A Pittsburgh crime time machine
"That's 'Missus His Hogship' to you!"
Good sunny afternoon! It is Thursday! Not Wednesday!
Because grad school has started up again and I’m already shit at managing my time and projects. This semester I’m deep in the study of the Italian “Renaissance” and I pretty much don’t love world history because my focus is on American/Pittsburgh history, however, because it’s a historiography course, I can research a Pittsburgh-centric historical era/event/person. I’m not yet sure if I’ll do that, or turn my attention to Galileo. Because … space. And historian-created mythology. And … space.
I’ll keep you posted like you care!
1. Would sir like to get a cup of coffee after criming?
As you know, I spend a good portion of my time doing historical research either for my column in Pittsburgh Magazine, school, fun*, or my Pittsburgh Remains to be Seen project**. That means I’m always following threads that lead here, there, everywhere, and sometimes I spend way too much time following a thread that I know will not be a good use of my time. Ergo, PITTSBURGH MUGSHOTS!
While I was researching … holy shit I can’t even remember what I was hunting for when this popped up, but I stumbled on a mugshot book from the Pittsburgh Police from 1919-1920 and I just need to share a few with you. Lots of minor crimes, a bunch of stick-ups, pickpockets, lots of “entering a building,” and “suspicious persons”*** etc. I did see one charge of murder. Since these are more than 100 years old, I feel okay sharing them. As a historian, I try to be respectful of people in the past going through hard times.
Pittsburgh’s accused sex workers:
(I want to point out that Pittsburgh had a notoriously gendered workforce and a nearly non-existent social safety net during much of this time period. At some point, I’ll dive further into this topic for you all.)
Josephine Horner up there smiling like nobody’s business. Gosh I kind of love her and her crazy Napoleon hat.
Star Wars hair way before its time.
A ragtag team of time travelers that got busted:
I have seen all of these people on TV or movie screens and one of these people is singer Sam Smith change my mind.
Possibly think they are doing a photoshoot for the next Ralph Lauren catalog:
Why, hello there:
And the best alleged crimestress ever:
Marion Howard, ladies and gentlemen. Five-feet two, 125 lbs. “ROLLING A MAN.” I don’t know exactly what that means, but I’m here for it and would totes bail Marion out. You can flip through the whole book yourself here. Have fun!
* Like I said last week, HELLA FUN AT PARTIES!
** I’ve added some new items to the map and more are on the way! Keep those suggestions coming! Exclamation mark!
*** At least that’s what I think S. P. stands for. Any other ideas?
2. The best Pittsburgh last name?
First, please know that anything I share from Pittsburgh Magazine is in no way an ad. I do not have any agreement with them at all about sharing articles or anything, not even my own. If I’m sharing it, it’s because I want to.
That said, in their recent Weddings issue, they featured the wedding of Ashley Ames and Michelle Stiller and I just …
At the reception, they had pierogi appetizers, a signature drink named after their dog, Bentley, and Terrible Towels with a play on the Pittsburgh pronunciation of “Steelers,” as Ashley was taking Michelle’s last name of Stiller. “A few factors went into the decision,” Michelle says, “but you can’t give up the last name ‘Stiller’ in the city of Pittsburgh. That would be a crime.”
First of all, yes. Second of all, Terrible Towels that say “Stillers” is genius. And look at THE CAKE TOPPER:
Ugh. I love it. Go see all the photos.
I love when people just naturally have perfect yinzer names. Like the mother of C.L. Magee (politician and founder of Magee hospital) whose name was Elizabeth Steel. Before it was Magee Women’s, it was known as the Elizabeth Steel Magee Hospital.
Do you know of other Pittsburghers from the past or present with perfect Pittsburgh names? Like, I want to know if your uncle’s middle name is Pierogi.
Somewhere Luke Steelerstahl just fired off an email to me. Sit down, Lukey! The grownups are talking.
3. Oh, no.
Mayor Ed Gainey has finally become embroiled in his first huge controversy and it’s one I’m not sure he can recover from. Our mayor, you see, tweeted out something terrible. I can’t share it with you because days afterward, he realized his error and …
Luckily, I do have the text of the tweet:
Congratulations @Eagles — Pennsylvania is headed to the Super Bowl #FlyEaglesFly
— Ed Gainey (@gainey_ed) January 30, 2023
Allow me to sum up the general consensus among Pittsburghers to this tweet that remained up for days:
The #FlyEaglesFly is particularly painful.
