“Back number” in contemporary parlance means “back issue.” Today we take for granted the availability of old newspapers and other periodicals, as well as their invaluable glimpse into our past. But this was not the case in the 19th century. [Read more…] about Back Number Budd: A 19th Century One-Man Newspaper Archive
Roosevelt Island Historical Society
As the ravages of the First World War and the 1918 Influenza Pandemic receded into the past, a new spirit gripped New York City. Energy seemed to infuse every aspect of city life, from business to leisure and everything in between. For a decade, New Yorkers by and large lived, worked and partied with abandon. [Read more…] about New York City In the Roaring 20s: A Primer
Eugene De Selignac (1861–1943) was born in Boston into an eccentric family of exiled French nobility, de Salignac had no formal training in photography. In 1903, at the age of 42, his brother-in-law found him a job as an assistant to the photographer for the Department of Bridges in New York City, Joseph Palmer. After three years of apprenticeship, Palmer suddenly died, and in October 1906, de Salignac assumed his duties. [Read more…] about The Early NYC Automobile Accident Photos of Eugene De Selignac
In 2011, the nonprofit Gotham Whale recorded just five humpbacks spotted off New York City. Since then, the number has soared. By 2018, sightings had jumped to 272. Less than a year later, 377 whales of different species were observed.
A recent Discover Magazine article cites two main factors that drive the increasing presence of whales. [Read more…] about New York’s Whaling Industry: Some History
The Roosevelt Island Historical Society will host “A Tale of Two Waterworks,” a virtual presentation with Jeffrey Kroessler exploring the history of the water systems of New York City and the once independent City of Brooklyn. [Read more…] about Two Early NYC Reservoirs: A Virtual Program
Return with me to the thrilling days of yesteryear when the automobile was viewed as the solution to transportation noise, fumes and congestion.
The problem: Horses.
A lot of horses. [Read more…] about The Unpleasant Side of Life With Horses in Cities
George Waring was born in Pound Ridge, New York, the son of George E. Waring Sr., a wealthy stove manufacturer. Trained in agricultural chemistry, he began to lecture on agricultural science. In 1855, he took charge of Horace Greeley‘s farm at Chappaqua, New York. [Read more…] about George Waring’s Men In White
“The Bridge Man,” photographer Dave Frieder, has climbed 20 of New York’s great bridges to photograph them in intimate and distinctive ways. His photographs are now published in the book The Magnificent Bridges of New York City.
Frieder is set to discusses his approach to capturing the engineering behind and supporting the bridges at a lecture at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, on Thursday, December 19th, at 6:30 pm. [Read more…] about NYC Bridge Lecture Planned For Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island, formerly Blackwell’s Island (and later Welfare Island), has had many layers of medical history. From the construction of the almshouses in the 1830s onward, the island has housed the ill, displaced, criminals and unwanted poor of the city. [Read more…] about Roosevelt Island and Public Health History
Architect Thomas Fenniman is set to speak on historic preservation and architecture on Roosevelt Island, on Thursday, January 17th at 6:30 pm, at the New York Public Library Branch on Roosevelt Island, NY.
Historic preservation combines multiple disciplines: architecture, design, knowledge of period materials and construction techniques, plus communication to manage the process of building owners, regulators and the masons and builders who perform the work. [Read more…] about Historic Preservation, Architecture on Roosevelt Island