Ephemera: Noun. (singular: empheron) Any transitory written or printed matter not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day.

Occasionally I stumble across something while researching a story that may not be relevant to the purpose of this site but deserves to be shared. Those items go here.


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Most Poetic Description of a hanging

By Lowell Limpus
Chicago Tribune Press Service

They worked fast and efficiently in Wethersford prison. No time was lost. He had no chance to speak, if he so desired.
Quick hands adjusted the straps about his knees and ankles. Others pulled down the horrible black hood, and almost before one realized it, the cap had descended, like a tragic curtain; descended to shut off forever the ghostly sight of those defiantly vocal eyes — eyes that seemed to glisten with a half performed, half choked, wholly futile plea, for mercy there at the end.
… The gray-haired, grim faced warden, and the actual executioner under the laws of Connecticut, stepped on the lever in the corner across the room from the seated spectators — and the machinery creaked.
The rope whirred through the pulley on the rafter at the top of the thirty five-foot ceiling. It sprang taut — whipped the frail form into the air like a feather; the huge knot under the right ear snapped the head down in a horrible fashion.
The body fell back like a leaden weight. Another snap. The neck was twice broken. The thing was done.
That is to say, he was dead for all practical purposes, but the doctors had yet to be satisfied and the inert clay was to quiver in an appalling fashion, which brought gasps of horror from the twenty spectators.
Despite the straps that bound them, the feet kicked out frantically. The entire body jerked repeatedly for seconds that seemed hours. Then it grew quiet except for the twitching legs, which two guards stepped forward to steady.
The fingers curled and uncurled. Then they formed tightly clenched fists so to remain until the undertaker straightened them out. And then came the quivering.
The lifeless clay was seized as with an ague. It shivered all over, twisting and turning as if the reluctant life still clung to its shelter and feared to flee definitely.
Not a sound In the chamber of death. The guards and spectators watched the spectacle scarcely drawing their breaths.
And then the body swung still like a sack of flour.

Best description of a police chase

Cincinnati Enquirer
St. Patrick’s day, March, 17., 1896, will ever live green in the memory of Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson. It was on this day they were taken to Kentucky, quietly and without much ado.
The crowds about the Jail and the reporters had no idea what was going on until patrol wagon No. 3 backed up to the door and Sheriff Plummer, followed by his prisoners and the detectives, went to get in. Immediately the crowd went wild and a mighty yell went up. “They’re going to Kentucky,” was yelled by a thousand voices. Cabs were telephoned for by reporters, spring wagons were pressed into service and before the officers and prisoners could get in the patrol wagon fully twelve or fifteen vehicles were ready to follow. The horses were forced to a run and those following increased their speed accordingly.
The crowd increased. Fear was unmistakably seen on the countenances of both prisoners. Down Sycamore Street to Eighth the horses went on a wild run. Before reaching Eighth Street, Sheriff Plummer said that it would be impossible to thwart the fast increasing throng and in order to throw them off their guard, ordered the driver to turn west off Sycamore on Eighth and drive to Central Police Station. A large crowd awaited them there and the prisoners were quickly hustled into the cells. The crowds increased until the large iron doors had to be closed to keep the crowds from the driveways and corridors of the big City Building. The prisoners were kept there for two hours or more. Every movement of the officers was watched closely, especially by the reporters.
Suddenly the large iron doors flew open, and patrol No. 1, dashed into the court-yard, when the party was again loaded in quickly. Once in the wagon, a wild drive to Newport was made. East on Eighth Street to Broadway dashed the team of splendid police-horses, down Broadway to Second and over the Central Bridge on a full run thence up York Street in Newport, up to Third to the jail.
Everywhere the people stopped and stared at the strange chase, as patrol No. 1 and vehicles containing press-representatives galloped by, throwing mud and snow in all directions, and unconsciously the correct conclusion was arrived at in nearly every case — that Jackson and Walling were being taken across the river.
Read the article.

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One comment

  1. Aimee says:

    It’s kind of a shame that terms like idiot and moron have been diluted so much now. Now anybody who cuts in line ahead of you at Burger King is an idiot and anybody who loudly disagrees with you is a moron. lol