22 Feb 2014
This Sherlock Holmes parody would be considered politically incorrect today, but it is probably more offensive for not being very funny in the first place. When you’re working for a newspaper and racing to meet a deadline, there’s not enough time for the reconsidered quip, or even checking the spelling!
This anonymous story was lifted from the New York Journal and published in the Utica, N.Y., Daily Union on April 30, 1897. Such sharing of stories was popular in the day and an accepted practice. Newspapers would arrange to exchange papers and free to use whatever they found. In my researches, it’s not surprising to find the story pop up in two, three, four newspapers and more. Some stories would even jump continents, being published in London and then showing up in Australia two months later!
It was this practice of sharing news that led to the formation of wire services such as The Associated Press, where editors in each state would take local stories and rewrite them for nationwide distribution.
Entries from the “223B Casebook” appear every Monday and Friday!