Category Archives: The First

The Cow and the Country Boy: The Story of the First Vaccine (The First)

THE FIRST PODCAST   Once upon a time there was a country doctor with a love of birds, a milkmaid with translucent skin, an eight-year-old boy with no idea what he’s in for and a wonderful cow that holds the secret to human immunity.

This is the story of the first vaccine, perhaps one of the greatest inventions in modern human history. Come listen to this remarkable story of risk and bravery which led to the eradication of one of the deadliest diseases in human history.

To get this episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services.

Subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio from your mobile device.

Or listen to it straight from here:
06 THE COW AND THE COUNTRY BOY (THE FIRST VACCINE)

 

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

 

Image from page 280 of “Dr. Evans’ How to keep well;” (1917)

 

Image from page 430 of “History and pathology of vaccination” (1889)

 

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The First: New and Noteworthy on iTunes!

The Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences has been featured on iTunes podcast page for the past couple weeks as a new and noteworthy selection. We thank them for their support of both The First and the Bowery Boys!

The First returns with a brand new episode this Friday, January 13. Catch up on the first five episodes by finding it on iTunes here, listening to it on Stitcher or other podcast aggregators, or downloading episodes directly from here.

And the Bowery Boys return with a brand new episode on Friday, January 20. Subscribe to both and get a new podcast episode to listen to every week!

Here’s the last episode of The First (on the Pledge of Allegiance) and of The Bowery Boys (on the Newsboys Strike of 1899).

 

 

 

The Making and Remaking of the Pledge of Allegiance

THE FIRST PODCAST   The Pledge of Allegiance feels like an American tradition that traces itself back to the Founding Fathers, but, in fact, it’s turning 125 years old in 2017. This is the story of the invention of the Pledge, a set of words that have come to embody the core values of American citizenship. And yet it began as part of a for-profit magazine promotion, written by a Christian socialist minister!

In this podcast listen to the Pledge wording evolve throughout the years and discover the curious salute that once accompanied it.

Featuring: Tom Meyers as the voice of Francis Bellamy, the inventor of the pledge!

To get this episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services.

Subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio from your mobile device.

Or listen to it straight from here:
05 THE MAKING AND REMAKING OF THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

Francis Bellamy, the author of the Pledge of Allegiance:

 

What the Bellamy salute used to look like

Other forms of the salute had students lift their hands palms up, not down.

San Francisco, California, 1942:  Flag of allegiance pledge at Raphael Weill Public School (Geary and Buchanan Streets). The original caption to this photo read:  “Children in families of Japanese ancestry were evacuated with their parents and will be housed for the duration in War Relocation Authority centers where facilities will be provided for them to continue their education.”

Department of the Interior. War Relocation Authority. Courtesy US National Archives

Young scouts on a hike. Photo by Roy Perry, 1940. Most people were saluting the flag in other methods than the ‘Bellamy salute’ which remained in the Flag Code until the 1940s.

Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Second graders pledge allegiance in an elementary school in Rockport, Massachusetts,  February 1973

Deborah Parks, photographer. Courtesy US National Archives

 

From the Youth’s Companion in September 1892, outlining the day’s ceremonies and the first use of the pledge.

A copy of the Youth’s Companion from 1899:

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The Calling: Thomas Watson and the First Telephone (The First Podcast)

PODCAST You may know the story of Alexander Graham Bell and his world famous invention. You may know that Bell made the very first phone call. But do you know the story of the man who ANSWERED that call?

His name was Thomas Augustus Watson. He met Bell when he was just 20 years old, inventing the telephone just a couple years later.  Watson left the employment of Bell at age 27 a very rich man. What would you do with all that money? This is the story of the joyous and sometimes unusual consequences of being associated with an invention that changed the world.

Featuring: Seances, shipyards, Shakespeare, socialism and science! 

To get this episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services.

Subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio from your mobile device.

Or listen to it straight from here:
04 THE CALLING: THOMAS WATSON AND THE FIRST TELEPHONE

The educational film that is featured in this week’s show.


The first telephone call was inspired, as legend goes, by Alexander Graham Bell spilling acid on his pants.

