Pop Culture

History in the Making 11/18: Celebrated Jumping Frogs Edition

Hoppin’ History: Samuel Clemens broke through 150 years ago today.  The man who would become Mark Twain first published his now famous short story “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County” (under its original title “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog” 150 years ago today in the New York Saturday Press.  I speak about this important date in American literary history in the Bowery Boys podcast on Mark Twain’s Adventures in New York. Blog post: [Bowery Boys] Listen to it here: [#117 Mark Twain’s New York]

Queen of the Ice: A fun story about a New York skating star named Ellen Dallerup, one of many ice skating celebrities from 100 years ago. “At one point during her early career, she even skated with a prop zeppelin attached to her.” There’s even a picture! [Skate Guard]

World’s Fair Nightmare:  Somebody set a bomb off at the 1940 World’s Fair in Flushing-Meadows, Queens, killing two police officers. Seventy-five years later, that crime has not been solved.  [Atlas Obscura]

A Capital Idea: An interview with Kenneth Goldsmith about his unusual new book of New York City history. [Vanishing New York]

Have a Groovy Stay: A journey to Hotel Woodstock, one of Times Square’s forgotten highlights. “The main Dining Room was lit by an immense stained glass skylight.  Decorated “in the style of Louis XVI,” its cuisine and service were touted by management ‘as good as it is possible to have them’.”  [Daytonian in Manhattan]

Postcard courtesy Daytonian In Manhattan
Postcard courtesy Daytonian In Manhattan


Checked Out:  What’s to become of the Gould Memorial Library, one of the greatest buildings ever designed by Stanford White and a genuine treasure in the Bronx? Why is it just sitting there? David W. Dunlap investigates. [New York Times]

Vive La France: A mini-tour of Manhattan’s former French quarter in the 19th century, known for cuisine — and some genuine oddities. [Ephemeral New York]


Top picture:  Oddly enough this is a rifle ad from 1880.  The “Cheapest and best. Office, 281-283 Broadway, New York.” Copyright by John Gibson. Courtesy Museum of the City of New York

Remington also made typewriters and sewing machines!

“Hey mama look! The sewing machine delivery man has arrived.”

Courtesy Quilting on the Crescent
Courtesy Quilting on the Crescent




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