Pumper YO-56 - History

Pumper YO-56 - History

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(YO-56: dp. 944'; 1. 235'; b. 37')

Pumper (YO-56), a 10,000 gallon capacity non-self-propelled fuel oil barge, was laid down 25 March 1942 by R.T.C. Shipbuilding Corp., Camden, N.J. for Ira S. Bushey & Sons Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y.; launched 7 September; and completed and delivered to the Navy 28 December 1942.

After petroleum product transport and storage duty in the 10th Naval district, she was transferred to France 10 February 1945 on lend-lease. She was returned to the United States and was disposed of through State Department sale 21 March 1949.

Holy Craps! How a Gambling Grandma Broke the Record


It sounds like a homework problem out of a high school math book: What is the probability of rolling a pair of dice 154 times continuously at a craps table, without throwing a seven?

The answer is roughly 1 in 1.56 trillion, and on May 23, Patricia Demauro, a New Jersey grandmother, beat those odds at Atlantic City's Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa. Demauro's 154-roll lucky streak, which lasted four hours and 18 minutes, broke the world records for the longest craps roll and the most successive dice rolls without "sevening out." According to Stanford University statistics professor Thomas Cover, the chances of that happening are smaller than getting struck by lightning (one in a million), being hit by an errant ball at a baseball game (one in 1.5 million) or winning the lottery (one in 100 million, depending on the game). (Read "When Gambling Becomes Obsessive.")

So, how did it happen? On Saturday, Denville native Demauro and her friend John Capra decided to indulge their yen to bet. Their Atlantic City jaunt began innocuously enough, with Demauro, only a casual casinogoer, planting herself in front of a penny slot machine on the Borgata floor and Capra going off to try his hand at three-card poker. (See an interview with the new king of poker.)

By 8 p.m., a few hours later, Demauro had grown tired of the slots. She ventured into the poker room to collect her friend, who was losing money. He offered to show her how to play craps. Of the 14 available craps tables, they sidled up to the nearest one and waited for the three other players to finish rolling. Capra shot next, but sevened out quickly. Then, he handed Demauro the dice.

Craps is known as the world's most common dice game and it is played, with varying rules and sizes of table, in virtually every casino on the planet. Craps is a game of chance rather than skill, and with a low house advantage — around 1.4%, which makes it harder to beat than blackjack but easier than roulette — even novices can win. That is, if they're lucky.

According to the casino, Demauro started her roll at 8:13 p.m. She bought into the game with $100 and when the orange-colored dice came around to her, she rubbed her hands together and let them fly. Demauro says she had played craps only once before, and being an inexperienced better, followed Capra's advice when placing bets.

A craps turn begins with an initial or "come out" roll, in which the player tries to establish a "point number" — that is, when the dice add up to four, five, six, eight, nine or 10. Once that happens, the player must roll the point again before throwing a seven, which is statistically the most likely outcome on a pair of dice. If the player rolls a seven before the point, the turn ends.

As soon as Demauro hit her point number (eight), people started betting. She says the game moved so fast after that, she couldn't really keep up. "There are all these terms I didn't know," Demauro says. "People were yelling out 'Yo.'" I said to John, 'What's "yo?"' I think that's an 11."

The table filled up and a throng of spectators gathered. Demauro rolled double sixes, hard fours, snake eyes, every possible combination of the dice. Some people called out requests and Demauro managed to fulfill them. Players from the nearby blackjack table came over to watch, and then came the casino executives, or as she describes them, "men in dark suits." Demauro and her audience knew they would never witness anything like this again. "There was a woman there, and we happened to catch each other's eyes," Demauro says, "She smiled at me, and I smiled and said, 'I don't know how to play the game.'"

Although there is no official organization that keeps track of gambling world records, a number of clubs record significant dice rolls. Before Demauro's, the longest craps roll lasted three hours and six minutes — accomplished at a Las Vegas casino in 1989, with 118 rolls. And according to gambling expert and author of Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos, Frank Scoblete, the highest number of successive dice rolls was 147, thrown by a man operating under the pseudonym the "Captain" in 2005. The average number of dice rolls before sevening out? Eight.

Given the rules of the game, there are any number of ways to achieve 154 consecutive rolls without crapping out, though all of them are highly unlikely. Unlikely but not impossible. Stanford's Cover explains: "Let's say we have a million gamblers trying a thousand events at any one time. That's a billion different rolls of craps." Out of a billion different games, the probability of getting an event that special is reduced to one in 1,000. "It's not out of the realm of possibility," he says.

