Month: June 2013

Robert Grim, “Worthless Check”, 26 February 1940

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Volant, about ten miles up the Neshannock creek from New Castle, was a little market town that had grown up around an old grist mill. Robert Grim’s family had owned land there since before the civil war and was among the most respected in the borough. By the time he was twenty-five, with a wife and three children, Robert was the town tax collector, local auditor and high constable, and served as the catcher on […]

Francis Grim, “Burglary”, 24 August 1940

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No record remains of the incident of burglary for which Francis Grim was arrested in 1940—six months after the arrest of his father, Robert, for passing a worthless check—or of the circumstances around his 1937 conviction for adultery, fornication and bastardy, other than the fact that he was ordered to pay the mother of his illegitimate child $2 a week for the care of the baby. He died in 1990, at the age of seventy-eight. […]

Small Town Technicolor

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There has been a huge decline in the artistic quality of mug shots over the past hundred years, from the beautiful studio portraits that can be seen in the collection of Arne Svenson, for example, to the flat, poorly lit snapshots you can find on sites like The Smoking Gun. The four pictures below, taken just after the New Castle police department switched to color film, represent a mid-point in the decline of the art […]