Unearthed: Lady Bledzo (Pt 2)

Lady Bledzo, Part 1


Poised on a spare desk in the Chicago Avenue Police Station, Lady Bledzo didn’t look like she’d just come from a fight. In her crisp white suit and jaunty tie, with a fur across her lap, she looked like she was ready to go shopping.

But excursions to Wieboldt’s or anywhere else would wait.

There had been a fight, right on the sidewalk, and now there were reporters eager to hear her side of things. Lady Bledzo posed for photos and smiled at their questions.

She was happy to oblige.

Continue reading “Unearthed: Lady Bledzo (Pt 2)”

Unearthed: Lady Bledzo (Pt 1)

Lady Bledzo lit up newspapers for two years in the mid-1920s. Like a cabaret version of Billy the Kid, she came from nowhere, made a great scene — and then disappeared. By 1928, there was no trace of her.

bledzo faces banner

She never held a defined occupation. She never got a listing in the census or the phone book. For weeks I’ve been trying to stretch the few available items about her into a full story. I even called in the assistance of Graveyard Snoopette. She, too, was stymied by this mysterious woman.

I have to admit that a full accounting can’t be done. Like Lady Bledzo herself, her story is not tidy nor complete. It will not be contained.

Her name came out of those Chicago Tribune archives. One name, \with many variations to humble the researcher: Lady Bledzo; Rose Bledzo; Lady Rose Bledsoe; Lady Rosa Bledzo; Rose Leonora; Leonore Bleedson; Eleanora Bleedson; and twice, Lenor Grear.

And worse, I’m pretty sure that none of those are her actual birth name.

Fire up the Dusenberg and roll down your stockings. This one is a real lulu.

Continue reading “Unearthed: Lady Bledzo (Pt 1)”

Old Ad of the Week: Million-Dollar Smile

“Red-headed dynamite, I calls her!”


I read a lot of old newspapers, which means I see a lot of old ads. Some of them are too good to keep to myself.

Source: Chicago Tribune; March 6, 1938

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Old Ad of the Week: As Gay as a Schoolgirl

I guess being a woman isn’t tough — well, not too tough — after all!


I read a lot of old newspapers, which means I see a lot of old ads. Some of them are too good to keep to myself.

Source: Chicago Tribune; May 16, 1948

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Old Ad of the Week: Like Magic!

Before they invented installed cigarette lighters, there was this thing, which required you to pull a wire out of the dash.

Did you need that wire? Not as much as you need the Pres-a-Lite!


I read a lot of old newspapers, which means I see a lot of old ads. Some of them are too good to keep to myself.

Source: Chicago Tribune; Nov. 27, 1938

Right-click → view image to enlarge.