A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

Recent entries:
“It’s margarita degrees outside” (4/12)
“It’s 97 degrees outside. Keep your pumpkin spice away from my margarita” (4/12)
“My favorite part about health insurance is how your teeth and eyeballs are add-ons” (4/12)
“When people travel to the past, they worry about radically changing the present by doing something small…” (4/12)
“When people think about travelling to the past, they worry about accidentally changing the present…” (4/12)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Entry from December 13, 2005
A "dead head" is someone who doesn't pay. Originally, it probably referred to a train passenger who didn't pay for a ticket, but it soon included nonpaying "customers" at theatrical events as well.

"Dead head" is historical. "Dead beat" has much the same meaning today.

16 June 1840, Milwaukee (WI) Sentinel, pg. 2:
Ai'nt the liberties of our country in danger, when the gentleman of the Press can't go as "dead heads on the lake?"

23 January 1841, Spirit of the Times, pg. 564:
Niblo's Concerts. (...) The house on Tuesday was filled as far as $300 could fill it, barring "the dead heads;" a good proportion of the audience were ladies.

26 October 1841, Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio), pg. 2:
Joshua A. Smith said he was on board the Caroline, was a "dead-head" passenger (one who did not pay, as the other witnesses were;) also that he heard a gun fired when he was at the gangway, and some one fell at his side.
Posted by Barry Popik
Workers/People • Tuesday, December 13, 2005 • Permalink

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.