blues

Author: Tiger Wiseman

1 May 2024
Capone's "white sheep" Brother

Chicago gangster Al Capone was one of nine children born to Gabriele Capone, a barber, and Teresa Raiola, a seamstress. James Vincenzo Capone was the couple's first-born child, and one of two born in Italy before the family emigrated to the U.S. His U.S.-born siblings, Al, Savatore and Ralph, became members of the notorious Five […]

Read More
2 April 2024
Japan in the 1920s

I usually blog about the Roaring 20s in the U.S., but yesterday I arrived in Japan for two weeks. So, I'm looking at the non-roaring 20s here. In World War I, few people from Japan died. In fact, the country only lost 415 people and all of those were in the military. No civilians died. […]

Read More
2 March 2024
Do Not Disturb. Writer at Work

This is for all you writers who need complete quiet and concentration when you work — provided you don't suffer from claustrophobia. In 1925, editor and publisher Hugo Gernsback proposed an invention to eliminate noise distractions. Gernsback dubbed his creation "The Isolator" helmet. His prototype helmet was made of wood and felt, and included a […]

Read More
13 February 2024
The Truth Behind An American Tragedy

Many, if not most, of us read Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy during high school. His novel examines the disillusionment of the American Dream. In it, Dreiser reveals how the pressures of society toward financial success, coupled with the protagonist's urges, drive him to his own destruction. But did you know it's based it is […]

Read More
3 January 2024
Recipes: Past & Present - Creamed Oysters

Food is one of my passions. Cooking perhaps even more than eating. I collect cookbooks and read them for fun. I have a separate Kindle just for e-cookbooks. You get the picture. Recipes from 1920 looked — and probably tasted — a lot different than today. Judging from old cookbooks, many, if not most, recipes […]

Read More
1 December 2023
Monkey see, monkey do.

Who among us hasn’t played “follow the leader” on monkey bars? And fallen off with a resounding thud. While many monkey bars are stand-alone units today, they were originally part of a jungle gym. The first jungle gym was invented in 1920 and patented by Chicago lawyer Sebastian Hinton. While the term "monkey bars" was […]

Read More
1 November 2023
Here she is, Miss America

In the Fall of 1920, local Atlantic City, NJ business owners devised a scheme to extend the tourist season into September. They planned to stage an "inter-city" beauty contest where local newspapers would select contestants and pay for their wardrobe. The Atlantic City Businessmen's League would pay for their travel to the contest. Newspapers in […]

Read More
1 September 2023
Before there were dealerships, there were salons

The prosperity of the 1920s led to new patterns of consumption for consumer goods like radios, vacuums, beauty products, and clothing. For many, this new pattern included cars. Prosperity, coupled with the expansion of credit, put automobiles within reach of average Americans. Now individuals who could not afford to purchase a car at full price […]

Read More
15 July 2023
An unsung heroine who soared

Bessie Coleman is not exactly a byword in most homes, but in some circles she's a glittering star. Born in Atlanta, TX, in 1892, Coleman became the first African-American/Native American woman to hold a pilot license. Her sharecropper father was of Cherokee descent and her mother African-American. She earned her license from the French Fédération […]

Read More
1 July 2023
I scream, You Scream, We All scream for …

School is out, the temperatures are soaring, and the lines at the ice cream stand are out the door. It’s a summer rite of passage. In the first decades of the twentieth century, street ice cream was usually sold from pushcarts. The quality (both of raw ingredients and end product) left a lot to be […]

Read More
1 2 3 5
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram