Jack the Ripper in St Louis - and a Contest! - Joanna Campbell Slan

Jack the Ripper in St Louis — and a Contest!


Note: “Fedora Amis” is a long-time friend of mine. I read Jack the Ripper in St. Louis a while back and loved it! You will, too. Here we learn about Fedora and her love for all things old and cool! — Joanna

 By Fedora Amis


Ads from the past…

Call me strange, but I like to read newspaper
advertisements–from 1897.  For a mere three cents, I can paper shop to my
heart’s content.  A fine pair of Storm Queen winter boots cost
$1.37.  I could buy a living room sofa for $7.75 or have my hernia
repaired for under $20.
With no Truth in Advertising laws,  companies offered
miracle products. One boasted it would cure a cold in a single day.  Dr.
Dromgule’s Female Bitters promised to cure any and every female complaint.
These nostrums didn’t really cure anything, but the consumer would feel better
after taking a big swig. Most contained equal amounts of molasses, water and
whiskey.

Fedora Amis loves reading and writing about the past.

Recipes for cosmetics…

Before Revlon and Maybelline, ladies had to make their own
cosmetics. Here are two recipes–which I beg you never to use.

     For women’s hair: Was no oftener
than every three weeks using egg yolk and cold water.

     For men’s baldness: Rub scalp with
parafin. Stay away from fire.

     For the lady’s  face: Wash face seldom, and then with milk or salad
oil.  Sleep with cloth soaked
in strong lead lotion laid across the nose.   

     Thank heavens we now know that
lead collects in the body.  Lead poisoning leads to pain, confusion,
headache, seizures, coma and death. Suffering for beauty may be one thing–but
this is definitely going too far.

Dangers lurked…

With no pure food or drug laws, candy makers used arsenic
to color their confections green Morphine was the key ingredient used to calm
tots in Winslow’s Baby Syrup and Kopp’s Baby Friend. I’ll bet it worked wonders
on fussy babies–and opened many to lives of addiction. Drugstores sold
paregoric and other opiates over the counter–as they did a variety of poisons.

The late Victorian era was a time when the earliest child
labor laws reduced the working day for children under twelve years of age to a
mere 10 hours a day. Smoke from coal-fired factories so blackened the air
that buildings near the riverfront had to use artificial light at high noon
even on a sunny day.  Local streets were flowing or rutted mud for
three-fourths of every year. Shopgirls made 6 cents an hour. Trousers
were called “unwhisperables.” Dr. John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek,
Michigan, invented cornflakes in 1896 because he believed that a bland diet
would reduce unhealthy sexual desire. 
I revel in the delicious irony of those times. Atlanta
druggist John Pemberton cooked up a blend of cocaine and Kola nut in 1886. He
called it the great National Temperance Drink. Substitute addiction to cocaine
for addiction to liquor–what a concept! That’s why I love to read old
newspapers.

I like nothing better than to discover odd bits of pop
culture from the 19th century and to use them in writing my humorous Victorian
whodunits



ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

“Fedora
Amis,” author of Jack the Ripper in St. Louis, is the winner of the Mayhaven
Award for fiction, now available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other fine
booksellers.

Visit
Fedora’s website at Fedoraamis.com and follow her on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/Fedoraamisauthor

Also online is a new interview   http://stlsinc.blogspot.com/


CONTEST:


Fedora has kindly agreed to give away one copy of Jack the Ripper in St. Louis to a lucky commenter. Add your comment and we’ll choose a winner! 

DEADLINE: 

You have until Sunday, September 8 at midnight to make a comment. We’ll choose one lucky commenter at random. The winner will be announced on Monday, September 9.

• Posted in Blog • Tags: , , , , , , , |  17 Comments

17 replies on “Jack the Ripper in St Louis — and a Contest!”

  1. I think this would be a great book to read; sorry that I never heard of it before this, but now I will surely get that chance. I would really like a product like female bitters to "cure all my complaints" but that would take a lot of female bitters I guess. 🙂 Looking forward to reading one way or another Thank you to the author and to you for offering the book, Joanna. Take care, Cynthia

  2. I think this would be a great book to read. I'm always looking for books to expand my ever growing library 🙂 Thanks! Marla

  3. I've lived in St. Louis all of my life, and I have never before associated the city with Jack the Ripper. Intriguing, does this have any basis in fact??

  4. Hi Fedora!

    I love the history around St. Louis. Growing up in Idaho, the area we now live in is filled with places right out of the history books. Jack the Ripper in St. Louis sounds great.

  5. Oh, gosh, I'm so glad to hear that all of you are excited about Fedora's book. I happen to know that Fedora gives talks in costume, as she portrays a time gone by. I'll try to get her to respond to some of your queries.

  6. Elluvel. Yes, indeed. Quack doctor Francis Tumblety died in St. Louis in 1903.

    Right now that selfsame scoundrel sits at number 2 on ripperology suspect lists. I have lots more to say on my website Fedoraamis.com

    Just click on the Jack the Ripper in St. Louis button.

  7. Hi Cynthia,

    Jack The Ripper in St. Louis just came out on June 1–so it's pretty new.

    As for the old elixirs–they didn't work. But they were about 30% alcohol–and many also had cocaine or opium so I bet they felt like they were curing something.

  8. Today is a significant day–last day of the book giveaway at Joanna's blog, but also a very significant and sinister day to Jack the Ripper followers.

    On this date, September 8, 1888- Jack the Ripper slew "DARK" ANNIE CHAPMAN. Her brass rings were missing. Among the possessions of Francis J. Tumblety when he died were two cheap brass rings. Were they souvenirs of his second grisly murder?

  9. The Ripper case has fascinated me for years. Seven years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to London, and the Whitechapel tour was tops on my list! Books on this topic are intriguing; I've read about Tumblety as a suspect before, but I've never decided in my own mind who I truly believe the killer was. I'm very interested to read this book to see if helps me "solve the case"! And congratulations to the author!

Comments are closed.

17 replies on “Jack the Ripper in St Louis — and a Contest!”

  1. I think this would be a great book to read; sorry that I never heard of it before this, but now I will surely get that chance. I would really like a product like female bitters to "cure all my complaints" but that would take a lot of female bitters I guess. 🙂 Looking forward to reading one way or another Thank you to the author and to you for offering the book, Joanna. Take care, Cynthia

  2. I think this would be a great book to read. I'm always looking for books to expand my ever growing library 🙂 Thanks! Marla

  3. I've lived in St. Louis all of my life, and I have never before associated the city with Jack the Ripper. Intriguing, does this have any basis in fact??

  4. Hi Fedora!

    I love the history around St. Louis. Growing up in Idaho, the area we now live in is filled with places right out of the history books. Jack the Ripper in St. Louis sounds great.

  5. Oh, gosh, I'm so glad to hear that all of you are excited about Fedora's book. I happen to know that Fedora gives talks in costume, as she portrays a time gone by. I'll try to get her to respond to some of your queries.

  6. Elluvel. Yes, indeed. Quack doctor Francis Tumblety died in St. Louis in 1903.

    Right now that selfsame scoundrel sits at number 2 on ripperology suspect lists. I have lots more to say on my website Fedoraamis.com

    Just click on the Jack the Ripper in St. Louis button.

  7. Hi Cynthia,

    Jack The Ripper in St. Louis just came out on June 1–so it's pretty new.

    As for the old elixirs–they didn't work. But they were about 30% alcohol–and many also had cocaine or opium so I bet they felt like they were curing something.

  8. Today is a significant day–last day of the book giveaway at Joanna's blog, but also a very significant and sinister day to Jack the Ripper followers.

    On this date, September 8, 1888- Jack the Ripper slew "DARK" ANNIE CHAPMAN. Her brass rings were missing. Among the possessions of Francis J. Tumblety when he died were two cheap brass rings. Were they souvenirs of his second grisly murder?

  9. The Ripper case has fascinated me for years. Seven years ago I was fortunate enough to travel to London, and the Whitechapel tour was tops on my list! Books on this topic are intriguing; I've read about Tumblety as a suspect before, but I've never decided in my own mind who I truly believe the killer was. I'm very interested to read this book to see if helps me "solve the case"! And congratulations to the author!

Comments are closed.