I teased this long ago at the Diner; now it's time to bring it to you in Hiatal form. This story’s too big to cover in one entry. If you’re interested in more, I’ll link to more at the bottom.

It’s the very-20s tale of the Bobbed-Hair Bandit.

She was a “proto-feminist icon,” according to some. A robin-hood-type figure. Mysterious and brash, defying conventional stereotypes. Women cheered her on, as she showed the patriarchy what for!

Eh. I don’t know about that. There’s always people cheering on the daring crooks on a crime spree, because it’s something to read about in the paper. But she was obviously a sign of malign modernity, because of her hair.

Short. So, you know what that means. She’s thrown convention to the wind, and this is what happened. The fact that she was one of those amoral flaming youths, and was committing her crimes in quick succession, was perfect for the papers. Let’s just look at one example, from the Daily News. January 21st, 1921.

Here's where it happened.

Does that ever work on someone who's in a shootin' mood?

Now, the snappy patter everyone's craving:

The confederate was her husband.

For tabloid readers, the story just kept getting better: the Taunting Note!

The papers reported that the Bobbed-Hair Bandit sent a letter about the Quigley roust, and I'm sure this endeared her to more:

“You dirty fish-peddling bums, leave this innocent girl alone and get the right ones, which is nobody else but us, and we are going to give Mr. Hogan, the manager of Roulston’s, another visit, as we got two checks we couldn’t cash, and also ask Bohack’s manager did I ruin his cash register. Also I will visit him again, as I broke a perfectly good automatic on it. We defy you fellows to catch us.”

Papers around the country printed her exploits, and harrumphed about her amorality. This one, from the Montana Recorder, deserves a read. Basically, shoot the b*tch already.

Ready to meet the Distaff Dillinger?


That's her dolt of a hubby.


Cooney evaded capture for 65 days, eventually fleeing to Florida after a botched robbery of the payroll office of the National Biscuit Company. While in Florida, she gave birth to a child, who died several days later. She was caught on April 21, 1924, and sentenced to twenty years in prison, of which she served seven.

After they were caught - and again, I'll provide links - she laughed it up in the women's jail, regaling the inmates with tales in her "grating voice," while Ed "sulked" in his cell, uncelebrated by inmates or the press.

For a few weeks, she was IT:

The article went for sympathy, with the depraved-on-accounta-she's- deprived angle. And she did have it rough.

The syndicate paid her a grand for her story.

So she gets out after seven years. . . and then what?


She worked for Sperry. She never told her sons about her exploits. They found out later.

And you can imagine what that must have felt like. You're either horrified, or absolutely fascinated. There'd be no in-between.

Wikipedia here; AtlasObscura story here.



I have never in my life felt such trepidation upon seeing the thumbnail:

Well, let’s gird our loins and see, lovey.

Here’s one that’s less unnerving, although the guy seems to be disgusted with just about everything that has to do with shaving.

The cuckoo thing to indicate Brand X drives me nuts, too, but it does get your attention.


A real guy.

His obit notes that he was an Arthur Murray dance instructor and “logged over 40,000 hours as an instructor.”


The factory was in Brooklyn, at 330 Jay. Doesn’t look very industrial.

The building has a name block for Joseph J. Jacobs. Who?

Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1916 to parents from Ottoman Syria. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School. Jacobs worked various jobs to pay for his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and taught college while he earned his master's degree and doctorate in that field, in 1939 and 1942, respectively

As a young engineer, he worked for Merck & Co. to develop mass production of both DDT and penicillin. In 1943, he was accidentally doused with hundreds of pounds of hot DDT when a hopper valve opened. Although coated with, by his own estimate, an inch of DDT from head to foot, Jacobs suffered no ill consequences from his exposure.

I just to pass that along.

The dates don’t match with the style of the building, you say? Very good. They don’t. The name was added later when it was renamed in his honor.

Now that we've settled that, onward. Most of the ads are dull - ahh, I see what I did there. Didn’t intend it. They get the point across, but A) a bunch of guys talking about their shaves is boring, and B) the sight of the guys scraping their necks give you nick-anxiety. Now and then, a famous athlete:

I’d heard of his brother, Jot N.

Kidding. Yelberton, the legend.


We conclude with this week's Hiatal Contest:

A 1924 newspaper contest that went on forever.

I couldn't find the answer key, so we're going to be on our own.