A Panoramic View of Lower Manhattan Including The Unbuilt Brooklyn Bridge
Our view is from the November 19, 1870 Harper’s Weekly. Entitled, “Bird’s-eye view of the southern end of New York and Brooklyn showing the projected suspension bridge and East River from the western terminus in printing house square, New York.”
That long title reflects a fairly accurate view of New York, Brooklyn and surrounding area drawn by Theodore R Davis. Marine traffic crowds the river and piers with ferries, paddle-wheelers, steamships, schooners and sloops of all descriptions. The building of the bridge would slightly alleviate this nautical congestion.
“Fats” Is Reported Dead And Little Rascals Fans Scratch Their Heads In Confusion.
The Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer were among the dozens of newspapers reporting the sad news of the passing of Don Law aka “Fats.” The Associated Press photo shows a rather glum grown-up Don.
You remember “Fats” from Our Gang a.k.a. The Little Rascals, right? Even serious fans of Our Gang may not exactly be sure which one Fats was. Probably the big fat kid.
Search your memory. You’ll come to the conclusion that you don’t remember anyone named ‘Fats’ in Our Gang. Continue reading →
The New York Crystal Palace Gave Americans A Building To Be Proud Of
On the site of the future Bryant Park on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues stood The New York Crystal Palace. It was only there for a little more than five years. Built of cast iron, timber and glass the building was unlike anything previously built in America.
Edwin G. Burrows book, “The Finest Building in America The New York Crystal Palace 1853-1858” Oxford; (2018), is a short, entertaining account of the impact the building and the wonders displayed inside, had on the city. Continue reading →
New York Celebrates The Washington Centennial 1889
Horse drawn floats make their way through Union Square celebrating the Washington Centennial in New York City May 1, 1889 – illustration Harper’s Weekly May 11, 1889
For the first year and a half while President, George Washington was a New Yorker. Washington took the oath of office in New York City in 1789 and lived at 3 Cherry Street during his Presidency until 1790 when he moved to Philadelphia. Vice -President John Adams lived at 133 Broadway. Congress met in New York and the city was the center of the Federal government. Continue reading →
Before Automobiles, Runaway Horses Caused New York’s Traffic Accidents
Runaway on the Brooklyn side of the East River Bridge – drawn by John Durkin (Harper’s Weekly March 15, 1890)
Horses are a rarity on New York Streets. In 1890 there were tens of thousands of horses supplying transportation to the city.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a fan of horse drawn vehicles. Since his election in 2014 de Blasio has been inundated by animal activists to ban Central Park’s carriage horses. His efforts to do so have only removed the horses from waiting for customers outside the park. Continue reading →
Errol Flynn Receives A Trophy From Eleanor Roosevelt – 1939
The event held on January 25, 1939 in Fort Myer, VA was a benefit fighting infantile paralysis. Errol Flynn (above) rides Badger, a horse belonging to John Roosevelt, son of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
So what did Flynn do to earn the trophy? Being a movie star entitles one to receive accolades and awards even if they’re meaningless. Mrs. Roosevelt presents Flynn a silver cup for participating in the event.
As part a two day show, for the President’s birthday program, monies went to the National Foundation of Infantile Paralysis. The previous year, comedian Eddie Cantor incorporated the name this organization is commonly known as today – The March of Dimes. Continue reading →
Listen To Alexander Graham Bell Demonstrate Early Recording Technology In 1885 & The Only Known Recording Of Someone Born In The 18th Century
You almost certainly have never heard the voice of somebody who lived in the 18th century, That means someone born between 1701- 1800. Well later in this story you will hear the only known recording of someone who was alive in that period. We’ll get to that later.
Why do you have to get a new iPhone or laptop every couple of years? Modern technology has been accelerating at an astonishing pace. Every few years computing power has been improving exponentially.
What was breakthrough technology like 135 years ago? Let’s return to the dawn of audio recording. Here is the voice of Alexander Graham Bell – yes, the man associated with the invention of the telephone, speaking on a recording cylinder.
What we just presented is the concluding part of a four minute recording made on April 15, 1885. In the recording Bell recites a not very exciting litany of numbers. Continue reading →
If you say the single digits four, five and six along with the letters N, R, Q and W to a first time visitor to New York City they probably won’t be able to decode the meaning. But a New Yorker hearing that same combination would instantly recognize you are talking about the subway. Continue reading →
Hugely Popular Author William T. Adam’s Wrote Over 100 Children’s Books All Under Pseudonyms
When William T. Adams of Dorchester, MA died on March 27, 1897, obituaries pointed out, “as Oliver Optic, he was known to every child in this country that reads story books.” The Kansas City Star said, “no public library is thought complete by younger readers unless it has a large number of duplicates of all his works.”
William Taylor Adams (1822-1897) was the pioneer in juvenile fiction. Unlike our modern “look at me” society, he was apparently not interested in fame, at least as William T. Adams. He wrote 126 books and over 1,000 articles and never signed his name to any of them. Continue reading →
80 Years After The Civil War Ended, Confederate Ammunition Killed Two Soldiers
7 Strange Facts Concerning The Civil War
Tens of thousands of books have been written about the American Civil War. The book that I recently read was not a penetrating analysis of a battle or biography of a soldier. Rather it was a book containing some unusual stories about the Civil War. Well written and researched, I think a small portion of the book is worth sharing here.
In no particular order here are 7 quick stories from the book The Civil War Strange & Fascinating Facts by Burke Davis, Fairfax Press (1982) (previously published as Our Incredible Civil War, 1960): Continue reading →