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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Tag Archives: nyc

Pushes Cart 13 Miles Off Course

56-year-old George Kuscinkas had been down on his luck since he emigrated from Lithuania to the United States back in 1915. Fast forward to March 16, 1950 and we find George unemployed and living in a flophouse in the Bowery.

While visiting a poolroom on East Tenth Street that morning, a man asked him if he wanted to make some money. All George needed to do was push a cart and deliver a load of art supplies. He agreed, was handed a slip of paper with the address on it and off he went.

He started out at 11:30 that morning but never arrived at his destination. The shipper, Philip Birn of the S. Rood Company contacted the police to report that both the courier and the goods were missing.

George was finally located by a detective early the next morning. Believe it or not, he was still pushing his cart.

George Kuscinkas pushing his cart loaded with art supplies.
George Kuscinkas pushing his cart loaded with art supplies.

He had zigged and zagged all over the city showing person after person the slip of paper that had the address on it. It was estimated that George had pushed the 630-pound (286-kg) cart approximately 13-miles (21 km) in total.

Confused, he stopped that detective at 3 AM and showed him the slip of paper. It read, “Morilla Co., 328 East 234 St.’ The officer called in and found out that an alarm had been issued locate George. That’s when it was realized that everyone had been misreading the handwritten address. It read as East 234 St, but really said East 23rd Street.

George and the missing supplies were transported back to their intended destination and the whole matter was cleared up. Mr. Birn rewarded George with $25 for his efforts (approximately $250 today) and the press chipped in to give him an additional $5.

He planned to use the money to get a shave, a haircut, and to “sit down for awhile.”

 

Thief Becomes Clerk at Drugstore

It was reported that three men robbed Heights Pharmacy on February 22, 1923.  The store was located at St Nicholas Avenue and 145th Street in New York City. Two of the men kept clerk David Neuberger busy while the third snagged druggist Dr. Abraham N. Horowitz as he emerged from the basement of the store after getting some drugs to fill prescriptions. Continue Reading

 
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Unfit to Teach

In the past, teachers could be fired some of the craziest reasons such as wearing turtleneck sweaters, pantsuits, not going to church, or smoking a cigarette at home. Check out this story to learn about one of the more unusual ways a teacher could be denied a teaching license.

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The Honest Man with an Evil Eye

Back in 1935 a man carrying a sandwich-board sign stumbles across the find of a lifetime: A wallet containing the stocks certificates from Philips Petroleum, GE, and DuPont.  Find out what the press said that he did with the certificates, what really happened, and how he killed a man simply by staring at him.

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The Bowery’s Santa

Joe Bonavita was a Brooklyn tavern owner who went to the Bowery in 1946 to give away a big chunk of his hard-earned money to those less fortunate.  Believing he was crazy, the men refused to take his handouts.  But Joe wouldn’t take no for an answer…

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William Cimillo – Busman’s Holiday

Every day for sixteen years, bus driver William Cimillo drove his passenger bus out of its garage in the Bronx.  One morning he decided to make a left turn off of his usual route and ended up taking a ride that he would never forget.

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Ivory Soap Murders

The Easter Sunday 1937 murders of Veronica Gedeon, her mom Mary, and Frank Byrnes in NYC launched an intense nationwide hunt for the killer.  There were few clues to go on, but two bars of soap provided police with the conclusive evidence that they needed.

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