Demauro declined to reveal how much money she won, but gambling experts estimate that if she made good bets, her winnings were probably in the hundreds of thousands expert bets would have put them in the millions. Demauro and Capra spent the rest of their holiday weekend in Atlantic City, and even returned to the same craps table two nights later — but only as spectators. "The expectations were too high," she says. "I wasn't ready to be the shooter again."

Once the shock of her good fortune wears off, however, she says she'll try throwing the dice again. After all, sometimes lightning strikes twice.


The Encyclopedia of New York City considers the area west of Ocean Parkway (including Sea Gate and Nortons Point Light) to be part of the Coney Island neighborhood. [4] The neighborhood is situated on the western portion of the Coney Island peninsula, located on the western end of Long Island lying to the west of the Outer Barrier islands along Long Island's southern shore. The peninsula is about 4 miles (6.4 km) long and 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide. It extends into Lower New York Bay with Sheepshead Bay to its northeast, Gravesend Bay and Coney Island Creek to its northwest, and the main part of Brooklyn to its north. At its highest it is 7 feet (2.1 m) above sea level. Coney Island was formerly an actual island, separated from greater Brooklyn by Coney Island Creek, and was the westernmost of the Outer Barrier islands. A large section of the creek was filled in the 1920s and 1930s, turning the island into a peninsula. [5] : 200

The perimeter of Coney Island features manmade structures designed to maintain its current shape. The beaches are currently not a natural feature the sand that is naturally supposed to replenish Coney Island is cut off by the jetty at Breezy Point, Queens. [6] [7] : 337 Sand has been redeposited on the beaches via beach nourishment since the construction of Riegelmann Boardwalk in 1922–1923, [8] and is held in place by around two dozen groynes. A large sand-replenishing project along Coney Island and Brighton Beach took place in the 1990s. [7] : 337 Sheepshead Bay at the peninsula's northeast corner is, for the most part, enclosed in bulkheads. [7] Two major parks, Kaiser Park and Coney Island Creek Park, are located on the northwest side of the peninsula along Coney Island Creek. [9] [10]

Climate data for Coney Island, Brooklyn
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 70
Average high °F (°C) 39
Average low °F (°C) 25
Record low °F (°C) −4
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.86
Average snowfall inches (cm) 6.7
Source: [11]

The original Native American inhabitants of the region, the Lenape, called this area Narrioch, possibly meaning "land without shadows " [12] or "always in light " [13] in reference to its sunlit south-facing beaches. A second possible meaning is "point " or "corner of land " . [14] The "island" was originally several smaller historical islands, each being given a name by Dutch settlers, with the westernmost sand spit or point being given named Conyne Eylandt in early-17th-century Dutch maps. [15] [16]

There is no clear historical consensus on how the island got the name "Coney Island", in regular use in the first half of the 19th century with the advent of regular ferry service to the island, but several theories have been put forward. [12] [17] [18] : 27 One possible etymology is from a Native American tribe, the Konoh or Konoi (the "Bear Band"), who once inhabited the island. [12] [17] [18] : 27 A second theory suggests that it was distortion of the name of Henry Hudson's second mate on the Halve Maen, John Colman, who was slain by natives on the 1609 expedition. [17] [15] A third posits that late 18th century Irish captain Peter O'Connor named it after Coney Island in County Sligo, Ireland. [17] [19] Yet other theories suggest a Dutch etymology: one theory holds that the name had come from Conyn, the surname of a family of Dutch settlers who lived there, [17] and another suggests that it came from the Dutch word for rabbit, "konijn", derived from a purported large population of wild rabbits on the island". [17] [20] [21]

There is little evidence for each origin theory, and there are conflicts between the pieces of evidence that do exist. [17] The most popular idea is the translation of the Dutch word for "rabbit" into to the English word coney, but that has its detractors and counter explanations. In 1816 politician and US Founding Father Egbert Benson presented a treatise on New York place names and said it was "Conyn's Island", after the Dutch surname, and noted "there are already symptoms of the beginning of a tradition that it once abounded in Rabbits". [17] [22] [23] Other historians claim that rabbits were introduced to the island only after it was settled. [18] : 27–28 The 19th century also saw the heavily Irish New York Tammany Hall political machine controlling development of the island, and they may have gotten the name from the island in County Sligo rather than any tale of a rabbit population. [17]

Early settlement Edit

Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European explorer to sight the island of Narrioch during his expeditions to the area in 1527 and 1529. He was subsequently followed by Henry Hudson. [24] : 34 The Dutch established the colony of New Amsterdam in present-day Coney Island in the early 17th century. The Native American population in the area dwindled as the Dutch settlement grew and the entire southwest section of present-day Brooklyn was purchased in 1645 from the Native Americans in exchange for a gun, a blanket, and a kettle. [25] [26]

