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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 […]

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American History Bowery Boys Bookshelf

WILD BILL: The real man behind a Western legend — and a reluctant Broadway stage star

“Hickok was a celebrity. He was famous. He was feared. He was already a legend. It is estimated that over fifteen hundred dime novels were written just about Buffalo Bill Cody, beginning in 1869, when he was only twenty-three, into the 1930s, and during the early years. Wild Bill was in that category of iconic […]

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Podcasts Writers and Artists

Walt Whitman at 200: Celebrating his life and legacy in the cities of New York and Brooklyn

A very special episode of the Bowery Boys podcast, recorded live at the Bell House in Gowanus, Brooklyn, celebrating the legacy of Walt Whitman, a writer with deep ties to New York and its 19th century sister-city Brooklyn. On May 31, 1819, the world will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Whitman, a journalist who revolutionized American […]

Categories
The First

The Invention of Benjamin Franklin Part One: Franklin Gothic (1706-1748)

THE FIRST PODCAST   Benjamin Franklin did more in his first forty years than most people do in an entire lifetime. Had he not played a pivotal role in the creation of the United States of America, he still would have been considered an icon in the fields of publishing, science and urban planning. How […]

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Landmarks

The Puck Building and its mischievous tenant, Puck Magazine

PODCAST  A 6-foot plump gold impish figure stares down at you as you look up to observe the gorgeous red-brick design of the Puck Building, built for one of the 19th Century’s most popular illustrated publications. But this architectural masterpiece was very nearly wiped away by a sudden decision by the city. How did it […]

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Holidays

Happy Rosh Hashanah! Images of Jewish New Years’ past

Look to the stars children! A vintage Rosh Hashanah card manufactured by the Williamsburg Art Company in the 1920s. Rosh Hashanah is here — the first of Tishrei, year 5775.  Presented here are a selection of photographs from the Library of Congress depicting Jewish New Yorkers celebrating the new year (or, at least, on their […]

Categories
Bowery Boys Bookshelf Mysterious Stories

Spectropia, or How to Make Ghosts in Your Home

Above: The cover of the New York edition of Brown’s optical illusion book One of the hottest books in New York City in the fall of 1864 was an optical illusion collection that conjured ghosts through a simple trick of the eye. Spectropia, or surprising spectral illusions showing ghosts everywhere and of any colour was […]

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Newspapers and Newsies

Hot off the press: the bicentennial of the Bronx Gutenberg

Hoe Avenue in the Bronx has nothing to do with farming, although it once indeed ran through a grand 19th century farm estate. The avenue’s namesake, Richard March Hoe, born 200 years ago today, brought about a revolution in the world of printing. Without his innovations, the phrase ‘hot off the press’ might never have […]

Autumn Illustrated: A publishing house in Union Square

Have a little fall color, courtesy a 101-year-old edition of one of America’s most important childrens literary magazines. St. Nicholas Illustrated Magazine, filled with full-color artwork, contests and short stories by prominent writers like Mark Twain and Louisa May Alcott, was created by Charles Scribner’s publishing company in 1873, notable for employing one of the […]

Brooklyn invents the movie magazine, a century ago

The Motion Picture Story Magazine, the first American magazine devoted exclusively to motion pictures, released its first issue one hundred years ago this month. The deluge of movie periodicals that would debut afterwards would help define Hollywood movie stars, foster their fan bases, promote studio films and sculpt the mythology of film history. And it […]