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Neighborhoods

The toy radio magic of Fulton Street’s Electro Importing Co.

If you were the type of child who idolized the inventor over the sports hero, then the decade of the 1900s was something of a creative revolution. Children enamored by the flurry of new inventions in the late 19th century — the railroad, the telegraph, the camera — could only imagine interacting with these devices. […]

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Neighborhoods

This woman’s work: Exhausting images of Astor Place and Lafayette Street

Gritty streets, circa 1912. Looking up Lafayette Street, below Astor Place. “The breaking point. A heavy load for an old woman.” The building to the right is the DeVinne Press Building, built in the 1880s, and today home to Astor Center Wine & Spirits. In the distance: the Wanamaker Department Store building, today the home to […]

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Neighborhoods

The Thermos Building, keeping it hot (and cool) in Chelsea

A charming family enjoys its insulated beverages — just as they like it, just as they need it — in an ad from 1909.  The invention of the vacuum flask in 1892 (by Scottish chemist Sir James Dewar) does not rank high among mankind’s most remarkable inventions, but its longevity relies on being a steady […]

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Neighborhoods Podcasts

PODCAST: The Great Fire of 1835

The Great Fire of 1835 devastated the city during one freezing December evening, destroying hundreds of buildings and changing the face of Manhattan forever. It underscored the city’s need for a functioning water system and permanent fire department. So why were there so many people drinking champagne in the street? Listen in as we recount […]