"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, September 21, 2018

Weekend Link Dump

This week's Link Dump is sponsored by the talented black cats of...The Black Cat.

Watch out for those haunted paintings!

Watch out for those haunted bathrooms!

Shoreditch's strange storm.

Documents relating to Shakespeare's early years.

Why you would not want to be married to John Steinbeck.  (It's been my observation that writers generally do not make good spouses.  They're REALLY wedded to their manuscripts.)

The first English novel was basically an all-cat religious Animal Farm.

Early Modern barber shops.

"Golf Digest," CSI.

Napoleon's English supporters.

This Is Your Octopus On Drugs.

Why fortune-tellers really need to be their own clients.

Why you really, really need to be careful around wool shears.

Question of the week: if you get hit by a meteorite--but live to tell about it--does that make you lucky or unlucky?

Indian prisoners-of-war during WWII.

The (perhaps) sad end of James Garfield's dog.

While we're talking about Garfield, he inadvertently caused a lawsuit.  After he was dead.

The eerie history of the Hall of Dreams.

This week's health tip: wear gold, don't drink it.

They call these two "history's worst hoarders," but it alarms me how much this resembles my house.

Georgian era stand-up routines.  Take my Irishman, please!

The life of Marie Antoinette's daughter.

Of ghosts and hurricanes.

A policeman's unsolved murder.

Some owl superstitions.

Another busy day at Tyburn.

The earliest known photos of an American brothel.

When cleaning your teeth with sulfuric acid seemed like a good idea.  Yes, it's the Victorians.

When Hyde Park had a Cheesecake House.

A lively day in court.

A newly-unearthed Egyptian necropolis.

The dreadful fate of a London elephant.

More on the Black Ghost of Devonshire.

And we're outta here for this week. See you on Monday, when we'll talk time-slips. In the meantime...Hoy Hoy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

via Newspapers.com

I keep a file of stories that I call "Mini Mysteries": true crime cases where there isn't enough information available for a full blog post. Among them is this newspaper item from the "New York Tribune" of August 2, 1922, describing the day when death was on the menu of a popular eatery.
Two more deaths were added last night to the four caused by arsenic in pie served at the Shelbourne Restaurant, 1127 Broadway. Charles Roman, sixty-three years old, a manufacturer, of 1148 Lexington Avenue, died in Mount Sinai Hospital, arid Joseph Laubheimer, thirty-eight years old, of 11 West Sixty-fifth Street, died at his home.

Four others died earlier in the day and at least 100 more were affected, many so seriously that they had to have hospital treatment. More deaths are looked for. It has been impossible to obtain a complete list of those suffering from the poisoning because most of them are being treated at their homes.

The four who died yesterday morning are:

Hyman Bernstein, thirty-two years old, Warren Avenue, Palisade, N. J.

Lillian Getz, eighteen years old, 1262 Brook Avenue, Bronx.

Ida Weissburg, twenty-five years old, 976 Kelley Street, Bronx.

Jacob Pfeffer, fortv-eight years old, 1981 Eightieth Street, Brooklyn.

Mr. Pfeffer was an advertising man, with offices at 318 Broadway. He was well known among Jews in this country and Canada as a forceful editorial writer for Jewish newspapers. At one time he was connected with "The Jewish Daily News" and at another period published "The Jewish Weekly," a paper cf his own.

He was born in Galicia, Austria, and came to this country about twenty eight years ago. He was a prominent member of the Independent Order Brith Abraham and one of the lodges of this organization was named for him.

District Attorney Banton will summon every employee of the restaurant to appear before him to-day in an attempt to fix the responsibility and to find a motive for placing the poison in the pie served in the restaurant on Monday. Samuel Drexler, head of the firm which operates the restaurant, is helping the District Attorney in every possible way. Drexler went to the Bronx and to New Jersey yesterday to see if he could identify the dead persons among those who ate in the restaurant on Monday. In this connection Mr. Banton declared that it might be difficult to establish legally the fact that those who died did actually dine in the restaurant, and therefore, ho said, he wished that all those who ate there on Monday would communicate with him, as they might be helpful on this point.

