CHRONOLOGY OF NEW YORK CITY'S FACTUAL "FIRST" 1524-1999
Researched and Compiled by Miriam Medina
S E C T
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*Please note this is a work in progress. New
researched information will be added periodically.
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1) International Ladies Garment Workers Union founded in
June 3, 1900. The union has been credited with the
eradication of the sweatshop conditions forced upon the
immigrants workers during the rapid rise of the needle
trades, which had their origins in the invention of the
sewing machine in 1846 and of the cutting machine 20 years
2) Sunk in the pavement in front of the main entrance of the
City Hall is a tablet inscribed with the fact that, "At this
place, 24th March, 1900, Hon. Robert A. Van Wyck made the
first excavation for the Underground Railway." The subway
station is only a few yards away. *(Bwy)
3) The New York Exposition, devoted to printing, opens in
New York City. *(tt.net)
4) East Rockaway was incorporated in 1900 and its first
officers were: President, Floyd Johnson; Trustees, Charles
Davison and Richardson Combs; Treasurer, Oliver T. Hewlett;
Collector, Clarkson Smith.
5) Electric lights replace gas on Broadway * (nyct)
6) First National Automobile Show at Madison Square Garden.
7) International Ladies Garment workers union founded. It's
headquarters are at 3 West 16th St. Founded in 1900, the
union has been credited with the eradication of the
sweatshop conditions forced upon the immigrant workers
during the rapid rise of the needle trades, which had their
origins in the invention of the sewing machine in 1846 and
of the cutting machine 20 years later. * (ajtg)
8) Bruns, Kimball & Co., Inc. at Fifth ave., cor. 15th
Street was established in 1900. Boats and Marine Engines.
(new and used).
9 ) On September 5, 1900, Jesse Reno started to build an
"inclined elevator" for the elevated railway station at 3rd
avenue and 59th street in New York City. The highest
escalator in this country was one of 53 feet in the New York
subway system. * (Concise)
10) The monthly magazine, The Smart Set, was founded by
William D'Alton Mann in 1900. Under the editorship of Arthur
11) Abby Sage Richardson first original written play on
Broadway was "The Pride of Jennico which was produced on
September 3, 1900 at the Criterion Theatre in New York City.
12) The National Academy of Design at 1083 5th avenue (at
89th Street) in N.Y.C. was originally built about 1900 for
Archer Huntington, founder of the Hispanic Society. This
building was given to the Academy in 1940. The Academy was
founded on November 8, 1825. * (Museums)
13) The College Board, 45 Columbus avenue in New York City
was founded in 1900. * (t.a.)
14) Located in the heart of Manhattan's financial district,
the Broad Exchange Building was, at the time of its
construction in 1900-02, the largest office building with
the highest estimated real estate value built in Manhattan.
Designed by the renowned architectural firm of Clinton &
Russell, the Broad Exchange Building contained 326,500
square feet of rentable floor area and was estimated to cost
$3.25 million. * (nyclc)
15) Broad Exchange Building, 25 Broad Street (a.k.a. 25-33
Broad Street and 44-60 Exchange Place), Manhattan. Built
1900-02; Clinton & Russell, architects. * (nyclc)
16) The National Women's Business Association opens its
first office in New York. (1900)* (chipublib)
17) Miss Florence E. Woods, established the record of being
the first member of her sex to obtain a permit to operate an
automobile in Central Park. Miss Woods is seventeen years of
age and the daughter of Clinton E. Woods, general manager of
the Woods Auto-Vehicle Company of Chicago, where her home
is. She is attending school in NYC and lives at 182 west
80th street. * (nyt 1/3/1900).
18) Hall of Fame, national shrine established (1900) at Ny
University. The Hall of Frame in NyC was instituted by
chancellor John J. MacCracken from a $250,000 donation by
Finley J. Shephard.* (c.e.)
19) Walter Hines Page, American Journalist and diplomat.
After he became a partner in the publishing firm of
Doubleday, Page & Company he founded (1900) the magazine
"World's Week". * (c.e.)
20) William Barclay Parsons, American civil engineer born in
NYC. In 1900 he built the first section of the Interborough
subway. * (c.e.)
21) In the winter of 1900 Bernarr MacFadden opened a
restaurant at 487 Pearl street. * (Epic)
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1) Dr. Simon Baruch Public Bath, the first public bathhouse
in New York. It was due to Dr. Baruch's prodding that the
City of New York built the bath house in 1901.
2) Flatiron Building (Daniel Burnham): 22 stories
3) Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian electrical engineer,
transmitted the first wireless signal in 1895. By the turn
of the century he had formed telegraph companies in England
and opened the first wireless office in New York City.
4) The Edison Manufacturing Company opens a movie studio on
East 21st Street. Thomas Edison later moves the studio to
the Bronx in 1907. *nyca
5) United Irish League of America. An association of
Irish-Americans which is practically the successor of the
Parnell Land League and of the Irish Federated Societies in
sympathy with the Land League Movement. It was provisionally
established in New York,
December 4, 1901 * (n.i.e.)
6) The Hall of Fame For Great Americans at 181 street and
University Ave, in the Bronx, was dedicated in 1901. *
7) George (Michael) Cohan, American actor, songwriter,
playwright and producer. The first play he wrote produced
and acted in was the "Governor's Son" in 1901. During the
course of his career he wrote "Give my Regards to Broadway".
8) Jewish Hospital of Brooklyn, Classon and St. Marks avs.
Est'd 1901. Capacity, 235. Private. * (Polk's)
9 ) Jacob A. Cantor, (Politician) In 1901 he was elected
president of the borough of Manhattan on a fusion ticket,
the first Jew to hold that office. * (eojk)
10) Amityville: Knickerbocker Hall, Division av, a New York
Sanitarium was established in 1901. Capacity 36. Private. *
11) Brooklyn: Willis Sanitarium, 374 Ocean Pkway.
Established in 1901. Capacity, 24. Private. * (Polk's)
12) Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd Street in New York
City was established in 1901. * (t.a.)
13) 1901 Alfred Wolff designs a cooling system for the New
York Stock Exchange using a 300-ton cogeneration system that
provided free cooling.
14) Streetcars are converted to electricity .
Samuel June Barrows, American clergyman and reformer born in
NYC. IN 1901 especially interested in obtaining better
treatment of prisoners, he helped draft and secure passage
of NYS's first probation law. * (c.e.)
15) Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, American nun, philanthropist and
writer. She founded St. Rose's Free Home for Incurable
Cancer in New York City and in 1901 she established for the
same purpose "Rosary Hill" Home at Hawthorne, N.Y. a place
named after her. * (c.e.)
(16) The Rockefeller Institute a philanthropic organization
in NYC founded in 1901 by John D. Rockefeller for furthering
medical science and its allied subjects and to make
knowledge of these subjects available to the public. * (c.e.)
(17) The Rabbi Jacob Joseph School at 165 Henry Street, is a
yeshiva which is named after the only chief Rabbi the Jews
of New York ever had. Originally established in 1901 by
Rabbi Jacob L. Andron and his father, Rabbi Samuel L. Andron,
it was then known as the Beth Seifer Tifereth Yerushalaim. *
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1) Millar Hutchinson, based in New York, invents the first
electrical hearing aid. *nyca
2) Air conditioner invented in Brooklyn by Willis Haviland
Carrier, July 20, 1902.
3) The Bayside Yacht Club, founded in 1902.
4) Winthrop E. Scarrett of the Automobile Club of America in
New York City, as its first president in 1902.
5) Bradford Street Hospital (Branch King's County Hospital.
at 109 Bradford was established in 1902. Capacity, 8.
Public. * (Polk's)
6) Cumberland Street Hospital (Homo) in Brooklyn, located at
105-111 Cumberland. Est'd 1902. Capacity, 200. Public. * (Polks)
7) (Coney Island) Reception Hospital (Branch Kings County
Hospital) Seabreeze av . was established in 1902. Capacity,
8. Public. * (Polk's)
8) BROOKLYN: Skene Sanitarium, 759 President. Established in
1902. Capacity, 33. Private. * (Polk's)
9) The Teddy Bear was created in 1902 by Morris Michtom a
Russian born toymaker from Brooklyn, New York. *(fff)
10) The twenty-story Whitehall Building, named for Peter
Stuyvesant's seventeenth-century house that had been located
nearby, was constructed in 1902-04 and designed by the
preeminent turn-of -the-century architect Henry J.
Hardenbergh. * (nyclc)
11) 1902 - The first indoor professional American football
game is played.
12) Peter Cooper Hewitt, American scientist and inventor
born in NYC. In 1902 Hewitt developed the first mercury arc
rectifier, which was an efficient way of converting
alternating current power to direct current for use in
electric railways, industry, and HVDC power transmission. *
13) Mary Kingsbury Simkhovitch, American social worker. In
1902 she and several others founded Greenwich house in the
Greenwich Village district of NYC which became famous for
its activity. * (c.e.)
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1) Williamsburgh Bridge opens. The bridge connected the
Lower East Side of Manhattan and the Williamsburg section of
2) New York Stock Exchange Building, 8 Broad Street, George
B. Post 
3) 1903 Enrico Caruso gives his first performance at the
Metropolitan Opera. * (nyct)
4) The first law governing the practice of nursing in New
York State was passed in 1903 and contained a provision that
its administration be placed under the New York Board of
Regents. * (NYS History) Vol: V
5) The Colony Club,was the earliest club in New York City
created just for women was founded in 1903. Its first
facility was erected
on Madison Avenue at 29th Street and is now the American
Academy of Arts.
6) Williams and Walker I Countee Cullen open "In Dahomey,"
the first all-Black musical on a major Broadway stage. *
7) Norwegian Christian Home for Aged. in Brooklyn, at 67th,
between 12th and 13th avs. was established in 1903. *
8) Riverside Sanatorium for Consumptives. North Brother
Island, was established in 1903. Capacity, 325. Public
(Health Department). * (Polk's)
9) Catholic Daughters of the America, 10 W. 71st Street in
New York City was founded in 1903. * (t.a.)
10) Lyceum Theater, at 149 W 45th Street, between 6th & 7th
Avenues was completed in 1903. Architect Herts & Tallant
11) New Amsterdam Theater, at 214 W 42 Street, between 7th &
8th Avenues was completed in 1903. Architect Herts & Tallant.
12) Pediatrician Sarah Baker becomes the city's first female
assistant health commissioner - her all-male staff resigns
13) The City's first traffic regulations for automobile went
into effect in 1903. * (Epic)
14) 1903 - The Wizard of Oz is Broadway hit.
15) John Murphy Farley, founded Cathedral College in
1903. Consecrated St. Patrick's Cathedral in 1910.*(docb)
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1) The first New York City Subway opens on October 27, and
passengers pay a nickel.
2) The Hispanic Society of America was founded on May 18,
1904, by Archer Milton Huntington. The Society first opened
its doors in 1908 at the Beaux-Arts building on Audubon
Terrace that still serves as its home.
3) Mounted police were used for the first time in New York
City, September 9, 1904.
4) New York City police arrest a woman for smoking in
public, while riding in an open automobile. It is said that
the policemen told her, "You can't do that on Fifth Avenue!"
28 September. A first.
5) The New York Cancer Hospital -- now Memorial Sloan
Kettering Cancer Center -- is the first hospital in the
country to use radiation therapy, only six years after the
discovery of radium. *nyca
6) Dildarian Bros. at 548 Amsterdam avenue, New York was
established in 1904. Oriental Rugs bought, sold and
7) Big Brother Movement, Inc., a Philanthropic Society
located at 315 Fourth avenue in New York City, was founded
in 1904. * (Blue)
8) The American Academy of Arts & Letters on Broadway at
155th Street was established in 1904. * (Museums)
9) Dyker Heights Institution (for Blind Babies). in Brooklyn
at 84th and 13th av. was established in 1904. Capacity. 30.
10) (Coney Island)--Sea Breeze Hospital, 29th and Surf av.
was established in 1904. Capacity, 45. Private. * (Polk's)
11) Bibliographical Society of America, P.O. Box 397 Grand
Central Station, in New York City was founded in 1904. * (t.a.)
12) National Child Labor Committee, 1501 Broadway, New York
City was founded in 1904. * (t.a.)
13) The St. Regis Hotel in New York was opened on September
14) This elegant commercial building, constructed in 1904-05
for the Gorham Manufacturing Company, contained its
wholesale and retail showrooms, offices, and workshops.
Designed by Stanford White of the prominent architectural
firm of McKim, Mead & White * (nyclc)
15) Free public lectures under the Department of Education
of New York City were inaugurated in 1904 * (c.e.)
16) C. M. S. McLellan's Leah Kleschna, starring Minnie
Madern Fiske and George Arliss, opens at New York's
Manhattan Theatre. * (ez-net)
17) 1904 - Al Smith is sworn in for his first term in the
New York State Legislature.
18) On October 8, 1904 first Vanderbilt cup an international
auto race sponsored by industrialists. William K. Vanderbilt
Jr. is won by A.L. Campbell. * (c.e.)
19) Hotel McAlpen on Broadway at 34th street NYC. A 1904
20)Apr 21 1904: New York City's Polo Grounds sports field
21) In 1904, Joseph Pulitzer gave Columbia $1,000,000 for
the establishment of a School of Journalism.
22) 1904 - Little Johnny Jones is George M. Cohan's first
23) George Bernard Shaw's Candida has its New York
premiere at the Madison Square Theatre. January 4,
1904 * (ez-net)
24) Anne Crawford Flexner's adaptation of Alice Hegan
Rice's Mrs Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch and Lovey Mary,
under the first title, opens at New York's Savoy
Theatre on September 13, 1904. * (ez-net)
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1) The Long Island Railroad installs a third rail, becoming
the first American railroad to have no steam locomotives
running on its tracks.
2) The New York City Reformatory for misdemeanants was
established by Chapter 305 of the Laws of 1905, with an
amendment under Chapter 516 of the Laws of 1907, limiting
commitments to first offenders.
3) 1905: America's First Pizzeria Opens. Lombardi's Coal
Oven Pizzeria Napoletana, on Spring Street.(newsday.com--C.
4) Coney Island's first Mardi Gras Festival was held in
September and attracted 300,000 people. It became a yearly
tradition at the close of the summer season.
5) Water pipes were laid in 1905 and a brick building was
erected, the first in the village of Lynbrook outside of the
railroad freight house.
6) As late as 1905, when millionaire Andrew Carnegie erected
his mansion at Fifth Avenue and 91st Street, * (mcny.org)
7) International Sunshine Hospital Sanitarium and Rest Cure,
in Brooklyn at Cropsey and 23'd avenues. was established in
1905. Capacity, 50. Private. * (Polk's)
8 ) St. Vincent's Home, Boerum place and State. in Brooklyn
was established in 1905. Capacity, 250. Private. * (Polk's)
9) July 18, 1905. First electric train runs on Long Island
Railroad from Flatbush to Rockaway Beach
10) Brooklyn: Kinloch's Sanitarium, 430 Gates av. Est'd
1905. Private. Capacity, 11. Propr, Robert E. Kinloch, M.D.
11) New York: Dr. Conrad Sanitarium The Maternity Aid. New
York Office, 110 W. 90th. Est'd 1905. Capacity, 20. Private.
12) Hudson Sanitarium, 2366 7th av. Est'd 1905. Capacity,
14.Private. * (Polk's)
13) Riverdale Sanitarium (West Hill), W. 252d nr. Broadway.
Was established in 1905. Capacity, 20. Private. * (Polk's)
14) National Audubon Society, 700 Broadway in New York City
was founded in 1905. * (t.a.)
15) Alfred Stieglitz, American photographer, editor, and art
exhibitor, The first art photographer in the United States,
In 1905 he established the famous gallery "291" at 291 Fifth
Ave., New York City, for the exhibition of photography as a
fine art. * (bartleby)
16) "The Pen of New York City" was incorporated on January
8, 1905 to promote social and business intercourse between
newspapermen of NYC with those of other cities and for the
betterment of the social and business conditions of its
members. * (NYT)
17) Julliard School of Music in New York City was
established in 1905 as the "Institute of Musical Art"
chartered 1926 as the Julliard School of Music with 2
separate units, the Julliard Graduate School (1924) and
Institute of Musical Art, then amalgamated into a single
school in 1946. * (c.e.)
18) Oct 10 1905: George Bernard Shaw's John Bull's Other
Island has its U. S. debut in New York City. * (ez-net)
19) Henry Wellington Laidler, American economist and
socialist leader born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was the founder
(1905) of the "Intercollegiate Socialist Society. * (c.e.)
20) George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell opens in New
York City on January 9 , 1905. * (ez-net)
21) U. Olga Samaroff, American pianist and educator. Her
American debut (1905) was in New York City. * (c.e.)
22) Belmont Park, the famous race track, opened in 1905,
is named for August Belmont, Jewish-born horse-breeder,
diplomat and banker. * (ajtg)
23) National Audubon Society, 950 Third Ave., N.Y.,N.Y. was
established in 1905. * (w.a.)
24) David Belasco's stage extravaganza, Girl of the
Golden West, opens at New York's Belasco Theatre on
November 14, 1905. * (ez-net)
23) 1905 - Variety begins publication.
24) May 1905: Ethel Barrymore opens in Hendrik Ibsen's A
Doll's House in New York City. * (ez-net)
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1) American Magazine was established in 1906. * (NYS
History) Vol: V.
2) The New York Association for the Blind, at 111 East 59th
street was incorporated in 1906.
3) Janes-Reynolds Co., Inc. Chimney Engineers at 218 East
52nd Street was established in 1906. * (Blue)
4) The American Mutoscope Company, one of the earliest film
companies in New York, opens a film studio at 841 Broadway.
5) Bay Ridge Hospital, in Brooklyn, N.Y. at 60th and 2d
avenue, was established in 1906. * (Polks)
6) George M. Cohan's George Washington, Jr. opens at New
York's Herald Square Theatre, with Cohan himself
introducing the song The Grand Old Rag (soon changed
to You're a Grand Old Flag). His song I Was Born in Virginia
is also introduced in the show on 2/12/1906. * (ez-net)
7) Denmark Home for Aged, in Brooklyn at 1051 41st. was
established in 1906. Capacity, 20. Private. *(Polk's)
8) Samaritan Hospital 4th avenue and 17th.in Brooklyn, was
established in 1906. Capacity, 35. Public. * (Polk's)
9) Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Notes announces the
establishment of his Little Galleries of the
Photo-Secession, at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City. The
same issue carries photographs of the city by Edward
Steichen and an article by George Bernard Shaw on
April 1906. * (ez-net).
10) Swedish Hospital. 126 Rogers avenue. in Brooklyn was
opened in 1906. Capacity, 50. Private. * (Polk's)
9 ) Brooklyn: International Sunshine Sanitarium and Rest
Home. Cropsey and 23d avs, Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea.
Established in 1906. Capacity, 50. Private. * (Polk's)
10) Sep 24 1906: Victor Herbert and Henry Blossom's The
Red Mill opens at New York's Knickerbocker Theater. * (ez-net)
11) Manhattan. Hill Sanatorium, 317 W. 136th. Est'd 1906.
Capacity, 16. Private. * (Polk's)
12) 1906 Streets are laid out for development in Forest
Hills, Queens * (nyct)
13) American Jewish Committee at 386 Fourth Ave., N.Y.C.
Established 1906. * (ajyb)
14) David Belasco and Richard Walton Tully's play The
Rose of the Rancho opens at New York's Belasco Theatre on
November 27, 1906. * (ez-net).
15) Genevieve Gorvan Brady Macaulay in 1906 founded the
Carroll Club for girls in NYC. *(docb)
Continue on Page: 2 (1907-1912)