Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mickey Finn

Mickey Finn Bar
I just finished reading The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey. It wasn't a very good book, but along with the story (a murder mystery) it was full of stuff about Chicago. There's some info about the Chicago Fire and a litany of not-so-well-known Chicago landmarks, and a bit about Mickey Finn. Mickey, you may recall, gained infamy for his practice of doping his customers and then stealing their wallets. It's where we got the term to 'slip someone a Mickey'.
    When I thought of Mickey Finn, I imagined a disreputable place, a dive bar, dirty, scruffy, full of ner-do-wells, bar flys and alcoholic bums. And the image I created in my mind's eye was always sepia toned, kind of like the one above.

Mickey Finn's Bar
In truth, Mickey ran one of the preeminent palm garden beer halls in Chicago in the 1890's. When I thought about it, it makes perfect sense. If you are going to rob someone, it makes more sense to rob someone who has bundle of cash rather than a bum who has none. On the other hand, no one will notice if you rob a bum, but if you rob a rich man, people are going to make a fuss. Which is probably why he got caught and why we know about him.

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