Category Archives: History

Muhammad Ali’s Controversial Comments On Racial Diversity

Muhammad Ali Explains Why Races Should Not Mix

If you have been watching Ken Burns excellent documentary about Muhammad Ali on PBS, you can only wonder how Muhammad Ali’s views on everything would be taken today.  Ali was always unabashedly honest expressing his opinions. Ali said and did things that always created controversy. Continue reading

Never Before Seen Photos Of 9/11 & The World Trade Center Devastation

Never Before Seen Photographs Around The World Trade Center After The 9/11 Attacks

It was one week after the September 11 attacks. America and New York City was still in a state of disbelief. There was fear and grief. There was apprehension, And there were heroes. People who ventured into ground zero endangering their own lives for search and rescue. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #117 – Charlie Chaplin & George Bernard Shaw

Charlie Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw Meet For Lunch – 1936

Movie Star Chaplin & Author Shaw

Charles Chaplin and George Bernard Shaw In Honolulu
Honolulu, Hawaii – Charles Chaplin, film comedian, (left) and George Bernard Shaw, playwright, are shown in a Honolulu restaurant when they meet to keep a luncheon engagement – February 26, 1936 photo: International News

When they met for lunch Chaplin and Shaw were both on around the world tours in opposite directions. Chaplin kept Shaw waiting half an hour, which had Shaw fuming. But all was forgiven once Chaplin greeted Shaw at Waikiki Lau Yee Chai Chinese restaurant. Continue reading

New York City’s Famous Drake’s Restaurant 1900-1937

Drake’s Restaurant Was Open 24 Hours A Day For 37 Years Until Labor Troubles Set In

In our previous story we briefly told the story of Jack’s a famous New York restaurant that never closed. There was another “never closed” restaurant which was a New York institution for 37 years.

Drake’s was located at 111 West 42nd Street near Broadway. The restaurant was founded in 1900 as Rigg’s as part of the Rigg’s chain. Continue reading

1858 NYC Real Estate Sales Literature – For Sale 5th Avenue & 42nd Street

Selling 5th Avenue & 42nd Street In 1858 For “Moderate Terms”

From Its Windows One Could See The Hudson and East Rivers, Staten Island, Long Island, The Palisades and Westchester!

Fifth Avenue dwellings for sale 1858

This Gothic style structure stood on the southeast corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. The view is from an 1858 real estate advertising broadside print. On the southwest corner you can see a portion of the retaining wall of the massive Croton Distributing Reservoir which supplied New York’s drinking water. The main branch of the New York Public Library now occupies the site of the reservoir.

5th Ave and 42nd St. 1855 before construction of The House of Mansions. Croton Distributing Reservoir is on the right.

Though the structure appears to be one large building, it is actually 11 separate buildings. It was nicknamed The House of Mansions.

The buildings were designed by famed architect Alexander Jackson Davis and built by merchant George Higgins in 1856 as a speculative real estate investment. The buildings boasted  amazing views of distant vistas including Long Island, the Palisades and Westchester. Continue reading

Observations On Current Events From A Dead Philosopher

“Insanity in individuals is something rare — but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

Do Fredrich Nietzsche’s Observations Of 135 Years Ago Apply Today?

Jenseits von Gut und Böse (Beyond Good and Evil) German first edition by Nietzsche

Controversial German philosopher Fredrich Nietzsche was born in 1844 and died in 1900. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Have Bitten The Dust

Part II – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904 – Companies That Are Extinct

Underwood began production of typewriters in 1895. Up until 1959 when they were acquired by Olivetti, Underwood sold millions of typewriters. They made their last typewriter in the 1980s.

As we continue our look at advertising from the October 1904 issue of The Century Magazine we turn our gaze to the ads of companies that are no longer in business. Some names will be familiar to you, many others will not. Continue reading

American Magazine Advertising 1904 – These Companies Are Still Around 117 Years Later

Part I – Advertising From The Century Magazine October 1904

Companies That Have Survived

Whitman's chocolate ad 1904

Whitman’s chocolate as it was advertised in 1904. The company was started in Philadelphia in 1842 by Stephen Whitman. In 1877 he began to box chocolates. Russell Stover Candies is the current owner.

While browsing through The Century Magazine issue for October 1904 I couldn’t help but notice the advertisements.

While a great many of the firms are out of business, a surprising number are still around today. For part one we will look at the ads of the companies that are still here in 2021. They’ve survived different owners, mergers and changing public tastes. It’s interesting to see how these enduring products once portrayed themselves with strong images or many words or a combination of the two.

Let’s have a look.

We may not have servants drawing baths for us now, but you can still buy a bar of Pears’ Soap and give yourself a bath. Founded in 1807, the worldwide company is now run by Unilever. Continue reading

117 Years Ago Today Over 1,000 New Yorkers Die In The General Slocum Disaster

June 15 1904 Over 1,000 People Die In The General Slocum Excursion Steamboat Fire

Hundreds Of Women And Children Burn And Drown In The Second Greatest Catastrophe In New York’s History

Illustration: Puck Magazine

Every year after 1904 there was a ceremony on June 15 to commemorate the victims of the General Slocum disaster. Today a few people will gather near an otherwise ignored memorial fountain in Tompkins Square Park to remember the 1,000 plus people who perished on the General Slocum.

If you do not know about the disaster you are not alone. Continue reading