Credit: Antar Dayal Illustration Works Getty Images
Credit: Antar Dayal Illustration Works Getty Images

The voice of Thomas Watson

 

Watson in 1902

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Watson in 1930, holding the original Bell telephone

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Alexander Graham Bell in 1905

Museum of the City of New York
Museum of the City of New York

The First — Every Day is Thanksgiving: The History of the TV Dinner

03:  American eating habits were transformed in the early 20th century with innovations in freezing and refrigeration, allowing all kinds of foods to be shipped across the country and stored for long periods of time.

But it would actually be the television set that would inspire one of the strangest creations in culinary history — the TV dinner.

Inspired by airplane meals, the TV dinner originally contained the fixings of a Thanksgiving meal, thanks in part to a massive number of overstocked frozen turkeys.

The key to its success was its revolutionary heating process, allowing for all items on the tray to heat evenly. And the person responsible for this technique was a 22-year-old woman from Omaha, Nebraska named Betty Cronin, a woman later called ‘the mother of the TV dinner.’

To get this episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services.

Subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio from your mobile device.

Or listen to it straight from here:
03 EVERY DAY IS THANKSGIVING: THE HISTORY OF THE TV DINNER

 

Betty Cronin, from an 1989 article from the Chicago Tribune:

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Early TV Dinner advertisements including those that were featured on this weeks show:

 

 

The First Podcast: Miss Draper and the first portrait photograph

02: Dorothy Catherine Draper is a truly forgotten figure in American history. She was the first woman to ever sit for a photograph — a daguerrotype, actually, in the year 1840, upon the rooftop of the school which would become New York University..

The circumstances that got her to this position were rather unique. She was the older sister of a professor named John William Draper, and she assisted him in his success and fame even when it seemed a detriment to her. The Drapers worked alongside Samuel Morse in the period following his invention of the telegraph.

The legendary portrait was taken when Miss Draper was a young woman but a renewed interest in the image in the 1890s brought the now elderly matron a bit of late-in-life recognition.

FEATURING Tales from the earliest days of photography and walk through Green-Wood Cemetery!

To get this episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services.

Subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio from your mobile device.

Or listen to it straight from here:
02 MISS DRAPER: THE FIRST WOMAN PHOTOGRAPHED

Dorothy Catherine Draper in the first portrait photograph ever taken and the first photograph of a female face.

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Draper in the 1890s, in a photograph taken by her nephew.

Courtesy MCNY
Courtesy MCNY

 

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The observatory attached to the Draper house in Hastings-on-Hudson.

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John William Draper

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Samuel Morse from an image taken of him in Paris.

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The Wheel: Ferris’ Big Idea (Special Preview of The First Podcast)

This is a special preview for the new Bowery Boys spin-off podcast series The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences, brought to you by Bowery Boys host Greg Young.

01: The first Ferris Wheel was invented to become America’s Eiffel Tower, making its grand debut at the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893. The wheel’s inventor George Washington Gale Ferris was a clever and optimistic soul; he did everything in his power to ensure that his glorious mechanical ride would forever change the world.

That it did, but unfortunately, its inventor paid a horrible price.

FEATURING a visit the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, one of the most famous wheels in the world, and a trip to one of Chicago’s newest marvels — the Centennial Wheel at Navy Pier.

To get this week’s episode, simply download it for FREE from iTunes or other podcasting services or get it straight from our satellite site.

And subscribe to The First here so that you don’t miss future episodes!

You can also listen to the show on Stitcher streaming radio and TuneIn streaming radio from your mobile devices.

Or listen to it straight from here:
01 THE WHEEL: FERRIS’ BIG IDEA (The First Special Preview)

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The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast is brought to you …. by you!

We are now producing a new Bowery Boys podcast every two weeks.  We’re also looking to improve the show in other ways and expand in other ways as well — through publishing, social media, live events and other forms of media.  But we can only do this with your help!

We are now a member of Patreon, a patronage platform where you can support your favorite content creators for as little as a $1 a month.

Please visit our page on Patreon and watch a short video of us recording the show and talking about our expansion plans.  If you’d like to help out, there are five different pledge levels (and with clever names too — Mannahatta, New Amsterdam, Five Points, Gilded Age, Jazz Age and Empire State). Check them out and consider being a sponsor.

We greatly appreciate our listeners and readers and thank you for joining us on this journey so far. And the best is yet to come!

