DATABASES A to Z
American Underworld: The Flash Press
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19th Century newspaper collection of crime, scandal, and blackmail papers. The Flash Press covered the seamier aspects of urban life in the mid-19th century. Topics covered include 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.