William C. Kingsley, Brooklyn Bridge contractor

William C. Kingsley (1833–1885) was a construction contractor as one of the main figures involved in the creation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Kingsley settled in Brooklyn in 1856 and worked as a contractor for the Brooklyn water works. His construction firm, Kingsley and Keeney, was given large contracts to build Prospect Park and the Hempstead Reservoir. The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the largest and most important projects he worked on. He became the driving force behind the Bridge project, hiring Colonel Julius Walker Adams, a civil engineer who had worked with him on the Brooklyn sewers, to come up with a design and to prepare cost… Read More

Read more

Henry Chadwick, sportswriter, historian

Henry Chadwick (1824 – April 20, 1908) was a sportswriter, baseball statistician and historian, often called the “Father of Baseball” for his early reporting on and contributions to the development of the game. He edited the first baseball guide that was sold to the public. He was born in England and moved to Brooklyn with his family at the age of 12. He began to write music and to teach piano and guitar, somewhat against the education he received in commerce and finance. As an adult he played cricket and rounders for amusement and began writing about the games for local newspapers.  He came across organized baseball… Read More

Read more

Charles Higgins, ink maker

Charles M. Higgins (1854-1929) began his ink business about 1880. His first ink was Higgin’s India ink. By 1888, magazines like Harper’s Weekly, were using his ink for their drawings. His first successes were with artists when many publications recommended his drawing and waterproof inks. He began using famous artist testimonials to promote his drawing products. His success allowed him to advertise widely as he expanded his line of products. He introduced laundry Ink, Higgins Indelible Ink and a vegetable mucilage, not a starch or flour based products like other companies wee making but a new chemical discovery. Patent registrations increased… Read More

Read more

Jeffrey Richman, Green-Wood Cemetery historian

Jeffrey Richman graduated from NYU Law School in the 1970s and started working with criminal defendants for the next 33 years, both at the trial and the appellate level. He loved the challenge and helping those who were underrepresented and poor. While working in law, he started to collect stereoscopic cards from the 1800s. Though many were available, he concentrated on images of New York. There were so many stereoscopic views of New York City in the second half of the 19th century–hundreds were taken of just the omnibuses, carts, and pedestrians along Broadway in Manhattan, but he kept coming across… Read More

Read more

David Bates Douglass, landscape architect, Green-Wood cemetery

David Bates Douglass (March 21, 1790 – October 21, 1849) was a civil and military engineer, who worked on a broad set of projects throughout his career. He was an instructor/professor at The US Military Academy, Kenyon and Hobart Colleges. Born in New Jersey, he graduated from Yale University, fought in the War of 1812, consulted on the Erie Canal’s western end, and designed the  Montville inclined plane on the Morris Canal across the Northern area of New Jersey. Most New Yorkers enjoy Mr. Douglass’ work at the Green-Wood Cemetery. The sprawling, natural landscape and one of the highest points in Brooklyn (200… Read More

Read more