Stauch’s Baths Postcard, 1907
I always wondered what this image was all about. It is only one of several baffling images in our postcard collection, but until recently, I never understood its significance. While researching the Coney Island Mardi Gras Parade for last week’s post, I came across many mentions of the “ticklers” and confetti at the parade.
New York Times, September 19, 1906 - the full article can be found here.
It turns out that these ticklers were the weird feather-duster-like objects in the postcard. Along with confetti, they were very popular among the crowds, but caused quite a few problems at the Mardi Gras Parade.
Originally used to annoy fellow parade-goers, the Mardi Gras Parade, on September 23, 1906, the ticklers were involved in much more mischief. People were beaten by them, “women were insulted,” and fights broke out. People were also throwing confetti mixed with pebbles and tin in the faces of other spectators. Fighting escalated and many were arrested. Things got so out of hand, that the sale of ticklers and confetti had to be stopped.
New York Times, September 26, 1906 - the full article can be found here.
The ticklers and confetti became such a nuisance and health hazard that by 1926, all ticklers and all reused confetti was banned, with the threat of jail to anyone caught with either.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 13, 1926 - see full article here.
After this weekend’s upcoming Mermaid Parade, I hope to find out even more strange little details about some of our more baffling images.