Brooklyn History Health and Living

The Brooklyn origin of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

The vaccine has finally arrived! Last week the UK began administering the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to citizens. And this week it arrives for some very relieved Americans. The German biotechnology company Biopharmaceutical New Technologies (BioNTech) developed the vaccine injunction with Pfizer, one of the world’s large pharmaceutical companies, who will manufacture and distribute it. Let’s […]

Brooklyn History Podcasts

The History of DUMBO, the Brooklyn neighborhood built upon a legacy of coffee and cardboard boxes

PODCAST The history of Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood — from its industrial past to its hi-tech future. Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass (DUMBO) is, we think, a rather drab name for a historically significant place in Brooklyn where some of the daily habits of everyday Americans were invented. This industrial area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges traces […]

Amusements and Thrills Podcasts

The Crystal Palace, America’s first World’s Fair and bizarre treasury of the 19th century

PODCAST New York’s Crystal Palace seems like something out of a dream, a shimmering and spectacular glass-and-steel structure — a gigantic greenhouse — which sat in the area of today’s Bryant Park. In 1853 this was the home to the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, a dizzying presentation of items, great and small, […]

On The Waterfront

Arbuckle’s Deep Sea Hotel, aka ‘the Working Girls Hotel’, a coffee king’s housing solution for independent women

The boat hotel built by a coffee manufacturer, photo from January 1913 (courtesy LOC)Arbuckle’s Deep Sea Hotel was neither in the deep sea, nor was it a hotel.  But for hundreds of young, single women at the end of the Gilded Age, it was home. Accommodations were indeed limited for the thousands of women who […]

Brooklyn History

This weekend: Explore an abandoned factory in DUMBO

For several decades, Ben Forman & Sons occupied the three-story, brick-constructed factory at 201 Water Street in today’s neighborhood of DUMBO, an industrial metal plant which produced “ornamental dies, lamp parts, brass sheets, chopsticks, domestic cutlery sets, butter spreaders, flatware sets, domestic serving utensils” and a myriad of other metal objects for the home. [source] […]


On The House: A history of New York City beer brewing

Behold the lager: A German variety of beer revolutionized American drinking, inspiring a new kind of drinking establishment (Courtesy the New-York Historical Society Inspired by ‘Beer Here: Brewing New York’s History‘, the terrific summer show at the New-York Historical Society, the latest Bowery Boys podcast explores the story of one of America’s greatest, most treasured […]

‘Staten Island Has Many Charms Worthy Of Consideration’: Ten ways to sell a borough (and a proposed subway) in 1912

The sky’s the limit: Staten Island from the vantage of a hot air balloon, August 1906. (Courtesy LOC)“God might have made a more beautiful place than Staten Island, but He never did.” — George William Curtis If you’ve ever been slightly bemused by the newspaper profiles of trendy neighborhoods, presented as though the reporters were […]