Spring Heeled Jack - The Terror of London. Illustration from a comic book c. 1904
The story of Spring Heeled Jack begins rather innocently as a simple rumor starting in the south western area of London, early 19th century. Beginning in 1837, citizens began reporting sightings of a figure who could seem to leap across entire streets in one bound and over ten foot hedges with scary speed and precision. Dressed in black and often taking on demonic features, Spring Heeled Jack’s eyes glowed like red “balls of fire” and was often seen breathing blue flames through his nostrils and mouth
“Fancy Dresses Described; Or, What to Wear at Fancy Balls” The Witch 1887
“Cabaret de l’Enfer” (Hell Cabaret) was a popular Paris nightclub in the 1890s
1890s, Sadie Martinot
In 1906 The Journal of the English Folk Song Society published a piece on the old English ballad “Death and the Lady”. Some enterprising female entertainer encountered the article and realized the story might be used as a great vaudeville piece about the evils of card play and alcohol. Touring performers were always searching for material that would play well in the sticks. The city folks would enjoy the Grand Guignol staging, the traditional song, and the vocal technique. Here Joseph Hall, the Brooklyn born photographer who had made a career on baseball pictures and theatrical production stills, captured the sequence of the action, providing a peculiarly detailed & rare view of the progress of a single vaudeville performance.
David S. Shields from Historical Ziegfeld
Blue silk satin corset, 1880s.
Waist: 49 cm, 19.3 inches.
Kyoto Costume Institute