Crazy Headlines of 1900 -- a Weirder and Deadlier San Francisco
|That's how they did it back in 1900...|
Researching the Nov. 29, 1900, disaster required days of sifting through the newspapers of the era. This was an unexpectedly lurid affair; even apart from the articles about hundreds of football fans crashing through a factory roof and onto a furnace, San Francisco of 1900 was a pretty rough-and-tumble place. For one thing, newspapers of the day reveled in covering the suicides of prominent men. These deaths were invariably due to sour business dealings, melancholia, or, most commonly, tainted love. "DEATH ENDS HIS ROMANCE," read a typical headline.
Deaths and misfortunes of all sorts were covered in a literary style that would work its way out of newspaper writing over the next several decades, and adorned with headlines that commonly lacked an ostensible subject ("DROPS DEAD ON THE BOAT").
So, come with us for a sentimental journey to a filthier, nastier, more bigoted, more dangerous, and more mind-boggling San Francisco as we tour the banner headlines of 1900. Click on the images to read a larger version:
This story got a lot of press for a few days in mid-December, 1900. "Their Vicious Assailant" did indeed make a getaway -- even though he was depicted in stunningly lifelike pen and ink in the pages of the San Francisco Call:
Meanwhile, here's some health advice that really caught on:
Yes, the only way to make the notion of "violent golf" funnier is to read the above article in the voice of Margaret Dumont from the Marx Brothers films.
Coming next: Did you realize LOLcats existed back in the 19th century? It's true: