Categories
Podcasts Pop Culture

Super City: The Secret Origin of Comic Books

PODCAST  A history of the comic book industry in New York City, how the energy and diversity of the city influenced the burgeoning medium in the 1930s and 40s and how New York’s history reflects out from the origins of its most popular characters. In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and […]

Categories
Podcasts Skyscrapers

The Tallest Building In New York: A Short History

Postcard from the past: When the Singer Building was the world’s tallest (NYPL)PODCAST One World Trade Center was declared last year the tallest building in America, but it’s a very different structure from the other skyscrapers who have once held that title. In New York, owning the tallest building has often been like possessing a […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

Solomon Northup’s ominous journey to New York City, 1841

An engraving featured in Solomon Northup’s narrative Twelve Years A Slave, published in 1853. The New York farmer and musician Solomon Northup was sold into slavery in 1841, tricked by two supposed members of a circus troupe, promising Northrup work in their traveling show.  Instead, Northrup awoke in bondage, eventually smuggled to New Orleans where […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf

The Amazing Race: In ‘Eighty Days’ Nellie Bly tries to outdo Jules Verne while a New Orleans writer vows to beat both

Greetings from Columbo, Ceylon, one of the many glamorous destinations you’ll visit in Matthew Goodman’s new book.BOWERY BOYS BOOK OF THE MONTH Each month I’ll pick a book — either brand new or old, fiction or non-fiction — that offers an intriguing take on New York City history, something that uses history in a way […]

Categories
Planes Trains and Automobiles

The Dual Contracts: The New York City subway system gets a serious upgrade 100 years ago today

A subway map from 1924, illustrating the system created as a result of the Dual Contracts agreement. After years of negotiations, false starts and lengthy arguments played out in the press, a group of greatly relieved businessmen entered the large hearing room of the New York Tribune Building (at Nassau and Spruce, where Pace University […]

Who are Barnes and Price? And other notes from the podcast

Stuyvesant Street in 1856, an aberration to the city grid plan thanks in part to the presence of St. Mark’s Church and its well-established churchyard. The small building in the foreground is where the St. Mark’s Bookshop stands today. You can see the steeple of St. Mark’s. Hmm, what what’s the other church in the background? […]

History in the Making: Lost, Lost City Edition

Above: 15 Park Row, today the home of J&R Electronics (between Ann Street and Beekman Street), photography by the Wurts Brothers (NYPL) Slawson & Hobbs was a prosperous New York real estate firm. You can read about their new offices at W. 72nd Street here. That office building is still around — there’s a Cold […]

Categories
Podcasts

PODCAST: Who Murdered Mary Rogers?

It’s a mystery! It’s 1841 and the most desirable woman in downtown Manhattan — the ‘beautiful cigar girl’ Mary Rogers — is found horribly murdered along the Hoboken shore. Hear some of the stories of this case’s prime suspects and marvel at the excessive attentions of the penny press. Also: Edgar Allen Poe takes a […]