When Boozing Was A-foot

July 6, 1907
Los Angeles 

Hot! damn but it’s been hot and humid, too, the steamiest early July since records have been kept. Sure there were hotter single days–like July 25, 1891 when the mercury topped 109–but no one can recall a week when the very dawn temperature broke 80 degrees, with no relief offered by the night.

Mrs. Carrie Gilbert’s solution to the grisly weather was to get drunk and sleep out-of-doors, not in a cosy sleepying porch at home at 617 1/2 East Sixth Street, but alongside the railway behind the commission house at First and Central Streets. Deep in the darkness her horrible screams were heard; a passing train had severed her left foot. Taken to Receiving Hospital, the lady slipped into a merciful stupor. Clever, clever dipsomaniac. Shock, they say, leaves one feeling icy cold

Popped by Pups

1907carThe other day officers saw a man blazing down Pico in his autoed-mobile and gave chase for two miles. He was arrested, promised to show for court, and of course did not.

He had given the name Harry King, but a little sleuthing revealed him to be one H. B. Roy. Officers were dispatched to Roy’s home on West Seventh Street.

Walking down the street, Roy made the cops, ran into a garage, left by the back door, and snuck into his home. The policemen asked for Roy at the home but was told by a woman he was not in residence. The cops roughly badged their way in, which forced the woman to call out reinforcements—two snarling, snapping bulldogs. The officers drew their revolvers and advanced on the dogs, loudly proclaiming their intent to shoot them. This got Roy’s attention, and he emerged from the back of the house, to wind up in the paddy wagon.

(While the arrest of J. S. Cravens for a similar high-speed driving offence, posted here June 22, did not mention the speed attained in his chase, in this case Roy’s pursuit was clocked at forty-five miles per hour.)

The Autoist: Our Modern Scofflaw

May 4, 1907
Los Angeles

Ten autoists were hauled into Police Court this morning for breaking speed ordinances, and another two were in attendance for having failed to place rear lights on their machines. All were fined fifteen dollars apiece.

The police assure more arrests of these auto men will follow.

Train Electro-Charged!

May 2, 1907
Los Angeles

Area men Peter Matlock, Morris Ross, and D. J. Berry were waiting for the Pacific Electric car at the Pine Avenue station with the usual mob making the usual Thursday afternoon rush, and had the good fortune to be at the forefront of the throng.

Though when the trolley approached and they grasped the metal guard rails to pull themselves on board, the crowd leapt back as the three men began convulsing in bizarre contortionist fits. With super-human strength they tore themselves from the train, falling heavily to the pavement, dazed and shocked beyond measure, their blistered hands a testament to the defective wiring and improper grounding–that most base, yet heady, of electrical cocktails–that had caused 500 volts to course through the car.

With stern reserve and newfound respect for Mr. Edison, they still caught the next car home.

Runaway Flats

Water is not the only thing that flows downhill, as switchmen at the downtown Southern Pacific freight yard discovered when two runaway flatcars made a 13-mile trip from the San Fernando Valley in 10 minutes.

Although the runaway cars sent people scrambling as they crossed the tracks, there were no trains running at the time, so a serious accident was avoided.

The flatcars, part of a gravel-hauling operation in Roscoe [Sun Valley], inexplicably came loose and had a four-mile downhill start before blazing through the Burbank station. The Burbank operator sent warning ahead that he saw something rip past

Trolley vs Ruminant

March 22, 1907

A special correspondent follows up on the distressing report of a cow gravely injured when struck by an electric car near Lamanda Park. Bossy was found happily chewing her cud with no sign of injury. As near as can be figured, the trolley ran over the cow’s tether, pulling it taut and forcing the reluctant acrobat to turn a dramatic aerial flip. She seems to have landed safely and forgotten all about her wild adventure, until the cries of do-gooders to the Humane Society roused an interest in her case.