In 1644, a colonist named Guysbert Op Dyck was given a patent for 88 acres of land in the town of Gravesend, on the southwestern shore of Brooklyn. The patent included Conyne Island, an island just off the southwestern shore of the town of Gravesend, as well as Conyne Hook, a peninsula just east of the island. At the time, both were part of Gravesend. [24] : 4 [27] East of Conyne Hook was the largest section of island called Gysbert's, Guysbert's, or Guisbert's Island (also called Johnson Island), containing most of the arable land and extending east through today's Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach. [24] : 34 [28] [29] This was officially the first official real estate transaction for the island. [27] Op Dyck never occupied his patent, and in 1661 he sold it off to Dick De Wolf. The land's new owner banned Gravesend residents from using Guisbert's Island and built a salt-works on the land, provoking outrage among Gravesend livestock herders. New Amsterdam was transferred to the English in 1664, and four years later, the English Governor created a new charter for Gravesend that excluded Coney Island. Subsequently, Guisbert's Island was divided into plots meted out to several dozen settlers. However, in 1685, the island became part of Gravesend again as a result of a new charter with the Native Americans. [24] : 36

At the time of European settlement, the land that makes up the present-day Coney Island was divided across several separate islands. All of these islands were part of the outer barrier on the southern shore of Long Island, and their land areas and boundaries changed frequently. [24] : 34 Only the westernmost island was called Coney Island it currently makes up part of Sea Gate. At the time, it was a 1.25-mile shifting sandspit with a detached island at its western end extending into Lower New York Bay. [15] In a 1679–1680 journal, Jasper Danckaerts and Peter Sluyter noted that "Conijnen Eylandt" was fully separated from the rest of Brooklyn. The explorers observed that "Nobody lives upon it, but it is used in winter for keeping cattle, horses, oxen, hogs and others." [15] [24] : 36

By the early 18th century, the town of Gravesend was periodically granting seven-year-long leases to freeholders, who would then have the exclusive use of Coney Hook and Coney Island. In 1734, a road to Coney Hook was laid out. [24] : 37 Thomas Stillwell, a prominent Gravesend resident who was the freeholder for Coney Island and Coney Hook at the time, proposed to build a ditch through Coney Hook so it would be easier for his cattle to graze. He convinced several friends in the nearby town of Jamaica to help him in this effort, telling them that the creation of such a ditch would allow them to ship goods from Jamaica Bay to New York Harbor without having to venture out into the ocean. [24] : 37 In 1750, the "Jamaica Ditch" was dug through Coney Hook from Brown's Creek in the west to Hubbard's Creek in the east. [24] : 34 [30] The creation of the canal turned Coney Hook into a detached 0.5-mile-long (0.80 km) island called Pine Island, so named due to the woods on it. [24] : 34

Each island was separated by an inlet that could only be crossed at low tide. By the end of the 18th century, the ongoing shifting of sand along the barrier islands had closed up the inlets to the point that residents began filling them in and joining them as one island. Development of Coney Island was slow until the 19th century due to land disputes, the American Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. [29] Coney Island was so remote that Herman Melville wrote Moby-Dick on the island in 1849, and Henry Clay and Daniel Webster discussed the Missouri Compromise at the island the next year. [31]

Resort development Edit

In 1824, the Gravesend and Coney Island Road and Bridge Company built the first bridge across Jamaica Ditch (by now known as Coney Island Creek), connecting the island with the mainland. The company also built a shell road across the island to the beaches. [29] [32] In 1829, the company also built the first hotel on the island: the Coney Island House, near present-day Sea Gate. [32] [33] : 8 [34]

Due to Coney Island's proximity to Manhattan and other boroughs, and its simultaneous relative distance from the city of Brooklyn to provide the illusion of a proper vacation, it began attracting vacationers in the 1830s and 1840s, assisted by carriage roads and steamship service that reduced travel time from a formerly half-day journey to two hours. [35] : 15 Most of the vacationers were wealthy and went by carriage. Inventor Samuel Colt built an observation tower on the peninsula in 1845, but he abandoned the project soon after. [34] In 1847, the middle class started going to Coney Island upon the introduction of a ferry line to Norton's Point—named during the mid-1870s after hotel owner Michael Norton—at the western portion of the peninsula. Gang activity started as well, with one 1870s writer noting that going to Coney Island could result in losing money and even lives. [34] The Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Railroad became the first railroad to reach Coney Island when it opened in 1864, [36] [37] and it was completed in 1867. [38] : 71 Over the next 13 years, four more railroads were built specifically to transport visitors to Coney Island. [39] : 14

In 1868, William A. Engeman built a resort in the area. [40] The resort was given the name "Brighton Beach" in 1878 by Henry C. Murphy and a group of businessmen, who chose the name as an allusion to the English resort city of Brighton. [41] [37] With the help of Gravesend's surveyor William Stillwell, Engeman acquired all 39 lots for the relatively low cost of $20,000. [42] [33] : 38 This 460-by-210-foot (140 by 64 m) hotel, with rooms for up to 5,000 people nightly and meals for up to 20,000 people daily, was close to the then-rundown western Coney Island, so it was mostly the upper middle class that went to this hotel. [43] The 400-foot (120 m), double-decker Brighton Beach Bathing Pavilion was also built nearby and opened in 1878, with the capacity for 1,200 bathers. [44] [33] : 38 [37] Hotel Brighton, also known as the Brighton Beach Hotel, was situated on the beach at what is now the foot of Coney Island Avenue. [40] [45] : 248 The Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railway, the predecessor to the New York City Subway's present-day Brighton Line, opened on July 2, 1878, and provided access to the hotel. [46] [33] : 38 [47]

Simultaneously, wealthy banker Austin Corbin was developing adjacent Manhattan Beach after being interested in the area during a trip to the beach to heal his sick son. [40] [48] Corbin, who worked on Wall Street and had many railroad investments, built the New York and Manhattan Beach Railway for his two luxury shoreline hotels. These hotels were used by the wealthy upper class, who would not go to Brighton Beach because of its proximity to Coney Island. [40] The 150-room Manhattan Beach Hotel—which was designed by J. Pickering Putnam and contained restaurants, ballrooms, and shops—was opened for business in July 1877 at a ceremony presided over by President Ulysses S. Grant. [48] [49] The similarly prodigal Oriental Hotel, which hosted rooms for wealthy families staying for extended periods, was opened in August 1880. [48] [50]

Andrew R. Culver, president of the Prospect Park and Coney Island Railroad, [51] had built the Culver Line steam railway to West Brighton in 1875, [45] : 248 before Corbin and Engeman had even built their railroads. For 35 cents, one could ride the Prospect Park & Coney Island Railroad to the Culver Depot terminal at Surf Avenue. [40] Across the street from the terminal, the 300-foot (91 m) Iron Tower (also known as the Centennial Observatory), bought from the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition, provided patrons with a bird's-eye view of the coast. The nearby "Camera Obscura" similarly used mirrors and lens to provide a panoramic view of the area. [40] [52] : 22–23 Coney Island became a major resort destination after the Civil War as excursion railroads and the Coney Island & Brooklyn Railroad streetcar line reached the area in the 1860s and 1870s, followed by the Iron Steamboat Company ferry to Manhattan in 1881. [33] : 29 [38] : 64

The 150-suite Cable Hotel was built nearby in 1875. [46] Next to it, on a 12-acre (4.9 ha) piece of land leased by James Voorhies, maitre d' Paul Bauer built the western peninsula's largest hotel, which opened in 1876. [40] By the turn of the century, Victorian hotels, private bathhouses, and vaudeville theaters were a common sight on Coney island. [53] : 147 The three resort areas—Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach and West Brighton—competed with each other for clientele. By the early 1900s, West Brighton had gradually become the most popular destination, and as such, became associated with the lively amusement area of Coney Island. [54] [39] : 14–15

In the 1890s, Norton's Point on the western side of Coney Island was developed into Sea Gate, a gated summer community that catered mainly to the wealthy. [55] [56] A private yacht carried visitors directly from the Battery at the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Notable tenants within the community included the Atlantic Yacht Club, which built a colonial style house along the waterfront. [57]

Amusement park era Edit

Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States, attracting several million visitors per year. Its development as an amusement area was concurrent with the erection of urban amusement parks elsewhere in the United States, which changed amusement from a passive to an active concept. [58] : 7, 8 Of these amusement areas, Coney Island was the largest. At its height, it contained three competing major amusement parks—Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park—as well as many independent amusements. [53] : 147–150 [59] : 11 [58] : 4 The area was also the center of new technological events, with electric lights, roller coasters, and baby incubators among the innovations at Coney Island in the 1900s. [53] : 147 By the first decade of the 20th century, Coney Island was seen as a top getaway and "a symbol of Americans' increasing pride". [59] : 21–22

