Category: Injuries & Close Calls!

Was Thrown Overboard

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – January 26, 1892



The Story Told by a Half-Drowned Italian Saved Near Claymont.



Special Dispatch to The North American.

WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 26.—”For God’s sake save me before I drown.” These were the cries that startled the people at the Delaware and Pennsylvania line, near Claymont, last evening. The cries came from the river. A boat put out immediately from one of the piers and effected the rescue of an Italian who was going down for the last time. He had been in the water fifteen minutes.

When taken into the boat he said he had been thrown from a passing tug after the most brutal treatment. His face and body bore awful evidence of the treatment he had received from the seamen. The matter will be laid before the Italian Consul at Philadelphia.



Ruthlessly Stolen From From Alf

They Were Nearly Dead

Posted by – November 18, 2013

January 28, 1892


Three Gentlemen Saved From the Delaware Near Burlington.

Special Dispatch to The North American.

BURLINGTON, N. J., Jan. 28.—The breaking up of the ice in the Delaware to-day was attended with two exciting and perilous episodes. Commodore Rogers, of the Burlington Ice Yacht Club, was sailing, accompanied by Edward Wooden. The moving ice warned him too late of his danger, for when he headed the ice-yacht for the Jersey shore there was fifty feet of water between the ice and the land. He tacked and ran for Burlington Island, but before reaching terra firma the ice broke up and the commodore and young Wooden had to cling to the capsized yacht until the water chilled them and they became almost helpless.

Dr. R. G. Stowell, of Burlington, who was crossing to Bristol on foot, was clinging desperately to an ice floe which was growing every moment smaller. Barney Williams saw the desperate plight of the three men and went at once to the rescue of Dr. Stowell in a batteau. When that feat was accomplished he turned his attention to the unfortunate yachtsmen and succeeded in getting them safely into his little craft.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook


M’Kinley’s Mother In Death’s Shadow

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Chico Weekly Record, Chico, CA – Saturday, December 11, 1897


Almost By Miracle She Rallied Sufficiently to Recognize Her Children.


The Aged Lady Recovered Consciousness After the President’s Arrival But It Was of Short Duration.

CANTON, December 7.—Once more the children of Mrs. McKinley have gathered about her couch made sacred by her tenacious struggle against death. The union is complete. The President arrived before the death angel made his visit. With the children were other relatives, among whom was the aged sister of Mrs. McKinley, Mrs. Osbourne, mother of Consul William Osbourne.

There was joy unspeakable in the breast of the President as he stood at the bedside. He had been permitted again to see his mother alive, after having answered all the obligations to his country.

In the little upper room at the McKinley homestead there was a scene almost too sacred for pen to write. The eyes of all present were filled with tears as they witnessed the remarkable and almost miraculous rally of the President’s mother from the unconscious state into which she had fallen early in the morning.

As her son entered the room accompanied by his wife and Miss Mabel McKinley, the sister of the President, Miss Helen, said:

“Mother, here are William and Ida.”

The President knelt by her bedside, kissed his mother tenderly, reverently, and as he did so she put her arm about his neck and signified that she knew him. She also recognized the President’s wife and extended a hand toward her.

She recognized Mabel McKinley and Jack Duncan.

It seemed to friends that she had been awaiting the arrival of her son. Soon afterward she lapsed into an unconscious state and the strength that had been husbanded for the last meeting of mother and son seemed to leave her.

Dr. Phillips, who was present, said that he had never known such a recognition to occur in a case where the patient was as advanced in years. It is plain to the President, however, that despite the rallies she has had his mother has been failing since he left.

At 5 o’clock this morning it was thought by those in attendance that the President would not arrive before his mother died. She was informed that such was thought to be the condition. The President’s run was a rapid one.

The Presidential party was made up of the President and Mrs. McKinley, Secretary and Mrs. Day, Miss Mabel McKinley, Jack Duncan and Miss Mary Barber. The train arrived here at 5:55 a.m.

Mrs. McKinley is rapidly sinking.