A special meeting of the Board of Health was called yesterday afternoon by Acting Health Commissioner Monaghan, at which Drexler and his attorney, Harry H. Oshrim, were present. As a result of this meeting, the license issued to the Shelbourne Restaurant was revoked pending tho investigation by the District Attorney's office, the revocation to take effect immediately. After the meeting, Ole Salthe, chief of the Bureau of Food and Drugs of the Health Department, said that chemists of the department had made an analysis of a sample of the pie crust taken from the restaurant and found that it contained arsenic in considerable quantity. All the ingredients which were used in the making of the pie dough were analyzed and found to be pure.

"In my opinion," said Mr. Salthe, "the arsenic was maliciously put into the pie dough." He also announced that samples of all the food served in the restaurant were in the possession of the Health Department and that these would be analyzed as soon as possible.

The District Attorney's investigation has failed so far to reveal any one on whom guilt may be fastened. Mr. Banton thought it possible rat poison (which contains arsenic) or some similar substance might have been mixed with the dough by mistake in place of some of the proper ingredients.

Charles Abramson, a baker, who left the employ of the Shelbourne Restaurant on Saturday, was questioned by the District Attorney's office. Later he was held as a material witness and was released in $100 bail. According to Mr. Banton. he is apparently not to blame.

The examination of witnesses disclosed yesterday that Abramson had been connected with the restaurant for three months, coming into its employ when Louis Mandell, the former baker, quit to go into business for himself. A couple of weeks ago Abramson heard that Mandell had not succeeded in his new venture and had sold out. Believing that Mr. Drexler would desire to take Mandell back, Abramson got another job, and a week ago Monday told Mr. Drexler that he would quit on last Saturday. Mr. Drexler then re-engaged Mandell, who came to work on Monday morning. Abramson also came down that morning to instruct Mandell in the number of pies to bake for the trade that day. According to Mandell there were two pies left over from Saturday (the day Abramson quit) and the crusts of these were thrown away. There was also about five pounds of dough left over and, as was the custom, he mixed this with about two pounds additional, which he made, to compose the amount to be used for that day.

It was also found during the investigation that the baker's helper, a man called Louis, whose full name and address were not available last night, always came very early in the morning and prepared the basis of the dough and that when the baker himself came all he had to do was to add the proper amount of shortening and whatever other ingredients were necessary for the actual process of baking. It was also the duty of Louis to take care of the dough left over each day and see that it was placed in the ice box so that it might be used with whatever new dough it was necessary to make the next day. Louis will be summoned for questioning to-day.

The first knowledge of arsenic in the pie crusts came from the restaurant management. Several people came to Mr. Drexler after lunch and declared that the pie must be bad for it burned their throats. Mr. Drexler turned to his brother-in-law and partner, Frank J. Rosenthal, and said, "Frank, you have a sweet tooth. See if anything is wrong with those pies." Rosenthal tasted several of them and said they seemed all right to him. However, a short time later he was taken violently ill and Mr. Drexler, becoming alarmed, sent a sample of the crust to Bendiner &, Schlessinger, chemists, of 47 Third Avenue, who, after an analysis by Dr. Israel Schwartz, made a report showing that there was considerable arsenic in the crusts.

While most of the victims are supposed to have been poisoned by eating the pie, at least one of them declared yeptcrday that she believed there was poison in some, of the other dishes. Miss Sadie Brown, of 1118 Forest Avenue, the Bronx, one of those made ill by the food, asserted that a woman sitting next to her in the restaurant ate nothing but a small portion of beef a la mode, and nevertheless became violently ill in a short time.
So, where did the investigation into this seemingly utterly senseless mass murder go? Absolutely nowhere. Although it was logical to presume that the food was poisoned by one of the small number of people with access to the restaurant's kitchen, police were unable to find sufficient motive, means, and opportunity to lead them to any one suspect. The crime was never solved.

Unsurprisingly, the Shelbourne closed its doors for good. And it took some time before New Yorkers rekindled their taste for pie.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Case of the Disputed Deathbed

Walton Dwight was, in his own charmingly Freudian words, a man who liked "to bore with a big auger." He was typical of the builders and developers who did so much to transform 19th century America from a rural land into an urban powerhouse. His life reads like a classic American success story...right until it ended as a classic American mystery.

