In 1896, New York passed a law that alcohol could only be served on Sunday if it was with a meal. New York taverns then started “selling” inedible sandwiches (served with a drink). The waiter would collect the sandwich at the end of the meal, and serve it the next customer.
Until 1996, NYPD cars were painted blue. They phased out the blue cars in favor of factory white, resulting in a $1 million savings. Light blue shirts were replaced with dark blue to “hide coffee and donut stains”.
100 years ago, motorised kick scooters like todays ”Bird“ scooters, were already a thing. They were foldable, had a top speed of 15 mph and were used by New York gangs as getaway vehicles.
In the 1930s New York city planner Robert Moses deliberately built a number of bridges really low so that only cars could go under it – so as to prevent blacks (who mostly used public transport) from visiting New York’s ‘pristine’ beaches.
In 1956, a pilot landed on an Uptown Street in NYC, because that’s where the bar was.
Back when NYC subways ran on tokens people would jam the slots with paper so they could suck the tokens out with their mouths. This was referred to as “Token Sucking” and some token booth attendants even tried to deter this crime by sprinkling chili powder in the slots.
Until 1953, NYC had a pneumatic tube mail network that spanned 27 miles and connected 23 post offices. At its peak, the system moved 95,000 letters a day.