What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City.

The short film What Happened on Twenty-third Street, New York City was released in August, 1901.

Depicting a couple walking down the street in New York, the woman’s skirts are lifting by air when she walks over a grate.

While it only runs for 77 seconds, the film is credited with providing inspiration for similar scenes in movies in the decades afterwards.

New York’s Easter Parade

Between 1910 and 1915

New York City has hosted an Easter parade on Fifth Avenue since the 19th century. Taking place on Easter Sunday, for decades it was one of the most significant cultural events of the year.

Here are some images of the parade from the late 19th and early 20th centuries:

1898

Fifth_Avenue_Easter_Parade,_1898 Fifth Avenue and the Easter Parade, New York 1898.

1899

Easter_parade_Fifth_Avenue_1899. Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, New York 1899.

1900

EasterParade1900 Fifth Avenue in New York City on Easter Sunday in 1900

1905

Easter_Parade_1905Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, New York 1905

1912

Easter_Parade_1912 Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue, New York 1912.

1914

Easter_parade_1914 Easter Parade, New York 1914.

On this day: the first day of the blizzard of 1977

The 1977 blizzard that hit parts of New York, USA and Ontario, Canada, began on the 28th of January, 1977.

Wind gusts from 46 to 69 mph (74 to 111 km/h) hit daily, and more than 2.5 metres of snow were recorded in a storm that lasted into February and saw dozens of deaths registered.

X

the-blizzard-of-1977-was-a-deadly-blizzard-that-hit-the-western-areas-of-upstate-new-york-as-well-as-southern-ontario-from-january-28-to-february-1-1977-january-photograph

On this day: the Brooklyn Theatre fire

brooklyntheatre_from_johnson_street_looking_eastbrooklyn-theatre-from-johnson-street-shortly-after-december-5-1876-fire

The destroyed theatre. X

One of the worst building fires in US history occurred in New York on the 5th of December, 1876. At least 278 – but possibly more than 300 – people were killed when a fire broke out at the Brooklyn Theatre during the final act of The Two Orphans.

The blaze began on the prompt side of the stage (the side where the stage manager sits). It was noticed part of the set had caught fire. Sets for more than one production were backstage at the time, meaning it was impossible to get the fire hose to extinguish the blaze.

 harpers-weekly-brookyn-theatre-fire-cover-1876

Harper’s Weekly cover reporting on the fire. X

The performers onstage were made aware of the fire, but continued with the show for a short time, worried about causing a panic. Stagehands tried to extinguish the flames, but the fire continued to gain ground.

Despite being close to the flames, several members of the performing company took to the stage to call for the audience to be calm, so that people could escape the theatre safely.

kate-claxton-august-24-1848-may-5-19241-was-an-american-actress-born-kate-elizabeth-cone-at-somerville-new-jersey-to-spencer-wallace-cone-and-josephine-martinez

One of those performers was Kate Claxton, who was later described as:

‘the nerviest woman I ever saw … [She] came out with J. B. Studley, and said the fire would be out in a few moments. She was white as a sheet, but she stood up full of nerve.’ X

Most of the deaths occurred in the highest, cheapest seats, where several hundred people sat, and where the narrow exit became blocked and people trampled each other. Many succumbed to smoke inhalation.

brooklyn_theatre_floor_plan_2brooklyn-theatre-floor-plan-2-published-in-the-new-york-tribune-december-7-1876

Floor plan of the theatre, published two days after the fire. X

By the time firemen arrived at the scene nobody responded to their calls, and cracks had begun to appear in the building.

Less than half an hour after the first flames were spotted, much of the theatre collapsed.

brooklyntheatre_from_johnson_streetruins-of-the-brooklyn-theatre-as-viewed-from-johnson-street-shortly-after-the-fire-markings-of-the-gallery-stairway-can-be-seen-on-the-far-wall-angling-down-from

The theatre in ruins. X

Several years after the disaster, Kate Claxton reflected that it had been a mistake to continue the play, and that the curtain should have been kept down and the performance cancelled so the audience could have evacuated before they were made aware of the fire.