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8 The cast-iron bridge, which was supported by iron cylinders that had been filled in with ballast, “was considered … a most remarkable piece of engineering,” and “a great and ingenious advance in bridge-building” according to Story of the Bronx, p. 196. The current Third Avenue Bridge was completed in 2005, according to Steve Anderson’s “New York Area Roads, Crossings, and Exits” website (accessed online at www.nycroads.com). Starting in the 1860s, the Third Avenue bridge was crossed by horse-drawn cars, but service on the line was so poor that it came to be known as the “Huckleberry Line,” apparently because passengers on its lethargic cars had time to jump off, pick berries, and hop back onto the same car, according to John Lewis, “Mott Haven Cornerstone of Bronx History,” Daily News, January 17, 1982.

9 By 1902, booster groups pushing for improved rapid transit connections with Manhattan included the North Side Board of Trade, Twenty-Third Ward Property Owners’ Association, South Bronx Association, University Heights Association, and Bronx East Side Association. See “Rapid Transit for the Bronx,” New York Times, August 26, 1902, p. 3.


1885 Robinson Atlas of the City of New York.

11 “Elevated Railways [Els],” Encyclopedia of New York City, pp. 368-369; William Fullerton Reeves, The First Elevated Railroads in Manhattan and the Bronx of the City of New York (New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1936), pp. 34-41.


“Suburban Rapid Transit,” Real Estate Record & Builders’ Guide, December 12, 1885, p. 1362.


“The New Bridge Across the Harlem River at Third Avenue, New York,” Harper’s Weekly, February 3, 1894.


“Advantages of the Great North Side,” New York Times, March 24, 1895, p. 20.

15 “There is no advantage necessary for the successful operation of manufacturing industries that is not to be found on the North Side,” one North Side manufacturer and local booster, John C. La Vergne wrote in 1897, pointing out its “well-established convenience for the receipt of goods to be used in the manufacture of articles of merchandise, and for their transportation to consignees by rail or water.” See John C. De La Vergne, “A Manufacturing Centre,” in The Great North Side, pp. 89-91. See also Bronx Board of Trade, The Bronx: New York’s Fastest Growing Bor- ough (Bronx, N.Y.: Bronx Board of Trade, 1922), p. 5, which argued that, in the Bronx, “in the matter of railroad freight facilities there is little to be desired. Every trunk line entering New York, except the Pennsylvania R.R., has a terminal in the Bronx. The Pennsylvania R.R. terminal is, however, just across the Harlem River, and is easily accessible from the Bronx. Water-borne freight facilities are also available, and sites are to be had where shipments may be made, or raw material received, by either rail or water, directly, eliminating extra hauling expense.”

16 “A Manufacturing Centre,” pp. 99-103. The New York, New Haven & Hartford freight depot is shown on E. Belcher Hyde, Atlas of the Borough of the Bronx, City of New York (Brooklyn: E. Belcher Hyde, 1900).

17 With the Bronx’s excellent rail links, “every great freight line of the east” was “running its cars full of pianos direct from the factory doors,” Bacon wrote. See William P.H. Bacon, “Piano Factories Crowd the Bronx,” New York Times, May 17, 1908, p. B3. Bacon was associated with the Bacon Piano Company, which traced its roots back to one of New York’s oldest piano manufacturers, Dubois & Stodart. On the Bacon company, see Alfred Dolge, Pianos and Their Makers: A Comprehensive History of the Development of the Piano (originally published 1911; reprinted New York: Dover Publications, 1972), p. 277.


The Bronx and Its People, pp. 716-17.


“Piano Factories Crowd the Bronx.”

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