I was lucky enough to get my grubby hands on a 1931 book titled, as seen above, Sins of America, by Edward Van Every, and my my are they many. It was a follow-up to a book he put out a year earlier titled, Sins of New York. Both books are collections of stories and illustrations which originally appeared in The National Police Gazette and they are fantastic. The Gazette was a sensationalistic tabloid aimed at the “sporting” single men of the 19th Century. It was sold through barber shops and saloons. It was chock full of dramatic woodcuts of sporting events, brutal crimes, female burlesque performers, actresses in racy poses, and the scandals of the day. During it’s peak it had a readership of over 200,000 and was the most successful such publication of it’s time. More than that it can be credited with the invention of the sports page and the gossip column. Pretty much everything we associate with tabloid journalism, as well as men’s magazines, had a start in the Gazette.

Astounding!!! You’ve discovered the Ur-stripper-pole! Really, it’s like “Here’s all the stuff Ripley was afraid to show you!” Hella funny too. “Poles aloft and below.” Ah, the double entendre. Think Hemingway read this? Charles Addams, probably.

posted on 10.07 at 11:56 AM.

Actually the intro to the book did mention Thomas Edison and James Joyce by name. Evidently Edison was a die hard and The Gazette is name-checked somewhere within the belly of Ulysses.

posted on 10.08 at 09:29 AMjmorrison

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