Here is, once again, an excerpt from a New York Times article written in 1867.
"We plodded our way through the filthiest streets- where huge garbage boxes offered their contents to the rays of the scorching sun-where the gutters were filled with little pools so filthy as to belie the name of water-where cabbage stalks, by the pecks, were decaying on the walks-where dead dogs were quietly rotting in the gutters-where, there are, by actual count, eleven whiskey shops to one place where bread is sold . . . where the fronts of the buildings are daubed with nastiness in long streaks . . . as if the houses had got sick at the stomach with their own filth, and had tried to vomit forth on the streets below . . where congregate and live thieves and burglars, and garroters . . . and bullies and roughs and pickpockets . . . and those other greatest criminals of all, the men who deliberately and in sound mind play on the accordian,"
I confess, I own an accordian. In my defense I haven't injured anyone with it in years. I once won a trophy for playing on it while dressed as a bear, but that . . . is another story.