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.
Three-Year-Old Nettie Delaney Dies In A Horrific Accident & A Homeless Man Performs A Selfless Gesture – 1904
A kind act can transcend time. When researching our previous story about Times Square this tragic, but touching story was found.
Combining accounts from The New York Tribune, The New York Herald and The New York Times, this is what happened on August 31, 1904:
POOR, BUT A GENTLEMAN With His Only Coat He Taught the Morbid a Lesson.
Nettie Delaney, three and a half years old, of 14 West One Hundred and Thirty-Third Street, was run over and killed almost in front of her own home yesterday afternoon by a horse drawn heavy truck carrying stone.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 →
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 →
At The Turn-Of The Century, 4th of July Celebrations Injured Thousands and Killed Hundreds of Revelers
This small informative chart was reprinted in the 1915 World Almanac. The Journal of the American Medical Association provided the statistics of accidents occurring during Fourth of July celebrations from 1904 – 1914.
According to the AMA the most accident prone cities were:
Grand Rapids, MI
Des Moines, IA
In a large city, like Philadelphia, PA, 22 were killed and 422 injured on July 4, 1907. Usually the cause was fireworks related.
A fireworks warning to children (who were smart enough to read a newspaper?) from The New York Tribune, 1908
Foolish acts by children causing injuries included pinning a string of firecrackers on to the back of another unsuspecting child. Another dim-witted act was throwing a lighted firecracker or shooting a roman candle at somebody. Continue reading →
In the late 19th century quite a number of people lost their heads in elevator accidents. Most press accounts of the incidents were thankfully short. But a few of the stories were described in sensationalist and sometimes sickening detail. The most common headline, “Decapitated By An Elevator,” as you’ll see, was not very original, Continue reading →
Depending upon how you look at life maybe this article should not be titled “Bad Luck Baby,Katie” but “Good Luck Baby Katie,” because Baby Katie didn’t die.
Today if you leave a young child unattended for any extended period of time and somebody reports you to the New York Office of Child and Family Services, they may eventually come around to pay you a visit.
That was not the case 100 years ago. Parents would frequently leave their children alone and bad things would happen. Generally no one interfered with poor parenting.
So if a child accidentally fell down a 20 foot flight of stairs not once, but twice within a week, you might think the child is accident prone and that’s not the parents fault.
Falling out a fourth story window is another matter altogether.
If what happened to sixteen-month-old Katie Reed in 1904 were to happen today, there would be a public outcry to remove her from her home.
This is the report from the July 30, 1904 New York Times:
” BABY KATIE ” FALLS 4 STORIES
Only Breaks a Leg—Fell Down stairs Twice Last Week.