Technology & Engineering

Pneumatic Subway

What: New York City’s first subway
When: 1870s
Where: Broadway and Warren Street, near City Hall

Steam-fueled Skirmish

What: The patent act of 1790 and commercial competition led to steamboat innovation in New York City waters
When: 1790s to 1820s
Where: New York Harbor

Sandhogs, Fresh Air and the Holland Tunnel

What: First direct connection for automobiles between Manhattan and New Jersey. A National Historic Landmark.
When: 1922 to 1927
Where: Under the Hudson River, close to Soho, Manhattan

An Aqueduct for Gotham

What: New York City’s first aqueduct brought Manhattan 75 million gallons of water a day.
When: 1842
Where: It ran 41.5 miles, from Dutchess County to what is now the Great Lawn in Central Park

Pearl Street Power Play

What: The first centralized power plant
When: 1882
Where: Mid-200s block of Pearl Street; now 40 Fulton Street

Building the Brooklyn Bridge

What: First suspension bridge made with steel cables.
When: 1883
Where: Across the East River, connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan

Power Trips

What: A secret facility in Grand Central Station housed turbines that powered electric trains
When: 1906
Where: Grand Central Station

The Current Wars

What: Inventor Nicholas Tesla won the current wars with AC, but died impoverished
When: Late nineteenth century
Where: Midtown, Manhattan

Telegraph Races

What: Samuel Morse developed the electric telegraph
When: Early 1800s
Where: New York University

Manhattan Project in…Manhattan

What: The birth of the Manhattan Project
When: World War II
Where: At three locations on Broadway, including the Woolworth Building