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The star of the show — George Washington Gale Ferris:

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… and the Ferris Wheel at the World’s Fair!

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Courtesy Chicago History Museum
Courtesy Chicago History Museum

Some intriguing finds I made while researching at the Chicago History Museum and the National Archives:

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The telegram from Luther Rice to George Washington Ferris that was read on the show:

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This was also featured on the show — the passionate letter from Ferris, asking Rice to join the project

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Images of wheel construction courtesy Scientific American.

Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American
Courtesy Scientific American

 

New York Times, May 13, 1894 — This article mentioned the plan to move the Ferris Wheel to New York (but the plan fell through)

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From the New York Times, March 1, 1898

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PLACES TO VISIT:

The Chicago Navy Pier (featured on the show)

Chicago History Museum (featured on the show)

The Midway Pleasance and Jackson Park, Chicago

The Ferris House in Pittsburgh, PA

The Sears-Ferris House in Carson City, Nevada

The Wonder Wheel and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Coney Island, Brooklyn (featured on the show)

The High Roller, Las Vegas, Nevada

Weiter Riesenrad (Vienna’s Giant Ferris Wheel), Vienna, Austria

THINGS TO READ:

Ferris Wheels: An Illustrated History by Norman Anderson

Circles In the Sky: The Life and Times of George Ferris by Richard G. Weingardt

Six Months at the Fair by Mrs Mark Stevens

ARTWORK FOR THE FIRST DESIGNED BY THOMAS CABUS. CHECK OUT HIS PORTFOLIO OF OTHER WORK HERE.

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Listen to the trailer for The First, a new Bowery Boys podcast series

Arriving at the end of the month — a brand new podcast series from Greg Young of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast. ‘The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences’ explores the people and circumstances around the creations of every day objects and ideas of the modern world.

Even the most ordinary invention often has an extraordinary reason for being.  This is the history of our technological world, one item at a time.  Hopefully you’ll never look the same way at objects that you’ve taken for granted in your life.

The First begins on October 28. Bowery Boys subscribers will get a sneak preview of their show in their podcast feeds but you’ll want to subscribe directly from iTunes as well. The first episode will be up at other streaming servers shortly.

— The First will be released every two weeks on alternating weeks with the Bowery Boys.  Subscribe to both and you’ll have a new history podcast to listen to each week!

— The blog for The First is still under a bit of construction but if you want a clue to the subject of the first episode, check out the rough version of the blog here.

If you’re heard the Bowery Boys’ latest podcast Ghosts of the Gilded Age, then you’ve heard the trailer for The First. If you haven’t gotten to that yet, then you can listen to the trailer here. Enjoy!

 

 

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The First: A new Bowery Boys podcast series, arriving in November

We are very pleased to announce the very first Bowery Boys podcast spin-off series — a new show called The First: Stories of Inventions and their Consequences.

As the name implies, this will be a series about the history of inventions, but not those flash-bang EUREKA! Thomas Edison-with-a-lightbulb moments. The firsts in human history are never so perfectly defined or picture perfect.

You know the man who made the first phone call, but do you know who he was calling?

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The First, brought to you by Greg Young of the Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast, is a look at the history of inventions and innovations at the so-called ‘moment of impact’, focusing less on iconic inventors and more on the forgotten geniuses and everyday people who were responsible for bringing us the tools of the modern world.

The show will also highlight those that were first affected by these inventions — for better or for worse. New technologies and ideas might have made the world a different place, but they did not always make them a better place.

You may know the names of those who invented the camera, but do you know those who were first photographed?

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From the automobile to the rocket ship, from chewing gum to the TV dinner, from the first face in a photograph to the first voice on the telephone. These are the stories of the First.

In addition, where possible, these stories will always feature the original words of the subjects themselves — telegrams, journal entries, diaries, court testimonies, newspaper interviews.

The official trailer for The First will be introduced at the end of the next Bowery Boys episode (which just happens to be our 10th annual Halloween special)!

Grab yourself America’s first TV dinner (a Thanksgiving meal) and tune in.

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The First artwork is designed by Thomas Cabus, an award-winning designer who has worked on projects for the New York Road Runners, the New Orleans Film Festival and Circle of 6.