In November of 1883, Anthony Comstock made one of his signature arrests. The crime was “exposing an antique engraving of a Roman bath-house” in the Windsor Baths in New York City. The framed engraving was 15″ long by 4″ high, and Comstock asserted that it was obscene.

A warrant was issued by Justice White of the Tombs Police Court, who instructed Comstock to serve the warrant at the bath-house during the day. But Comstock went to the home of the proprietor, Dr. A.M. Lorgee, and he went at night, so the accused could neither post bail or have an attorney present, and thus spend the night in a jail cell.

The next day at the hearing, the lawyer for the proprietor said the arrest was an outrage. The prisoner said that while there were hundreds of forms in the engraving, they were all so small that “to distinguish them required close scrutiny.”

Dr. Lorgee was set free.


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