Antedating of "shotgun house" 1903

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Sat Apr 10 19:49:49 UTC 2004

>        The essential idea that the rooms are all in a row seems to be
>central to the idea of the shotgun house.  (I've never heard of a shotgun
>apartment.)  I've heard the suggestion that they are so-called because a
>shot fired through the front door would go out the rear door, but I
>suppose the tubular layout concept is also consistent with the evidence.
While not using the term "shotgun," my father, in a memoir of life in
Chicago in the 1890s, describes an apartment that might meet the definition:
"In that district of Chicago's South Side that lay near the Exposition
grounds  the blocks ran twelve to the mile and the flats ran back to the
alley. Allow twenty feet behind for a cinder yard to beat carpets in, and
fifteen feet in front for grass, and you can calculate the length of the
corridor that ran from front to rear of each flat  and joined its single
line of seven rooms, bath and lumber-room  like beads on a string."
A. Murie

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