American Underworld: The Flash Press

From crime and scandal to brothels and blackmail, the Flash Press covered the seamier aspects of urban life in the mid-19th century. Though stopping well short of pornography the editors played a delicate game with the authorities, often moralizing against the very topics they covered, which included prostitution, gambling, urban gangs, illicit sporting activities, and sensational crimes. To many of their readers, the Flash Press also conveyed an implicit threat of blackmail, which often led to very ephemeral print runs.

Unlike the “low-life” characters that they covered, the Flash Press journalists were often members of the cities’ wealthy class, and many of them were accomplished writers. Both their articles and their literary efforts are noteworthy examples of 19th-century American satire and humor.

Quick Links
Catalog | Login | Digital A-Z

Hours
Mon, Tu, Th, Fri: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Wed: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Directions and parking

Facebook logo Blog logo Twitter logo Instagram logo   YouTube logo