I posted this as a comment to the answer I edited, but I'm hoping to get someone to volunteer here.

The question about Charlie Chaplin entering a look-alike contest and losing has an answer that cites Snopes, and Snopes cites a book and a newspaper article from 1915, with the book using the same newspaper article as its only citation.

Could someone in the US with a library card help us out by getting a copy of this article? You should be able to get a photocopy of the original from the Chicago archives for less than 6 dollars, and they can do this from any public library in the US.

Can any US-based skeptics volunteer to pop down to their local library and help us out?

You'll want a Charlie Chaplin article from the Chicago Herald for July 15, 1915, Vol. 11, RLC. We don't know the headline or page number.

1 Answer 1


I stopped by my local library today. They took down the information I was looking for and told me they would contact me when they got the article. I'll update this soon.


I received an email from my library today:

The article you requested from the Chicago Herald-July 15, 1915, cannot be located. Librarians at the Chicago Public Library searched extensively for the article and could locate nothing fitting your description.

  • Great work Sam! This is the kind of thing that I find very interesting, and would be good IMO to go onto blogs/google+/facebook if and when the answer reflects your good work
    – John Lyon
    Jun 10, 2012 at 0:22
  • Well @jozzas I'm a fairly private person so I don't have a website, blog, twitter, google+, or facebook. So where could have this all started? All citations seem to point back to an article that doesn't appear to exist?
    – Sam I Am
    Jun 10, 2012 at 2:09
  • I meant the Skeptics official facebook and google+ pages. The book published in 1996 cites the non-existent article, which would more or less predate anything you'd find through googling. I wonder if this myth was around prior to the internet?
    – John Lyon
    Jun 10, 2012 at 2:29
  • 1
    Digging deeper, this seems to be in most biographical books from about 1991, but prior to that there doesn't seem to be any mention of it in any biographical books I've found. I've emailed The Association Chaplin, who hopefully can confirm one way or another.
    – John Lyon
    Jun 10, 2012 at 3:05

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