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Place your bets!

Today’s topic: Place your bets!

We very recently received a donation of three notebooks in a metal safe box. Pretty normal-looking stuff, but the story and content is the fun part! These notebooks contain betting figures, names, and profits carefully managed by Eddy Barrick. Barrick and a business partner Sam Ziegman controlled gambling in the area and eventually moved out to Las Vegas to become early investors in the Flamingo Hotel and Casino.

Eddy Barrick Gambling RecordsNet profit for bets on horses, basketball, baseball, and football for 1943. Eddy Barrick Gambling RecordsThis donation is a gift of Tracy Bohrofen and Kent Behrens.
Eddy Barrick Gambling Records

The notebooks, dated 1942 to 1951, were found in a home being remodeled. In true underground crime fashion, the safe box was hidden in a false cold air return in the basement! According to the donors (and finders of this box), the spot was specially constructed to be a hiding place with a false door and concealed mechanism to release the latch in the door. These notebooks have already made their research debut when the donors called in local author Jon Blecha. The books and their hiding place added to his knowledge of Barrick in Omaha. I love to see objects in action this way!

On a preservation note, these notebook covers are extremely musty and damaged by mildew. My challenge will now be to find a way to store them to prevent further damage so they can be used for future research.

Thank you for reading and see you next time,