How To Steal Like a 19th Century Thief

Well whadya know? Published back in May 1874, the Manufacturer and Builder journal ran a story describing the toolkit of the then-cutting-edge burglar. Described are all the essentials. All you need are your standard lockpicks, skeleton keys, slingshots, anesthesia...

Well, Victorian-era thieves were nothing if not thorough. So thorough that they continually managed to confound the New York police. Experienced crooks of the time required a delicate balance of finesse and brute force. So you had your varying clamps and jimmies, levers and hammers, devices to get you inside a house or safe without being noticed. But if you were caught in the act, you might need a set of brass knuckles or a gun to silence your mark. Definitely not a job for the faint of heart. [Cornell Library]

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