Dwight first rose to some prominence during the Civil War, where he fought with distinction for the Union, rising to the rank of Colonel. After being severely wounded at Gettysburg, Dwight retired from the military. He settled in Binghamton, New York, married a charming young heiress, Anna Dusenbury, and turned his attention to the world of business. His starting capital came through a seemingly tragic event. While he and his family were out of town, his mansion inexplicably caught fire and burned to the ground. Happily, it was very heavily insured, netting the Colonel a tidy sum which he invested in various development schemes.

He quickly found success as a lumber manufacturer, a mine operator, and a real estate tycoon. The physically-impressive Dwight (he was 6'3", 250 pounds, and boasted a long blond beard) soon became financially imposing, as well. He was responsible for many building projects in and around Binghamton, and in 1871 served as the town's mayor. (His campaign slogan was, "I have prospered in Binghamton. Let Binghamton prosper with me!”) A contemporary described Dwight as "tall in stature, of handsome appearance and pleasing address, dignified in learning, yet cordial in social intercourse, warm in his welcome, and princely in hospitality.” There was talk of him as an eventual governor of New York state.

Sadly, the 1870s proved to be unkind to our hero. The fiscal panic of 1873 was a disaster from which he never recovered. His extensive financial operations nosedived. In his efforts to save them, he ran through his own money, then his wife's personal fortune. By 1878, he was some $400,000 in debt. (Over $9 million in today's dollars.) Worse still, his normally robust health suddenly and dramatically failed him. On November 15, 1878, he passed away in a hotel room at the age of forty-one. Only one person--a friend of Dwight's named Charles Hull--was present at his deathbed.

Well, maybe it was a deathbed. The question of what precisely happened to Colonel Dwight on that November day proved to be a leading topic in the law courts of the time.

Almost immediately after Dwight's passing, it emerged that there were some very curious aspects to the financier's last days. For one thing, Dwight went into purchasing life insurance on a truly epic scale. He took out policies on himself with no less than twenty-one different companies, for a total of some $420,000. For those hard-bitten, battle-tested men at those insurance companies, such enthusiasm instantly raised their eyebrows.

Those brows were further raised when the contents of Dwight's will became known. Most of his bequests were normal enough, if curiously lavish for someone of his financial travails. But when a man leaves $5,000 to the Coroner and twice that to the Surrogate who admitted the will to probate, even the most trusting start to mutter that there was some jiggery-pokery going on.

Although one or two of the insurance companies ponied up to the tune of $50,000, others rebelled, with the result that Dwight's loved ones spent the next five years in court battling over the Colonel's dubious deathbed. Walton's heirs presented a beautifully simple story: the Colonel met an untimely demise due to gastric fever. The large amounts of life insurance he bought right before the sad event just showed what a prudent and far-seeing person he was. The insurance companies thought otherwise. They argued that the corpse known as "Colonel Walton Dwight" was a ringer, possibly procured from some medical college. The companies pointed to the curious fact that virtually the last thing Dwight did before "expiring" was to have himself shaved, suggesting that the only suitable corpse to be found was lacking facial hair. They also presented in court a physician who testified that he did not believe the body presented for insurance purposes was that of the Colonel. The doctors who had performed the autopsy believed that this dead man had died of strangulation, leading to the theory that the soi-disant Dwight was in fact some hanged criminal. The genuine article, meanwhile, slipped away, probably to Mexico or South America.

One school of thought proposed that the living Dwight had been packed in a box and mailed out of town, where some co-conspirators unpacked him and set him free to enjoy the fruits of his fraud. Others, who accepted that the Colonel had pulled a fast one on everybody but who still believed that the "corpse" was truly his, had an alternate theory which sounds like something from a Wilkie Collins novel. They believed that Dwight had taken gelsemium in order to temporarily simulate his own death. (An empty bottle of the drug was found outside the room where he met his end.) A man who had once worked with Dwight swore he saw him on the streets of Chicago a month after the Colonel's "death."

The long legal battle provided excellent entertainment for onlookers, but, in the end, proved irritatingly inconclusive. Dwight's heirs lost the case, but only on legal technicalities--the Colonel had made certain false statements on his insurance applications. The question of when, where, and how Walton Dwight truly died--and who, if anyone, lies in the ornate and lavish tomb the Colonel had built for himself--remains, in the words of an anonymous biographer, "the greatest of insurance mysteries."

Friday, September 14, 2018

Weekend Link Dump

As it's back-to-school time, this week's Link Dump is sponsored by the Strange Company Academy!

