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Show & Tell: Wanted Posters from 19th Century Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

Held by the Nova Scotia Archives, this scrapbook of over 225 wanted posters and pieces of related material, dating between roughly 1868 and 1888, gives us a snapshot of the way the international pursuit of criminals, missing persons, and stolen property functioned during the Victorian era. Police chiefs, detective agencies, and other interested parties sent fliers, letters, and lists of stolen goods to the Halifax Police Department during those decades; the material they collected came from Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Because the city was a gateway for criminals looking to escape from the United States and Canada to the Continent, and vice versa, the Halifax chief of police was kept busy pursuing criminals from other places. In one example of the reach of international fugitives, the Davies Detective Agency, of New York, offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of Oscar Walter (Ossip Ivanovich Walter), a forger all the way from Russia who was “supposed to be now in the American Continent.” 

Some of the advertisements sent to Halifax were for goods, not for people, like one that warned law enforcement to be on the lookout for a large number of “Movements of Gold Watch Cases,” or this long list of “Watches and Jewellry” stolen from a father and son who had left their goods unattended in a hotel room.

Many of the fliers contain photographs, though often these were out of date, which meant law enforcement needed to include updates about criminals' appearances. An 1877 ad for Baltzar Henry Frithjoff Stalhammar (“generally known as Henry Stalhammar”) included a decade-old photograph of the criminal, and noted “Stalhammar may probably now wear his hair cut quite close to the head.” 

The constraints imposed on law enforcement officers who had to rely on text rather than photography or fingerprinting (not widely used until the 20th century) resulted in some remarkably creative and evocative personal descriptions. Missing Missourian W.B. Jones, thought to be the victim of foul play or “laboring under some hallucination,” is described as having 

small, dark hazel eyes and rather keen and searching, decayed teeth and snaggy, long prominent nose, redder than face, cancer wart on temple near the hair [think right side], rather stoop shouldered, has a shoving walk, leaning the upper body forward, crooks his knees in stepping as if weak in knees … Is a stock man, and has the appearance of a hard-fisted farmer.

The diversity of interested parties sending bills, lists, and posters to Halifax shows how ad hoc law enforcement operated in an era when policing was just undergoing standardization in the United States, Canada, and Europe. One “Wanted” poster was sent by the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, offering a reward for the arrest of Henry Keesing, who “was charged with a felonious assault upon a little girl named Alice Walker, aged nine years.” 

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain 

Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

Header image: Nova Scotia Archives via Flickr // Public Domain

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Afternoon Map
The Richest Person of All Time From Each State


Looking for inspiration in your quest to become a billionaire? This map from cost information website HowMuch.net, spotted by Digg, highlights the richest person in history who hails from each of the 50 states.

More billionaires live in the U.S. than in any other country, but not every state has produced a member of the Three Comma Club (seven states can only lay claim to millionaires). The map spans U.S. history, with numbers adjusted for inflation. One key finding: The group is overwhelmingly male, with only three women represented.

The richest American by far was John D. Rockefeller, repping New York with $257.25 billion to his name. Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Microsoft's Bill Gates clock in at the third and fifth richest, respectively. While today they both make their homes in the exclusive waterfront city of Medina, Washington, this map is all about birthplace. Since Gates, who is worth $90.54 billion, was born in Seattle, he wins top billing in the Evergreen State, while Albuquerque-born Bezos's $116.57 billion fortune puts New Mexico on the map.

The richest woman is South Carolina's Anita Zucker ($3.83 billion), the CEO of InterTech Group, a private, family-owned chemicals manufacturer based in Charleston. Clocking in at number 50 is the late, great socialite Brooke Astor—who, though a legend of the New York City social scene, was a native of New Hampshire—with $150 million.

[h/t Digg]

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Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
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There’s a Ghost Hiding in This Illustration—Can You Find It?
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

A hidden image illustration by Gergely Dudás, a.k.a. Dudolf
Gergely Dudás - Dudolf, Facebook

Gergely Dudás is at it again. The Hungarian illustrator, who is known to his fans as “Dudolf,” has spent the past several years delighting the internet with his hidden image illustrations, going back to the time he hid a single panda bear in a sea of snowmen in 2015. In the years since, he has played optical tricks with a variety of other figures, including sheep and Santa Claus and hearts and snails. For his latest brainteaser, which he posted to both his Facebook page and his blog, Dudolf is asking fans to find a pet ghost named Sheet in a field of white bunny rabbits.

As we’ve learned from his past creations, what makes this hidden image difficult to find is that it looks so similar to the objects surrounding it that our brains just sort of group it in as being “the same.” So you’d better concentrate.

If you’ve scanned the landscape again and again and can’t find Sheet to save your life, go ahead and click here to see where he’s hiding.

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