The New York Sun, Monday, April 19, 1937, P. 2 (Photo by A. Fellig)

(On this day in history… 84 years ago today… a prewar portrait published…)

“Early one morning last week in the gashouse district on Manhattan’s lower East Side, a neat, grey-haired watchman named George Preston, 47, was caught setting fire to a rubbish heap under the stairs of a tenement house whose occupants lay sleeping. Watchman Preston, once a probationary fireman at Lynn, Mass., tearfully told police he took a few drinks every time he got a headache, set fires for excitement every time he took a few drinks. When he accompanied them to The Bronx, pointed out nine buildings he had previously fired, police believed they had cleared up a series of incendiary fires that have terrorized Bronx dwellers for two years. Firebug Preston carefully guided them, past locations where incendiary fires resulted fatally, pointed only to addresses where no lives were lost. Said the police: “These incendiary fires have caused us more worry than any five murderers.”
Time, April 26, 1937

PM, April 18, 1941

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