A look back at the days of bad-tasting watermelons.

A look back at the days of mermaid salespeople.

A look back at the days of taxed beards.

A look back at the days of the British importing ice to India.

A look back at the worst day of the Napoleonic Wars.

A look back at the opera that sparked a revolution.

Choosing burial sites in the Early Modern era.

The impact of reading in the Georgian era.

An ancient Egyptian tomb has been opened to the public.

The folklore of Madagascar.

The life of a transported criminal.

The life of an East India Company director.

handcuffing poltergeist.

The mysterious ruins of Malden Island.

A 17th century Portuguese/Japanese cookbook.

The Black Ghost of Devonshire.

The real Lone Ranger.  Maybe.

The 18th century wells of Hyde Park.

Ice Age burial rituals.

Strange things are going on at one California airport.

Strange things are going on at one New Mexico observatory.

The British occupation of Baghdad and overprinted stamps.

The Industry of Transporting Corpses; Or, Whacking Up On Consumptives.

This has to be the most 21st century headline yet.

The last highwayman to be hanged in England.

This week in Russian Weird: anyone in the market for a psychic cat?

The earliest known tooth cavity.

The earliest known drawing.

What was it like to be imprisoned in the Bastille?  As with so many things in life, it depended on the size of your wallet.

Reconstructing Neanderthal music. Reminds me of a theremin.

Death in an elevator.

Well, all righty then.  We're doomed.

Tragedy at a puppet show.

A salacious historical myth, debunked.

A firehouse's many mascots.

This week's Advice From Thomas Morris: how not to treat diarrhea.

And thus ends your weekly dose of links. See you on Monday, when we'll examine that evergreen topic of insurance fraud. In the meantime, here's the "other" Mozart:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

via Newspapers.com

What do you get when you cross the "mysterious showers of stones" that form such a large part of Fortean lore with the modern-day "The Watcher" incidents?

This baby.  The "Maui News," October 4, 1921:
Puunene has a mystery which has roused the interest of not only that community, but of all central Maui as news of it spread about. Stones are being thrown, fairly showered up on and around a house and from unknown senders letters or notes are being delivered. Though the police officials have been working on the case for some time, they have not discovered the source of the annoyance. As many as 300 or 400 persons have gathered about the house of a night to witness the strange happenings. Though the stones appear to fall out of a clear sky and though the notes are delivered by some one unseen, there has been no hint of "ghosts" or of "discarnate spirits" in any of the numerous notes the family has received. There appears to be no occasion to refer the matter to the Society for Psychical Research, since the writer has said he will "stay with" the family he is annoying "until my death."

From police sources it is learned that the family which is suffering the annoyances is Portuguese and consists of a father, mother and daughter. Their troubles started when notes began to arrive shortly after it was announced that the daughter was to marry her cousin. Then and since, following a warning whistle, a note written in lead pencil, large letters on brown wrapping paper, would be found under the door or on the porch or some where about the house. In time the family came to expect and look for the letters after hearing the whistle, and they always found one. The language of the letters is fairly grammatical but it is evident that the writer disguises his handwriting. The writer says the family knows who he is and adds that he will never be caught. He makes fun of the police for failing to detect him and details happenings in the house and about the camp.

For months past, dating back as far as June, the family would be showered with gravel and broken stones when returning from the picture shows, on reaching the stone quarry or perhaps not until almost home, but none of the stones ever struck any of them. Recently the stones have fallen in the crowd around the house, not striking any one though one narrowly missed the sheriff. They appear to come from no particular direction nor do they bounce or roll along the ground from where they strike as a stone ordinarily would when thrown near the ground, but on the contrary, bounce or roll a very short distance, more as if they came from above. Larger stones and a piece of iron weighing six or seven pounds have struck upon the roof of the house.

It is not only at night and in the evening that the annoyances occur. In broad daylight stones and gravel have fallen on or about the house but no thrower of them has ever been seen. So also. in the day time the whistle has been heard and letters have been found at the door or under it.

The sheriff has quite a collection of such letters including one received Friday night in which references to his office are not couched in highly complimentary terms. Parties organized in Wailuku went up several nights last week and members of such parties came home mystified.

