From Baseball to Houdini

From Baseball to Houdini (HM2IOK)

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N 40° 43.474', W 73° 59.56'

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Gotham Inn

— 298 Bowery —

The early history of baseball is closely associated with this site, once occupied by the Gotham Inn, an 18th century farmhouse-turned-tavern that by the mid-1800s headquartered the Gotham Base Ball Club. According to baseball historian John Thorn, the Gothams - who formed in 1837 - were America's first organized baseball team and the first to write down the rules of the game. The first conventions for the National Association for Base Ball Players were held here in 1857-1858, later moving up the street to Cooper Union when it grew bigger. The Association's rules committee met here as late as 1865.
From 1879 to 1898, this current 4-story structure was a popular "dime museum." With cheaply priced exhibits and stage shows typical of such venues, the Globe Dime Museum featured giant snakes, magicians and curiosities like "Trimuta, the Three-Headed Songstress."
It hosted future film comedian W.C. Fields' first NYC appearances and the premiere of vaudeville comic due Weber & Fields' famous "Dutch" routine as German immigrants.
In 1894, the Globe also saw the first solo performance of a Hungarian rabbi's son who would gain worldwide fame for death-defying feats and illusions - the "Great" Harry Houdini.
-David Freeland (author Automats, Taxi Dances



& Vaudeville
and David Mulkins (Historian/Educator)
Details
HM NumberHM2IOK
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Placed ByBowery Alliance of Neighbors
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, July 11th, 2019 at 11:02am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 585070 N 4508670
Decimal Degrees40.72456667, -73.99266667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 43.474', W 73° 59.56'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 43' 28.44" N, 73° 59' 33.6" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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