Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lotus Moore -- Songbird with a Sore Throat

Long familiar to patrons of San Francisco's Tivoli Theatre as a musical comedy ingenue and previously as a leading member of the Jim Post beauty chorus, Moore was working in the "City by the Bay" as a cabaret entertainer at the Black Cat cafe at Eddy and Mason streets.  Shortly before 7:00 A.M. on February 21, 1913, the semi-conscious woman was found writhing in agony in the rooms she shared at 1149 Divisadero Street with her mother and a 4-year-old daughter from a failed marriage.  Clutched in Moore's hand was an empty bottle of cresoline that she used regularly as a throat balm.  Moore was dead on arrival at Emergency Hospital.  Accident or suicide?  Three weeks before the popular entertainer had been severely burned about the face when an antiphlogistine preparation she was heating for throat trouble exploded.  The suicide theory advanced by the coroner that explained Moore's self-destruction as a reaction to her failing voice and lost beauty was discounted by her most intimate friends, who noted that she had fully recovered from the accident and was in excellent spirits.


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  2. I know that cresoline was used a laryngeal disinfectant, but how can one drink an entire bottle by accident? Also, I think the recommendation at the time was to vaporize it. That must have been one sore throat she had!