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Foundling Asylum

Abandoned on a door step in the dead of night, these are the desperate notes pinned to babies by poor and often unmarried mothers, pleading for someone to care for their child. The heartbreaking letters became part of records at the New York Foundling Asylum in the mid-19th century.

In October 1869, a group of nuns renovated a brownstone at 17 East 12th Street in Manhattan into the Foundling Asylum. Every night, the nuns would leave an empty wicker basket on the stoop, and almost every morning, a baby would be found there. By the end of the year the nuns had taken in 81 babies.

(Source: Daily Mail)

Dust is NOT her Destiny: Jean Gauntt, The Immortal Baby.
In 1939 a secretive cult known as the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians made headlines when its leader, James Bernard Schafer, announced their intention to conduct an unusual experiment … to raise an immortal baby. The infant that was to live forever was blue-eyed, red-haired Jean Gauntt. Her mother, New York City waitress Catherine Gauntt, had indicated that she was too poor to afford to raise Jean, so she gave Schafer permission to take charge of her. 
Schafer boasted, “I can think of no child outside of royalty who might have had a better start in life.” However, the experiment only lasted fifteen months. In December, 1940 the Master Metaphysicians returned Baby Jean to her parents who were living in a New York rooming house.
[She was] brought her into their luxurious Long Island mansion when she was three-months old, and they had complete control over every aspect of her life. The plan was to make her immortal by never allowing her to hear mention of death or disease. Nor would she be exposed to any “bad or destructive” thoughts. No unkind words would ever be spoken in her presence. She would eat an all-vegetarian “eternity diet.” As she grew older, she would learn about alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, mustard, vinegar, and spices, but she would never consume any of them.
Baby Jean was brought back to her parents’ home by one of Schafer’s followers. Schafer sent along detailed instructions so that the parents could maintain Jean on the “eternity diet.” Schafer told the press, “Whether Jean goes on being immortal is for her parents to decide.” However, the Gauntts had no intention of raising an immortal child, and they immediately discarded the eternity diet. The press reported that within hours of her return Jean was happily consuming prunes — a food that wasn’t part of the diet.
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Dust is NOT her Destiny: Jean Gauntt, The Immortal Baby.

In 1939 a secretive cult known as the Royal Fraternity of Master Metaphysicians made headlines when its leader, James Bernard Schafer, announced their intention to conduct an unusual experiment … to raise an immortal baby. The infant that was to live forever was blue-eyed, red-haired Jean Gauntt. Her mother, New York City waitress Catherine Gauntt, had indicated that she was too poor to afford to raise Jean, so she gave Schafer permission to take charge of her. 

Schafer boasted, “I can think of no child outside of royalty who might have had a better start in life.” However, the experiment only lasted fifteen months. In December, 1940 the Master Metaphysicians returned Baby Jean to her parents who were living in a New York rooming house.

[She was] brought her into their luxurious Long Island mansion when she was three-months old, and they had complete control over every aspect of her life. The plan was to make her immortal by never allowing her to hear mention of death or disease. Nor would she be exposed to any “bad or destructive” thoughts. No unkind words would ever be spoken in her presence. She would eat an all-vegetarian “eternity diet.” As she grew older, she would learn about alcohol, tobacco, coffee, tea, mustard, vinegar, and spices, but she would never consume any of them.

Baby Jean was brought back to her parents’ home by one of Schafer’s followers. Schafer sent along detailed instructions so that the parents could maintain Jean on the “eternity diet.” Schafer told the press, “Whether Jean goes on being immortal is for her parents to decide.” However, the Gauntts had no intention of raising an immortal child, and they immediately discarded the eternity diet. The press reported that within hours of her return Jean was happily consuming prunes — a food that wasn’t part of the diet.

MORE.

The Pond—Moonlight
The Pond—Moonlight is a pictorialist photograph by Edward Steichen. The photograph was made in 1904 in Mamaroneck, New York, near the home of his friend, art critic Charles Caffin. The photograph features a forest across a pond, with part of the moon appearing over the horizon in a gap in the trees. The Pond—Moonlight is an early color photograph, predating the first widespread color photography technique (the 1907 autochrome), and was created by manually applying light-sensitive gums.
Only three known versions of the Pond-Moonlight are still in existence and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. In February 2006, a print of the photograph sold for US $2.9 million, at the time, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.

The Pond—Moonlight

The Pond—Moonlight is a pictorialist photograph by Edward Steichen. The photograph was made in 1904 in Mamaroneck, New York, near the home of his friend, art critic Charles Caffin. The photograph features a forest across a pond, with part of the moon appearing over the horizon in a gap in the trees. The Pond—Moonlight is an early color photograph, predating the first widespread color photography technique (the 1907 autochrome), and was created by manually applying light-sensitive gums.

Only three known versions of the Pond-Moonlight are still in existence and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. In February 2006, a print of the photograph sold for US $2.9 million, at the time, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.

In 1896, a young woman named Ashea Waba—who had adopted the stage name Little Egypt—was invited to do some belly dancing at a bachelor party held at swanky Sherry’s restaurant in Midtown. Belly dancing had recently been introduced to America. Victorian-era audiences were shocked by the sexy stomach swiveling—so much so that the dance was given the nickname the Hootchy-Kootchy. Normally the Hootchy-Kootchy was performed in belly-bearing skirts or pantaloons, like in the photo of Little Egypt at left. But  cops were tipped off that she would be dancing naked. The vice squad came to Sherry’s, and Little Egypt was arrested. After a trial that made all the New York tabloids, she was cleared of violating any vice laws. Little Egypt then launched a burlesque troupe of Hootchy-Kootchy dancers and raked in $500 a night. She died in her West 37th Street apartment in 1908 of “gas asphyxiation.”

In 1896, a young woman named Ashea Waba—who had adopted the stage name Little Egypt—was invited to do some belly dancing at a bachelor party held at swanky Sherry’s restaurant in Midtown. Belly dancing had recently been introduced to America. Victorian-era audiences were shocked by the sexy stomach swiveling—so much so that the dance was given the nickname the Hootchy-Kootchy. Normally the Hootchy-Kootchy was performed in belly-bearing skirts or pantaloons, like in the photo of Little Egypt at left. But  cops were tipped off that she would be dancing naked. The vice squad came to Sherry’s, and Little Egypt was arrested. After a trial that made all the New York tabloids, she was cleared of violating any vice laws. Little Egypt then launched a burlesque troupe of Hootchy-Kootchy dancers and raked in $500 a night. She died in her West 37th Street apartment in 1908 of “gas asphyxiation.”