You gotta love that melodrama! They certainly don’t write ’em like that anymore…
From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair


He Crept In A House To Die

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Philadelphia, 1892


About four o’clock yesterday afternoon Baboo Sudal, 47 years old, a native of Calcutta, who has been in the city a short time was found in an empty house at 287 south Twelfth street suffering from an attack of pneumonia, complicated with the grip. The man said he had no home, and believing he was going to die made his way into the house in order that he might be sheltered during the night. The patrol wagon was summoned and he was sent to the Philadelphia Hospital, where he will receive every attention. The doctors pronounced him a very sick man, but expressed the belief that he would recover.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

Remarkable Operation

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – September 1, 1885



A New Case in Surgery Which, if Successful, Will Create a Stir in Medical Circles —Death at the Surgeon’s Table Preferred to a Life of Suffering.

NEW YORK , Sept. 1.—A remarkable operation was performed at the Charity Hospital to-day, which the medical profession has always been adverse to undertake, but which, if the patient survives, will result in a new discovery in surgery. In twenty-five cases quoted by Doctor Barnes but three survived a similar operation. Ann Curry, 50 years old, entered the hospital three months ago and was assigned to the gynecological department for treatment. She was the victim of malignant cancer. Two years before she was in the full vigor of health. As the disease manifested itself, she sought relief. She determined to resort to some eminent authority upon the subject, but being without means she was surprised to enter the Charity Hospital. The doctor whose duty it is to examine and classify such cases at once sent her to ward No. 5, where she met Doctor Thomas H. Allen, of No. 21 Park Avenue, a visiting surgeon of the hospital, who informed her of the nature of the grave disease with which she was afflicted. She asked the doctor: “Will an operation kill me?” He informed her the chances would be one in a hundred. “Then,” she said, “I would rather die on the surgeon’s table than live and suffer as I do day after day, and we will take that chance.” The physician decided to undertake the operation, which in tabulated cases, has proved fatal. The patient cheerfully consented to the operation, and through her illness has displayed a heroic coolness. After a consultation, the operation was performed this afternoon at 2 o’clock in the presence of a large number of prominent physicians and surgeons, in the amphitheatre of the Charity hospital. As Dr. Bridger informed Dr. Allen that everything was in readiness for work, Ann Curry walked into the room. The atmosphere was filled with the odor of ether. The young doctor administering the anaesthetic touched the pupil of the eye to know if the anaesthesia were complete, another physician felt the pulse, which was beating regularly, and Doctor Bridger informed Doctor Allen that the patient was ready. Dr. Allen then addressed the assemblage, and said: “I am aware that the weight of authority is against the performance of such an operation, so fatal has it proven in nearly every instance in which it has been done. At the same time here is a woman whose life must soon draw to a terrible close if left to herself, but if operated upon in acquiescence with her own request and under our improved appliances for the destruction of germs, there is a slight hope which I regard as my duty to accord the sufferer.”

Doctor Allen then with a sharp knife made a long, straight, incision into the abdomen. The chief assistant ligated the arteries. An attendant with a spray atomizer kept sprinkling an antiseptic fluid upon the wound. The pulse of the patient continued strong, but at the supreme moment, when Doctor Allen was about to remove the diseased organs, a faint pulse compelled him to desist until his assistant injected some brandy hypodermically. The patient grew stronger, and the operation proceeded. One artery after another was tied until the removal of the organs was completed. The wound was then sewed up with silver wire, and the operation was brought to a termination, which was regarded as the most successful one that has ever taken place on the island. Among those present who witnessed the operation were Doctors J. D. Ferguson, H. Goldthwaite, C. N. Thompson, A. C. Bridges, B. H. Wells, William Moore, W. T. White, C. L. Culpepper, Albert Lino, of New Jersey, A. C. Brinkman, of Brooklyn, and L. L. Seaman, chief of staff of the Charity hospital.

Doctor Allen was asked this afternoon if he was confident of success in the operation. “No, not not [sic] exactly,” he replied: “but I hope to be, although the chances are against it.”

“Does your position as visiting physician to the island allow you to exercise your own judgment in the government of such cases as you had to day?” “Of course. It is for the benefit of the patients that eminent physicians are appointed as visitors to the island.” The doctor smiled and added: “I may not, however, be classified in that category you know.”


