Boarding House Blues

Author: Tiger Wiseman

17 January 2023
Celery Washer Robbery is Front Page News

Writing historical fiction entails huge amounts of research. Some of the best sources are old newspapers and magazines. Once you get started it’s hard to stop, particularly when you come across headlines like the one below, which appeared on this day in 1925 in the New York Times. VICTIM FELLS BANDIT WITH CELERY, IS SHOT […]

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5 January 2023
A Woman's Place is Every Place

On this day in 1925, Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming became the first female governor in the United States. Ross won a special election to fill a vacancy caused by the death of her husband, the incumbent, even though she had refused to campaign. She would later serve as the first female director of the […]

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20 December 2022
Christmas Cards -- Love 'em or Hate 'em

It's that time of the year again, when we look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends yet dread the myriad tasks the season brings, including baking dozens of cookies, decorating the house, wrapping presents, untangling the tree lights, and my own personal bête noire: writing Christmas cards. Some say we have Sir Henry […]

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1 December 2022
Mmm Mmm Good, Campbell’s soup is Mmm Mmm Good!

What does that jingle evoke in your mind? Chicken noodle soup and a tuna sandwich (my fave as a teenager)? Tomato soup and grilled cheese? Whatever your favorite, you have John T. Dorrance to thank. Dorrance, Pennsylvania-born and an MIT graduate, received his PhD from the University of Göttingen, having specialized in chemistry, mathematics and […]

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15 November 2022
1920s Unsolved Mysteries - “Diamond Jim” Colosimo

Italian immigrant Vincenzo Colosimo was gunned down on May 11, 1920. Between his arrival in the US at age seventeen, and his death, Colosimo — aka James "Big Jim" or "Diamond Jim" for his obsession with the gems — carved out a criminal empire in Chicago built on prostitution, gambling, and racketeering. He also led […]

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1 November 2022
Best in Show

Once upon a time, there was a group of hunters who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel at Irving Place and 16th Street in Manhattan. The men, perhaps after an evening of drinking, decided to create a kennel club — an organization for canine affairs that concerns itself with the breeding, showing and promotion of […]

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15 October 2022
An Improbable Win

Every jockey dreams of winning a big race. Few succeed, but those who do rightfully celebrate their victory. All except Frank Hayes. In 1923, at 22 (or possibly 35 — records are few), Hayes had yet to win his first race. He had only recently transitioned from trainer and stable hand to jockey. Imagine his […]

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6 October 2022
Flapper Couture

You’ve received an invitation to a Roaring 20s costume party. If you’re a woman, you will immediately start scanning the Internet for an above-the-knees, fringed flapper dress, as well as a feather boa, long cigarette holder, and flapper headband. Great outfit. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be accurate, at least not the dress. For the most part, […]

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14 September 2022
Books that defined the 1920s — Wooster & Jeeves

Historical Fiction is a story that takes readers to a time and place in the past. The "past" could be 1260 or 1960. Today, readers think of historical fiction as something written in one time, but depicting another. But what about writers who depicted their own time, but are being read 50 years later? Personally, […]

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1 September 2022
Women's Journey to the Olympics

Don't get mad, get even. That might well have been the motto of female athletes in the 1920s. Participation in the ancient Olympic Games was limited to male athletes only. At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens 1896, no women competed, as Baron de Coubertin, founder of the International Olympic Committee, and its second […]

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