Thursday, January 3, 2013

Voices from the Past: The Case of the Killer Fishing Rod (1902)

Growing up, my father constantly harangued me about properly stowing my fishing rod. "If you leave just laying out there on the dock, one day you'll trip and kill yourself," he would tell me a hundred times over. Well, as it turns out, as reported in The Syracuse Sunday Herald for December 21, 1902, if you leave a fishing rod just lying around, it may actually kill you. Behold the tragic story of Edna Whiting, cut down in the prime of life by a misplaced fishing rod.


Received by Stepping on a Fishing Rod.


It Rolled Under the Young Woman's Feet, Throwing Her Down -- In Attempting to Save Herself She Fractured an Arm--The Shock Proved Fatal.

Ithaca, Dec. 20.--At the Ithaca City hospital Thursday morning, occurred the death of Miss Edna Whiting of No. 103 Auburn street. Two weeks ago, while down cellar at her home, she stepped on a fish pole which rolled mo and threw her down. She put out her arm to save herself and the fall fractured the bone just below the elbow.

The fracture was a very painful one and difficult to treat. It was examined with the aid of the X-ray and the physicians decided that an operation, was necessary and that in order to properly set the joint, the bones must be wired together.

The patient was taken to the City hospital and the operation was successfully performed by Dr. H. B. Besemer. After the operation Miss Whiting was taken to the home of he brother, but as she still suffered much pain and found it almost impossible to sleep, she was on Wednesday afternoon again taken to the City hospital.

Although suffering considerable exhaustion and very nervous, it was not thought that her condition was critical or serious. A half hour before her death her pulse and temperature were taken and both were found to be normal. At 6 o'clock Thursday morning the nurse left Miss Whiting's room for a few minutes and when she returned the girl was dead. A post-mortem examination as held and at its close the announcement was made that death was due to an acute dilation in the right lobe of the heart.

Miss Whiting was only 18 years old. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Whiting and had lived in the city since she was five years old. She leaves eight brothers and one sister, besides her father and mother.

-- Dr. Todd

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