CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina
S E C T
I O N
1 8 6
9 --- 1
8 7 3
*Please note this is a work in progress. New
researched information will be added periodically.
1 8 6 9
1) New York City's first apartment house, The
Rutherford-Stuyvesant on East18th Street is built.
2) The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of
Natural History were founded.
3) 1869, the James Gordon Bennett Medal, the Fire
Department's first official award for valor, was endowed,
and first awarded in 1870 to Assistant Foreman Minthorne
Tompkins for his ladder-top rescue of a woman from a burning
4) At the close of 1869, the Board of Education established
a Normal and High School for the city of New York. * (Bwy)
5) On September 6, 1869 Greenpoint FDNY Ladder Company 6 was
established at 124 Greenpoint Avenue. * (Greenpoint)
6) The first Greenpoint Savings bank customer is "signed up"
1869. * (Greenpoint)
7) The Society changed it's name again,and in 1869 : April 5
. The Brooklyn Dental Society was incorporated.
8) The handsomest theatre in the City is "Booth's" at the
south-east corner of Sixth Avenue and 23rd Street. The
Theatre was built by Edwin Booth. It was opened in January,
1869. * (Gaslight)
9 ) The Brooklyn Fire Department ( B.F.D.) was organized on
September 15, 1869 with 13 Engines and 6 Ladders, which were
Engines 1 (Engine 201 today) through 13 and Ladders 1
(Ladder 101 today) through 6.
10) Baptist Home, 665 Greene avenue was established in
1869. Capacity, 60. Private.
11) A snow melting apparatus was patented by Nicholas H.
Borgfeldt of New York City on April 6, 1869. * (fff)
12) American Museum of Natural History incorporated in New
York City in 1869 to promote the study of natural science
and related subjects. * (c.e.)
13) Normal College, An institution for the training of
teachers, in New York City, founded in 1869 and having its
inception in the growing demand for professionally trained
teachers in the public schools of New York. * (n.i.e.)
14) Nostrand Avenue M. E. Chapel, corner of Nostrand avenue
and Quincy street, in Brooklyn, was dedicated February 28,
15) 1869 Mary Mason Jones builds the famous Marble Row of
elegant Italianate residences at the northeast corner of
Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.
16) Catherine Fitzgibbon, in 1869 founded a home for
abandoned children, which became the New York Foundling
17) John Loughlin founded St. John's College in Brooklyn
in 1869. *(docb)
1 8 7 0
1) The first U.S. elevated railroad opens in New York City.
2) Alfred Ely Beach demonstrates the first "subway" in New
York City: a pneumatic subway on 312 feet of track built
illegally under Broadway near City Hall in Manhattan. *nyca
3) 1870 First defense of the America's Cup in the waters off
4) Scribner's Monthly was first issued in 1870, but upon a
disagreement between the editors and publishers quickly
became "The Century". * (NYS History) Vol: V
5) 1870.May 4...Long Island City Incorporated. (Astoria,
Ravenswood, Hunters Point, Dutch Kills, Blissville,
Middletown, Bowery Bay).
6) Mooney-Boland-Sutherland Secret Service, a Detective
agency at 280 Broadway, New York was established in 1870. *
7) Hunter College was established in 1870. * (Concise)
8) The New York Cotton Exchange was started in 1870 and
chartered in 1871. It deals only in Cotton. * (Concise)
9) The Lotus Club, organized in 1870, is the home of
journalists, authors, artists, musicians, and friends of
Resident membership is limited to 500.
10) St. Catherine's Hospital, in Brooklyn at Bushwick av.
and Ten Eyck. Est'd 1870. Capacity, 200. Private. Med.
Staff. conducted by the Sisters of St. Dominic. * (Polk's)
11) November 1, 1870, Stoves introduced in street cars.
12) FISHKILL-ON-HUDSON: Riverview Sanitarium. Est'd 1870 .
Capacity, 12. Private. * (Polk's)
13) St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. was founded in
14) Arthur J. Heaney, old and reliable pawnbroker at 214 &
216 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn was established in 1870.
15) 1870 New York--first pneumatic-powered (& first
underground) line (Beach Pneumatic Railroad Co.)
16) Long Island City: Formerly a city in Queens County, N.Y.
(in the district bordering East River and north of
Newtown Creek), now included in the Borough of Queens,
New York City. Long Island City was formed in 1870 by
uniting the villages of Blissville, Hunter's Point, Astoria,
Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Steinway, and Middletown
under one municipal charter. The first settlement within its
limits was made by the Dutch as early as 1640.
Consult: Kelsey, History of Long Island City (Long Island
City, 1896). * (n.i.e.)
17) The Zodiac was founded in the 1870s by the elder J.
Pierpont Morgan, a small elite men's club.
18) Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City was founded
in 1870. The building was designed by Calvert Vaux & J.W.
19) The New York Bar Association is organized * (berea)
20) In 1870 the South Side Railroad was built from Long
island City through Jamaica to Babylon. Previously the Long
Island Railroad had laid its line from Jamaica to Long
Island City.* (jama)
1 8 7 1
1) Polytechnic Institute, a school of science and liberal
arts in Brooklyn, N.Y., established in1854. It granted its
first degrees in arts and sciences in 1871 by special
authority of the Regents of the State University, and in
1890 was reorganized and received a broad college charter.
2) 1871 - The cigar lighter was patented by M. F. Gale of
New York City.
3) On October 9, 1871, moreover, the Grand Central station
at Forty-second Street was opened. *(NYS History)
4) St. John's Hospital in Brooklyn was founded in 1871. * (NYS
History) Vol: V
5) One of the city's most exclusive and prestigious private
men's social clubs, the Knickerbocker was founded in 1871 .
6 ) Brooklyn Nursery and Infant's Hospital, 339 Herkimer.
Est'd 1871. Capacity, 195. * (Polks)
7) Prospect Heights Hospital and Brooklyn Maternity, 775
Washington avenue. Est'd 1871. Capacity, 50. Private. *
8 ) Queens County Jail is built in Long Island City.
9) The American Geographical Society, 120 Wall street, New
York was founded 1871.
10) Army and Navy Club was established in New York in 1871.
For the association of Commissioned officers of all ranks in
either branch of the service.
11) The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and
Petroleum Engineers, at 345 E. 47th street in New York City
was established in 1871. * (t.a.)
12) Ephraim George Squier, an american archaeologist and
Traveler. In 1871 he was elected first president of the
"American Anthropological Institute. * (Century)
13) 1871 New York--first steam-powered elevated line (New
York Elevated Railroad Co.)
14) The Gilsey House opened in New York City in April of
1871, located at Broadway and 29th street. West and North of
the Hotel was the notorious district known as Tenderloin.
Army and Navy officers liked its proximity to the theaters,
while railroad magnates and coal operators met there to eat,
drink and hatch schemes of reorganization and development. *
15) Charles Goodyear. He was one of the first to see the
application of Howe's sewing machine to the making of shoes.
He organized in 1871 the Goodyear Boot & Shoe Machinery
Company of New York to manufacture machines. * (c.e.)
16) In 1871 Charles Feltman a German Butcher opened up the
first Coney Island hot dog stand selling 3,684 dachshund
sausages in a milk roll during his first year in business. *
17) Steam trains are first used on the elevated railroad in
Greenwich Street.* (berea)
1 8 7 2
1) NYU's Stephen Smith, M.D., founds the American Public
Health Association. *(NYU)
2) The Baptist Shiloh negro church was organized December
22nd 1872, and the building, valued at $ 1,200,was dedicated
in November 1877.
3) In 1872 the St. James Methodist Episcopal Church at
Lynbrook was organized.
4) George Ringler & Company Ringler founded his brewery in
1872. Its location was from East Ninetieth to East
Ninety-second Street in New York City, in the very heart of
Manhattan's once flourishing brewery district.
5) The first organized strike among brewery workers occurred
in 1872 in New York City. * (50s)
6) In 1872 the NEW YORK TIMES inaugurated a system of free
excursions, and its example was followed in other parts of
the country. The first general fresh-air societies were
organized in 1874. * (n.i.e.)
7) Long Island City: Formerly a city in Queens County, N.Y.
(in the district bordering East River and north of Newtown
Creek), now included in the Borough of Queens, New
York City. Long Island City was formed in 1870 by uniting
the villages of Blissville, Hunter's Point, Astoria,
Ravenswood, Dutch Kills, Steinway, and Middletown under one
municipal charter. The first settlement within its limits
was made by the Dutch as early as 1640. Consult: Kelsey,
History of Long Island City (Long Island City, 1896). * (n.i.e.)
8) 1872 - Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale opened their first
store in 1872 at 938 Third Avenue in New York, one of the
first uptown department stores. The construction of the 3rd
Avenue elevated railroad connected this uptown district with
lower Manhattan, bringing more customers to Bloomingdales. *
9) In the spring of 1872 a group of Christian men and
women meeting in the home of Mr. William T. Hall, 601 East
141st Street, requested the Presbytery of Westchester to
organize them as a church. This organization took place May
12, 1873 in Braun's Hall, with the name First Presbyterian
Church of North New York. * (presby)
10) Calvary Church: Residents of the West New Brighton
section of Staten Island met on February 22, 1870, at the
house of A.W. Sexton and determined to organize a "church
and society" but did not designate its denominational
connection. A year later, after considerable funds were
raised, it was decided that the new church should be
Presbyterian. Mrs. Bement donated lots at the corner of
Bement and Castleton Avenues for the erection of the church
edifice. On November 17, 1872 the Presbytery of Brooklyn
organized the Calvary Presbyterian Church, and the
dedication of the church edifice took place at the same
1 8 7 3
1) Bellevue Hospital in New York City establishes a school
2) Hoffman Boulevard, named after New York City Mayor, then
New York State Governor, John Hoffman, developed from Long
Island City to Jamaica. The two-lane road would later be
called Queens Boulevard.
3) The Oratorio Society, consisting of 300 voices in New
York City gave its first performance of the "Messiah." on
December 3, 1873. Founded by Leopold Damrosch. * (NYS
History) Vol: V
4) Records indicate that a school for the training of Nurses
was established in the Brooklyn Homeopathic Lying-in Asylum
in 1873. In the next year this school assumed the name of
the "New York State School for Training Nurses. * (NYS
History) vol: V
5) Retailers Commercial Agency at 1071 6th avenue at 41st
street in New York was established in 1873.
6) St. Joseph's Female Orphan Asylum, 723 Willoughby av.in
Brooklyn was established in 1873. Capacity, 500. Private. *
7) The Windsor Hotel 1873: The Windsor Hotel occupied the
block between Forty-sixth and Forty-seventh streets on Fifth
Avenue. * (FTW)
8) Manning's Yacht Agency 45 Beaver Street New York City was
established in 1873 * (nyt)
Continue on Page: 10
Return to Table
of Contents 1800s