Planes Trains and Automobiles

New York City from the sky: The first aerial photographs

One hundred and nine years ago this month, a tiny airplane made history over the waterways of New York City. These weren’t the first flights over the city — those had occured in the fall of 1909, during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration — or even the most daring or most publicized. (Aerial competitions like the Great Gimbels… Read More

Bowery Boys New York Islands

Perks of Being A Patreon Member: A Flight Through Governors Island

Happy 2016! For the past several months we have been blessed to interact with listeners and readers through our involvement with the Patreon program, a crowdfunding patronage platform allowing us to provide exclusive content for a sliding scale of donations. It’s because of our Patreon supporters (as well as our advertisers) that we have been… Read More

Amusements and Thrills

Wanamaker’s Airship: That one time in 1911 they launched a hydrogen balloon from Astor Place

A view of the balloon launch, looking north towards the Metropolitan Life Tower, which can be seen jutting up in the background. The Met Tower was the world’s tallest building in 1911. Philadelphia retailer John Wanamaker turned an abandoned train station in Philadelphia into the lavish department bearing his name in 1876, just in time… Read More

Who won the Great Gimbels Air Race of 1911?

The place to be one hundred years ago today was Greeley Square, that bustling public space just south of 34th Street from Herald Square. Thousands of people crowded the sidewalks outside the department stores that afternoon, and many hundreds more shoved themselves into the elevated subway station. These crowds were centered around Gimbels department store… Read More