So persistent has been the annoyance that the members of the family have become extremely nervous and close by neighbors are becoming almost as much so. The section is very closely settled.

Saturday morning the family found one of the notes lying on the stove. It said the writer was sorry for all the annoyance caused and would cease the stone throwing and the letter writing. Since then there have been no repetitions of the troublesome and mysterious incidents and the police believe their activities have brought the end to the affair though investigations are still in progress.
I wasn't able to find if the mysterious letter-writer was ever found.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Admiral Faces a Mutiny

The most puzzling murderers are not necessarily the ones who are never caught. They are often the ones who are caught, put on trial, and then, thanks to some quirk of fate, get clean away with it.

A prime example is the peculiar death of Rear Admiral Joseph Giles Eaton—a case now completely forgotten, but which, for a brief period early in the 20th century, was the “crime of the century” du jour.

Eaton was born in Alabama in 1847. A graduate of the Naval Academy at Annapolis, in 1867 he served as part of Farragut’s fleet, and went on to many other naval assignments around the world. After his long and distinguished career, he was made commandant of the Charlestown Navy Yard in 1905.

Joseph Eaton, via  Dracut Historical Society

In 1871, he married Mary Ann Varnum. Their only child died at the age of thirteen. Early in 1906, Mrs. Eaton fell ill with what was diagnosed as “cerebral apoplexy.” After her death in February, her nurse, a Mrs. Jennie May Ainsworth, took up residence in the Eaton household, along with her two children. The Admiral had been led to believe she was a widow, but in fact she was still married to a D. G. Ainsworth. In July, Mrs. Ainsworth obtained a divorce from her husband, (it was only then that Eaton learned she was married,) and two weeks later she and Joseph Eaton wed. The newlyweds settled down in Assinippi, Massachusetts.

Jennie Eaton, via Library of Congress

Eaton’s second marriage was troubled almost from the start. If the new Mrs. Eaton was to be believed, this highly-respected, accomplished Admiral was in reality a first-rate monster. In August of 1909, the couple announced the birth of a son. It did not come out until later that the child was not biologically related to either of the parents, but was an illegitimate newborn whom the Eatons had secretly adopted. The baby suddenly died a few months after his birth, and Mrs. Eaton publicly declared her husband had poisoned him. Her assertions were so loud and insistent that a police investigation was made into the baby’s demise. An autopsy showed no signs of poison or any other foul play, and the matter was dropped.

Unsurprisingly, this caused a rift within the Eaton marriage. Mrs. Eaton moved out of the family home, but although one would think accusations of child-murder would be difficult to forgive or forget on either side, some months later the couple was reconciled. At this time, the household also consisted of Jennie Eaton’s mother, Mrs. George Harrison, and Jennie’s two children, June (whose husband had recently divorced her on the grounds that the child she had recently delivered was not his,) and Dorothy.

As soon as the Eatons had patched things up, Mrs. Eaton was back spreading horrifying stories about her husband’s iniquities. She told the family doctor that her husband was insane, a drug addict who was plotting her murder, and a fiendish womanizer who held orgies in their home and made advances to her own daughters. Oh, and she fully expected him to burn their house down. Eaton himself tried passing all this off as “a joke,” but he once sadly admitted that “they now represent a terrible tragedy.”  When asked his address, Eaton took to replying, "a lunatic asylum."

Little did he know that the lunacy was just getting started. On March 7, 1913, Eaton began suffering terrible stomach pains and vomiting, which he attributed to some fresh pork he had eaten the night before. Early the next morning, his wife called their doctor to announce that the Admiral was dead. He was so startled by the news that he immediately brought in the Medical Examiner to do a thorough investigation. While doing the autopsy, the medical men noticed a number of bottles in Eaton’s room, which the widow told them was probably poison. Before they left, Mrs. Eaton pulled the doctor aside and said “I do not know anything about poison. I never made a study of it,” and asked if he found signs of “homicidal insanity” in her late husband. She went on to state calmly that the Admiral had been a drug addict for years, and had an extensive knowledge of poisons.

After an enormous amount of arsenic was discovered in the dead man’s body—at least eight times the amount that could kill—Mrs. Eaton found herself arrested for murder.

