shooting in 1872 is quite interesting, especially for writers.
Reading historical records such as old newspapers, crime reports and magazines is a good way to not only get a feel for a certain time period, but you can get new ideas for stories in current settings. How about coming up with a murder or crime using a historical item?
Yes, even a zombie plague can be set in historic times, or maybe use historic items as props or clues. (I am working on a zombie book using a historical figure. I won't say who just yet.)
Or how about old photos? Vintage police mug shots especially can give you a real look at the criminals of the past, providing a real life view of expressions, mannerisms, clothing and more.
* Classic - The National Police Gazette, photos and stories
* 1930s mug shots- Britain
* Police record crime scene photo, Australia
* Photos, 1920s female inmates
* Interesting history on Victorian prisons in the UK - with prison illustrations
* Organized crime and crime stats, 1920s
* Prison records - Prison Search (genealogical, historic)
* Free vintage clip art