New Old News: Laundry Thief

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by Kelsey Boldt

1880 was a different time; this week's New Old News entry certainly highlights this fact. In the above clipping from the November 20, 1880 issue of the Weekly Agitator, a local laundry thief seems to have been wreaking havoc on clotheslines across the town.

Mischief certainly isn't a bygone concept; the mice will play, as they say. However, having the punishment fit the crime seems not to have taken root in the Upper Peninsula in the 1880s. The laundry thief, the writer proclaims, should be shot on site!

I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt here and assume the writer was only being cheeky. But, present-day laundry thieves should take note: your ancestors were presumably taking a much greater risk in their day. As a general rule though, past or present, thieving of any sort is ill-advised.

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