"Washington Post," March 23, 1913, via Newspapers.com

The defense argument was simple: Admiral Eaton had been an insane drunkard and drug addict who finally chose to end his utterly worthless existence. Their witnesses included a doctor who in 1909 had received a letter from Mrs. Eaton stating that her “dangerous, insane” husband had murdered their child, and was now plotting her own poisoning, as well as men who “had heard” allegations that Eaton had been “intemperate in his habits.” Their star witness was an eighty-three year old doctor who testified that he had sold the Admiral 45 grains of arsenic. The force of this man’s assertions was greatly weakened when it was revealed he was a regular guest of the prison system, and was, in fact, currently serving a stretch for performing “illegal operations.”

One of the trial’s most curious moments was when a friend of the Eatons testified that, about eight months before the Admiral’s death, Jennie May confided to her that she had a “wealthy lover” in Chicago who wanted her to leave her husband and marry him. The prosecution presented this as a probable motive for her to turn poisoner, but this rich Chicagoan—who was never identified—was very likely imaginary.

Mrs. Eaton took the stand with the same smiling, unruffled demeanor she had displayed ever since her husband’s death. During her six hours of testimony, she defended her actions and deflected all damaging insinuations with remarkable poise and adroitness, causing one lawyer to describe her as “the most wonderful witness I have ever heard.”

There was conflicting testimony about when Eaton ingested the arsenic. A doctor testifying for the defense opined that there was only one large dose of the poison, which the victim swallowed directly after the mid-day meal the day before his death, at a time when it was established that Mrs. Eaton was not at home. Under cross-examination, however, he admitted that it was also possible that Eaton first took the poison late the following day, and that he could have swallowed several other doses between that time and his death.

In his closing argument, Mrs. Eaton’s attorney described her as a sterling character with no motive to murder her husband. In contrast, the District Attorney portrayed the defendant as a “paranoiac,” whose hallucinations led her to murder. He strongly urged a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Instead, after deliberating for nine hours, the jury returned a verdict of “not guilty,” period. As a result, a hitherto highly-respected Naval officer not only suffered an agonizing death, but was posthumously branded a libertine, a drunkard, a drug addict, a murderer, and finally a suicide.

Seven months after Jennie was acquitted, she remarried her first husband. About a year later, her daughter June startled their community with the announcement that a “secret son” of the late Admiral was stalking the family. No one else ever saw any signs of this sinister prowler, and considering that soon afterward, June was committed to a mental hospital, it is safe to assume that she was being harassed by nothing more than a guilty conscience.

In 1918, Jennie May Ainsworth again found herself under arrest, this time for abandoning June’s four-month-old baby in an apartment building. I have been unable to find how this case was resolved. In the 1920s, she and her family were managing a boarding house in Washington, D. C., but after that, this peculiar household disappeared from history.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Weekend Link Dump

This week's Link Dump is proud to be sponsored by Puss in Boots!

What the hell might be living on Jupiter?

What the hell was this "ghost ship?"  Now we know!

What the hell happened to MH370?  It's looking like we'll never know.

Watch out for the Manchester Canal!

Why does he love John Quincy Adams?  Let him count the ways.

From what I've seen of Hollywood, Geoffrey's much better off.

The Water Poet.

Two remarkable war nurses.

The 19th century spiritualist Andrew Jackson Davis.

So it seems that the real victor at Waterloo might have been a volcano.

Yet another busy day at Tyburn.

All hail the power of cheese.

Bankruptcy and body-snatching.

Welsh mythology and the Mabinogion.

Another example of how ancient medicine is underrated.

A 4,000 year old cemetery in the desert.

Yet another victim of the French Revolution.

Is the space station being sabotaged?

The cursed Strahl family.

Old Bombay's "Aunty Bars."

The Rebecca Riots.

Confessions of a murderer.

The body of a long-missing hiker has been found.

A duel in Hyde Park.

Schrodinger, the lonely cat.

The dark side of wildlife conservation.

The dark side of immortality.

The "singing priest" and the Reformation.

An ancient Egyptian village.

Byron's "Breton cousin."

That time kilts were banned in Scotland.

Was this Arthur's Round Table?

An 18th century feminist.

Morse Code's forgotten competition.

The mystery of the dead train children.

The son of Madame Tussaud.

That's it for this week's Link Dump!  See you on Monday, when we'll visit a once-famous murder trial.  In the meantime, bring on the sound of trumpets: