Categories
Wartime New York

New York doughnut history: From Washington Irving’s olykoeks to doughnut huts in Union Square

Today is National Doughnut Day which is not a real holiday although that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in whatever powdered, glazed, creme-filled way you see fit. However you will be surprised to learn that this day traces its roots to the Salvation Army and World War I. To provide for the American troops fighting in France in […]

Categories
The First

Josephine Cochrane and her Dazzling Dish-Washing Machine

THE FIRST PODCAST Of the tens of thousands of U.S. patents granted in the 19th century, only a small fraction were held by women. One of those women — Josephine Cochrane — would change the world by solving a simple household problem. While throwing lavish dinner parties in her gracious home in Shelbyville, Illinois, Cochrane […]

Categories
Women's History

Suffragettes on Parade! In 1915, thousands march for right to vote

For once, the biggest news story in America one hundred years ago today was not about the war waging in Europe. On October 23, 1915, the forces of the women’s suffrage movement mobilized to create the most ambitious gathering to date, a parade of thousands to force the issue into the consciousness of New Yorkers […]

Categories
Sports

And now, the New York Female Giants: (Briefly) A League Of Their Own

For a very brief period — likely just a single year — there was a female counterpart to the New York (Male) Giants. The New York Female Giants seem to have an unofficial affiliation with the better known Giants, the city’s most popular baseball team.  Author Michael Carlebach speculates the team was probably formed by Giants manager John […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

THIS is New York Fashion Week — as it might have been in 1915

 New York Fashion Week, the city’s twice-yearly celebration of couture and runway, traces its roots to a 1943 press week event at the Plaza Hotel, organized by publicist Eleanor Lambert.  But there had been a variety of one-off ‘fashion weeks’ or American fashion events in the  years between the wars.  In 1934, the Mayfair Mannequin Academy, a […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Twelve great reasons why women do not deserve the right to vote — according to a prominent 1914 anti-suffragist

Suffragists are just women who can’t get a man, according to this postcard. (Courtesy June Purvis/History Extra) Just as support for women’s suffrage was on the rise by the 1910s, there were equally as vehement opponents to those expanded rights.  The anti-suffragist movement based its objections on several points that adhered strongly to the stability of civilization […]

Categories
Those Were The Days

Housewives demand open markets! One century ago, New York radically changed how people bought groceries

Setting up a market under the Manhattan Bridge. (Courtesy MCNY. Note: This photo may be of an earlier market here, but this gives you an idea of where the 1914-15 markets would have been located.) Groceries are becoming more expensive as retailers mark up prices due to food shortages (or simple price gouging at perceived […]

Categories
Wartime New York

The Women’s Peace Parade, a moody anti-war protest in 1914

Give Peace A Chance: Women take to the streets in a stunning parade of mourning Below are some pictures of what’s possibly New York City’s first anti-war protest organized by women, on August 29, 1914. War had erupted that summer in Europe, sparked by the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in late June and unfurling […]

Categories
Neighborhoods Podcasts

The sumptuous story of Ladies’ Mile: Cast-iron grandeur and Gilded Age architecture

The opening of Siegel-Cooper department store, 1896, created one of the great mob scenes of the Gilded Age.  Today, TJ Maxx and Bed Bath and Beyond occupy this once-great commercial palace.   PODCAST  Ladies’ Mile — the most famous New York shopping district in the 19th century and the “heart of the Gilded Age,” a […]

Categories
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 […]

Categories
True Crime

Presenting Mrs. Randolph Fitzhugh, Kaleidoscope woman, society church thief: “I am being hounded to prison by men”

The former St. Bartholomew’s on Madison Avenue and 44th Street, burgled by one Mrs. Randolph Fitzhugh. [LOC]NOTE: I revised this article this afternoon which some additional information just discovered, making this story ever stranger! New information includes Mrs. Fitzhugh’s real name, details about her baby, her length of stay in the Tombs, and information on […]

Categories
Holidays

Whip it! Early Valentine’s Day custom in old New York involved public displays of flirtatious flagellation

In old New York, there was a curious Valentine’s Day custom involving young women running around town whipping men with rope. Yes, you read that correctly.  This form of socially acceptable violence was popular in the colonial era and extended well into the early 1800s.  It derives from a tradition practiced as part of an […]

Categories
Podcasts

Bicycle Mania! The story of New York on two wheels, from velocipedes to ten-speeds — with women’s liberation in tow

  Alice Austen’s iconic photograph of a telegram bike messenger in 1896, a year where many New Yorkers were wild about bikes. Austen even rode one around with her camera.  PODCAST The bicycle has always seemed like a slightly awkward form of transportation in big cities, but in fact, it’s reliable, convenient, clean and — […]

Tammany Hall hosts the city’s first Democratic Convention: Susan B. Anthony, the KKK, and a reluctant nominee

Many of you may remember New York’s sole Republican National Convention, held in 2004 at Madison Square Garden, celebrating the re-election bid of George W. Bush. Some may recall any one of New York’s three recent Democratic National Conventions — two (1976, 1980) for Jimmy Carter, and a rather memorable one in 1992 that placed […]

New York transit system stymied by women’s skirt styles

A lady in a relatively normal skirt boards a Broadway streetcar in July 1913. Now imagine trying this in a hobble skirt! (Courtesy Library of Congress) A serious cry (mostly from men) rang out through the city one hundred years ago about the ever-expanding transit system and the scandalous style of women’s skirts. Were frocks […]