Christmas Writers and Artists

Sacred Santa: How a self-proclaimed Messiah became a popular Santa Claus model

Early one spring day in 1922, while dutifully posing at the Art Students League on West 57th Street, Santa Claus had a fatal heart attack in front of a classroom of students. Above — He knows when you’ve been bad or good: A Christmas issue of Judge Magazine from 1919 by Guy Lowy, who studied at the… Read More

Wartime New York

The end of war: New York newspapers celebrate Armistice Day and the end of World War I

Armistice Day 1918: An impromptu gathering of New Yorkers gathered in front of City Hall. (NYPL) Today is Veterans Day in the United States, a holiday devoted to the memory and service of those in the American armed forces.  While this is a commemoration of all men and woman who have served — during war… Read More

Newspapers and Newsies

What if? Meteors over Manhattan, 1922

In 1922, the New York Tribune envisioned what it would be like if a meteor hit downtown Manhattan.  The article is a real scare piece on the potential of meteors destroying life on Earth.  It references the American Museum of Natural History‘s own meteor, Ahnighito, brought to the institution by Robert Peary in 1904.  As… Read More

‘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… Read More

Before the New Yorker, there was another New Yorker

Journalists Harold Ross and Jane Grant founded the New Yorker magazine in 1925, but another weekly journal with that same name debuted on the streets of the city over 90 years earlier. It was a short-lived publication, existing not more than a few years, but it helped sharpen the talents of its young publisher, Horace… Read More

Extra! Newsies strike! Mobs on the Brooklyn Bridge!

Is there an image of old New York that better captures the era than a scrappy young newsboy shouting EXTRA! on a street corner? Sadly the only newsies today are those glum middle-aged ladies and older men who pass out the AM New York free newspapers. They’re nothing like the newsies of old, full of… Read More