My first question is this: Does he know he is not the Governor?
My second question is this: Does he know how we as a city feel about the Eagles and Philly sports teams in general?
My third question is this: Can you ever imagine the mayor of Philadelphia tweeting out #herewego? Never in a million unless he lost a bet or really wanted to lose an election*.
My fourth question is this: I will do a one-person riot if he ever unironically congratulates the Flyers and I will smile in my mugshot like Josephine Horner.
I guess that’s not really a question but more like God’s honest truth.
Looking forward to waking up on Super Bowl Sunday to a tweet from the Mayor of Pittsburgh saying, “Good morning to the Philadelphia Eagles and ONLY the Philadelphia Eagles.”
Also, Josephine’s Mugshot is my new band name. We’re pretty punk and our shows always end with our anthem “No Matter What, Eff the Eagles.”
*I typed “erection” first by accident, but, yeah, that works too.
4. Speaking of animals
Today is Groundhog Day! Again!
Of course Phil saw his shadow because the way Pennsylvania’s winter weather works is we don’t see the sun for three straight weeks and then when it's time for them to parade a random groundhog around Punxsutawney, the skies break apart to cast a shadow on that rodent thus predicting six more weeks of winter.
I have never attended Groundhog Day in Punxsy and don’t know if that’s something I want to do because it seems like it would be cold and peopley — two things I really hate. Groundhog Day has been a thing forever and ever and has long been the humorous target of Pittsburghers angry about long winters. I kind of love that in 1888, the Pittsburgh Press referred to the groundhog as His Hogship.
Next time I get to fill out an online form that lets you type in your own salutation, I am going to stop typing Magical Crone and start typing Her Hogship. And can we take a second an applaud the headline writer for the Press in 1911?
Positively perfect. Pbrilliant. Pno pnotes. p10/p10!
Anyway, what I originally wanted to say here but I’ve gotten off track is this:
Today is Groundhog Day! Again!
Of course Phil saw his shadow because the way Pennsylvania’s winter weather works is—
5. This week in dumb criminals
Police were called to a burglary at a coal tipple facility along Cornell Road in Burrell Township on Tuesday morning. Troopers were told someone was trying to steal copper wiring from the facility and had run away.
Troopers followed the suspect's footprints in the snow to nearby railroad tracks and a wooded area. About 20 minutes after responding to the call, they found 27-year-old Gage Eaglehouse of Loyalhanna in a nearby wooded area and arrested him.
Oh dear. Running away in the snow and then hiding in the woods is like a toddler-level grasp of the concept of object permanence. It’s like Marion Howard says, “If you’re gonna roll a man in Pittsburgh, make sure there’s no snow on the ground. Duh.”
6. What ELSE can we add to beer?
When it comes to beer, I’m all over the map. I don’t have a discerning palate and for me, beer is more about a cold refreshing beverage on a hot day than it is an art form. I’ll drink your one dollar dive-bar beer and I’ll drink your fancy Lawrenceville short boy that you sell for $15 alongside your $36 pies. Now, if you take me to a brewery, I will always go for either a sour beer or a coffee beer. Cannot resist those.
And now, I just want to say that I will always heretoforeonoutforever order a beer that is cookie flavored. I mean, HELLO!
The beer called Nancy B’s Bakery Chocolate Chip Stout is an American style malt. Matthew Yurkovich and Grasso incorporated 20 dozen cookies per batch. The first 10 dozen were crumbled by hand and the other 20 dozen added during the process.
Any chocolate chip pieces have been filtered out. The dough helped to create more body to the brew, Matthew Yurkovich said.
This is not an ad. I need this in my life. Where and how to buy/try the beer is inside this article. I will get my hands on it soon and let you know how it is.
But to sum up, from now on I only want cookies or coffee in my beer. Someone make a Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie Table beer please and sell each 6-pack with a box of assorted wedding cookies.
I’m a genius. How am I not a billionaire yet?
7. That’s a wrap!
Have a fabulous week, ignore that dumbass rodent, don’t do any crimes in the snow that will tell on you, and most importantly, each morning when you wake up, remind yourself of which Pennsylvania city you are the mayor.
That’s just always good advice.