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Wartime New York

History in the Making 9/25: Music Made For War Edition

During World War II, Steinway and Sons produced specially-built pianos for the American troops.  Called the Victory Vertical or G.I. Steinways, the pianos were sometimes airdropped onto battlefields to provide a bit of relaxation to troops.  They were manufactured in Steinway’s Queen-based factory and mostly sold to the U.S. government.  More pictures below of the […]

Notes from the podcast: (#141) New York Beer History

Year-Round Brews: This calendar from 1895 celebrates the Harlem breweries of James Everard. An older Everard brewery building on W. 28th Street was converted into a Turkish bathhouse in 1888. It became the location of a variety of notorious activities during the 20th century. Everard’s breweries became the plaintiff in a Prohibition-era Supreme Court case regarding […]

History In The Making 9/9: Sad Music Edition

A gloomy sight indeed — the incineration of Hale’s Piano Factory, a competitor of Steinway, located at West 35th Street and 10th Avenue, destroyed by fire on September 3, 1877. One report calls Joseph Hale’s business a manufacturer of “notorious bogus pianos.” Several people were killed in this horrible blaze. Read the original piece from […]

The New York City Subway and the creation of the IRT

PODCAST In the fourth part of our transportation series BOWERY BOYS ON THE GO, we finally take a look at the birth of the New York City subway. After decades of outright avoiding underground transit as a legitimate option, the city got on track with the help of August Belmont and the newly formed Interborough […]

Steinway and Sons: piano men and kings of Queens

Inside Steinway Hall 1890: the 14th Street concert venue could seat 2,000 and also functioned as a showroom for Steinway pianos Henry Steinway, a German immigrant who came to New York in 1850, made his name in various showrooms and factories in downtown Manhattan, enticing the wealthy with his award-winning quality pianos. At their grand […]