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Archive for Saturday, April 27, 2013

100 years ago: KU prof charged after mail-ordering ‘improper’ psychology book

April 27, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for April 27, 1913:

  • "The federal grand jury sitting in Topeka has returned an indictment charging Raymond A. Schwegler of the department of education of the University of Kansas with misuse of the government mails. The charge against the professor is that he ordered an obscene book and improper pictures from a firm of German publishers in Leipsic, Germany, and ordered them sent through the mails to him at Lawrence.... The book in question is written in German and is illustrated. It was turned over to postal inspectors as soon as its nature was ascertained by customs officials in Kansas City.... It deals with Abnormal Psychology and is strictly a scientific work. Prof. Schwegler had never seen a copy of the book and thereby was unaware that it contained anything either in the way of text or illustration that would be unmailable under the postal regulations.... Prof. Schwegler said that had he known that the book was not a proper one to transmit through the mails, he would under no circumstances have purchased it."
  • "The city of Lawrence at present cannot enforce the anti-speeding ordinance. This admission was made by Chief of Police E. E. Meyers this morning to a Journal-World reporter. Although the city of Lawrence has a perfectly good anti-speeding ordinance it is useless. 'I would only be too glad to stop this speeding of autos if I were able to,' said Mr. Meyers. 'But we have to have evidence before we can secure a conviction and at present we are unable to secure this evidence. What we need is a couple of motorcycle policemen to run down offending motorists. With speedometers on their machines they will know exactly the speed at which the auto is traveling and with this sort of evidence we can secure convictions in the court and stop this speeding. But we must have definite information, guess work does not go in court and until we are so equipped that we can run down automobiles and get the speed at which they are traveling we are helpless and unable to enforce the law.... I know that there is considerable speeding going on in the city. I know that this ordinance is being violated every day. Why I have seen autos go down the street so fast that I could not even see the number on the rear of the car." [The 1913 ordinance stated a speed limit of 10 mph for the downtown area and 15 mph on other streets; violation was classed as a misdemeanor and the fine was "not less than ten and not more than one hundred dollars."]
  • "The Topeka Capital yesterday morning had a sort of telegraphic item about a child being washed into a culvert and being rescued after being washed three hundred feet. In the 900 block on Indiana street [in Lawrence] there is an unprotected opening to a storm sewer large enough to receive the body of a man. There are many children in this block and the sewer is a positive menace as a child once falling into the gutter would certainly be drowned, and there would be no way to rescue the body until it reached the river at least a half mile away. The proper authorities should act at once before an accident occurs."

Comments

bearded_gnome 11 months, 4 weeks ago

• "The federal grand jury sitting in Topeka has returned an indictment charging Raymond A. Schwegler of the department of education of the University of Kansas with misuse of the government mails. The charge against the professor is that he ordered an obscene book and improper pictures from a firm of German publishers in Leipsic, Germany, and ordered them sent through the mails to him at Lawrence.... The book in question is written in German and is illustrated. It was turned over to postal inspectors as soon as its nature was ascertained by customs officials in Kansas City.... It deals with Abnormal Psychology and is strictly a scientific work. Prof. Schwegler had never seen a copy of the book and thereby was unaware that it contained anything either in the way of text or illustration that would be unmailable under the postal regulations.... Prof. Schwegler said that had he known that the book was not a proper one to transmit through the mails, he would under no circumstances have purchased it."

---I'm not buying this, I think Prof Schwegler knew what the book was. and they named a school after him, or am I mistaken?

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