Books: Musty Amusement

BROWN STONE FRONTS AND SARATOGA TRUNKS—Henry Collins Brown—Dutton ($3.75).

In the great fire of 1835, New York City was saved from annihilation only because numerous buildings were dynamited. As a result, one of the first acts of reconstruction was the Croton Aqueduct, financed by the sale of lottery tickets. Even after the Aqueduct was finished, fire-fighting remained in the hands of private companies whose rivalries frequently threatened the city, since partisans of one company or another would seize the hydrant near a blaze, prevent its use until friends arrived. Such colorful items of dubious historical importance Henry Collins Brown includes in a...

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