Unceremoniously Stolen From Alf

Took Gas Through A Tube

Posted by – November 18, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – January 24, 1886



How a Young Man Tried to End His Life in a New York Hotel.


Special Dispatch to The North American.
NEW YORK, Jan. 24.—A young man, about twenty years old, took a room at the Hotel Shelbourne, Thirty-fourth and Third avenue, Friday evening and retired about eleven o’clock. Two hours later he was found by the night clerk unconscious on the bed, his moans having attracted attention. He had fastened one end of about six feet of rubber tubing to the gas burner, put the other in his mouth and turned on the gas. He had registered as F. Morris, but an open letter was found on him addressed to Robert Robertson, care of Cushman baker, Eighteenth street and Tenth avenue. It was from Madeline Walker, Scranton, the young man’s girl. It was found out that he had worked for Cushman under the man of Robertson, and had been discharged for dishonesty. At the hospital last night he said he was Henry Maxwell, that he had led a fast life and was tired of it. His father is W. H. Maxwell, of Brooklyn. He left home eight months ago. He will have to answer Cushman’s charge and the charge of attempted suicide.


Stealthily Stolen From An Unconscious Alf

She Tried To Drown Herself

Posted by – November 18, 2013

1892 Morbid Scrapbook


A woman who gave her name as Mamie Williams, and who is about thirty-eight years of age, attempted suicide yesterday afternoon by trying to jump in the Delaware at Pine street. She had been seen wandering aimlessly along the streets by a young man named Thomas Morley, of 204 Stampers street. She told him she was tired of life because her mother was dead, and she intended to kill herself. He notified Policeman Malatesta, and the two followed her, and just as she was about to jump into the water they grabbed her and took her to the Third district station-house..

From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

Their Ear-Drums Burst

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – January 10, 1886


NEW YORK, Jan. 19.—During the progress of the trial of the ten guns of the new United States monitor Miantonomah at Gardener’s Bay on Friday three of the officers of the vessel had their ear-drums burst by the concussion which followed the discharge of one of the pieces. Surgeon Kane, of the Miantonomah, when questioned on the subject, would say nothing for publication further than that the accident could have been easily averted had the men stood upon the tip of their toes and opened their mouths. He said that the officers were apparently well drilled, and should have known this.

Stolen From Alf


Mangled In A Butcher’s Wagon

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – January 25, 1886


SHAMOKIN, PA., Jan. 17.—Having shopping to do in this city, Mrs. Hannah Kashner, of Coal Run, accpted Butcher Cherry’s invitation to ride over in his wagon with him. Shortly after seating herself the horse ran away, flinging her in the back of the vehicle. The sides of the wagon cover were studded with sharp meat hooks. During the mile run the woman was hurled from one row of hooks to another, and her flesh was torn off in great strips and an eye was about gouged out. She is in a critical state.


Unceremoniously Stolen From Alf

His Head Cut Almost In Half

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Latin Reader – January 25, 188?



A Mill Man Is Wounded by a Rip Saw, but Is Patched Up and Seems to Be Getting Well.


Seattle, Wash., Jan. 25.—Of all the peculiar and interesting cases the saw mills of Puget Sound have sent to this city, none compete with that of Horatio Stetson, an engineer in Stetson & Post’s mill, whose head was cut in half yesterday by a rip saw. His head was cut across the tops just in front of the ears. The saw went down into the brain fully three inches, the point of exit on either side of the head being on a level with the top of the ears. Stetson crawled out from under the table and was grabbed by his brother, who clapped the two pieces of his head together. The brother says that “blood and brains were coming from his head, which looked as if it was falling apart.”

From this time on he became stronger, the power of motion of his legs and arms returned to him, and his mind was perfectly clear. He could talk, but with difficulty. His temperature was normal and his pulse remained normal all day, and up to eight o’clock at night in the condition of a perfectly well man. And there was no inflammation in the wound, and at last accounts there were no indications of fever setting in.

Many physicians do not wonder at his being alive, but they are mystified at his being possessed of all his mental faculties and retaining control of his limbs, having a good appetite and being perfectly normal in all other conditions of his body.



Taken By Force From Alf