19th century Edit

By the late 1870s, Coney Island's hotels had drawn people from many different social classes, and attractions were being built. [52] : 30 When the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company electrified the steam railroads and connected Brooklyn to Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge at the beginning of the 20th century, Coney Island turned rapidly from a resort to an accessible location for day-trippers seeking to escape the summer heat in New York City's tenements. [46] [60] Charles I. D. Looff, a Danish woodcarver, built the first carousel and amusement ride at Coney Island in 1876, at Lucy Vandeveer's bath-house complex at West 6th Street and Surf Avenue. Looff personally hand-carved the designs into the carousel. [61] Looff subsequently commissioned another carousel at Feltman's Ocean Pavilion in 1880. [52] : 88 Another early attraction was the Seaside Aquarium, which operated from 1877 to 1887 and included aquatic exhibits, aviaries, zoo attractions, and various sideshows. [52] : 31 [39] : 15 The earliest rides, including Looff's first carousel and the Seaside Aquarium, were located at the Centennial Observatory's site. [52] : 32 The first sideshows and fireworks displays came to Coney Island in 1883, and combined with constant musical performances, brought increased excitement to the area. [52] : 34–37

The very first roller coaster at Coney Island was the Switchback Railway, a gravity coaster installed by LaMarcus Adna Thompson at West 10th Street in 1884. Nearby was the Elephantine Colossus, a seven-story building (including a brothel) in the shape of an elephant, which opened the following year. [52] : 38–39 Until its demolition in 1896, the elephant was the first sight to greet immigrants arriving in New York, who would see it before they saw the Statue of Liberty. [52] : 40–42 [62] Next to be developed were horse-racing tracks, and by 1890, Coney Island had three tracks: Sheepshead Bay Race Track, Brighton Beach Race Course, and Gravesend Race Track. [52] : 46 [45] : 248 Julian Ralph described Coney Island in 1896 as "the first made-to-order resort in America", with many businesses having "leaped from nothing into full fledged perfection". [45] : 248 However, crime and corruption in Coney Island were prevalent. The main leader of this corruption was John Y. McKane, who ran prizefighting rings behind the elephant until he was arrested and sentenced in 1894. [52] : 48–51 [63]

The development of amusement rides in Coney Island intensified in the 1890s with the opening of amusement parks. The first such park was Sea Lion Park, which operated from 1895 to 1902 and was the first amusement park to charge entry fees. Sea Lion Park's opening spurred the construction of George C. Tilyou's Steeplechase Park, which opened in 1897. [59] : 12 [45] : 249 [64] The Coney Island "Funny Face" logo, which is still extant, dates to the early days of Steeplechase Park. [65]

Early 20th century Edit

The first decade of the 20th century saw two more large amusement parks. Luna Park opened in 1903 on the site of Sea Lion Park, which had closed the previous year. [66] [45] : 249 [52] : 60–61 The park contained a variety of attractions and exotic landscaping, lit by electricity at night [45] : 249–250 its flagship ride was A Trip to the Moon, an attraction based on Jules Verne's novel From the Earth to the Moon. [52] : 62 The following year saw the opening of Dreamland, which reproduced many attractions at Luna Park, but at a grander scale, with a large central tower and lagoon, a sunken plaza, and one million electric lights. [45] : 250 [52] : 68–69 [67] Additionally, the City of New York made efforts to condemn all buildings and piers built south of Surf Avenue in an effort to reclaim the beach and create a boardwalk, though the local amusement community opposed the move. [68] Eventually, the city government and the community reached an agreement mandating that the beach did not begin until 1,000 feet (300 m) south of Surf Avenue and that the territory would be marked by a city-owned boardwalk. In return, the city would demolish any structures built upon public streets to reclaim beach access. [69]

The original resorts lost patronage after horse racing in New York state was outlawed in 1909, but the amusement areas still saw significant patronage. [45] : 249 In 1915, the Sea Beach Line was upgraded to a subway line, followed by the other former excursion roads, and the opening of the Stillwell Avenue station in 1919 ushered in Coney Island's busiest era. [46] [60] On the busiest summer days, over a million people would travel to Coney Island. This created tensions between longtime New York City residents and more recent immigrants who liked to patronize Coney Island. [59] : 23 One of the entrepreneurs who took advantage of the increased visitor counts was Nathan Handwerker, who in 1916 started selling hot dogs at Coney Island for a nickel each, and eventually expanded his enterprise into the Nathan's Famous hot dog chain. [31] [59] : 22–23

Coney Island's development as an amusement area continued through the end of World War II. The opening of the Wonder Wheel in 1920 the Riegelmann Boardwalk in 1923 the Shore Theater in 1925 several roller coasters in the 1920s including the Tornado, Thunderbolt, and Coney Island Cyclone and the Parachute Jump in 1941 contributed to the area's quality as an amusement destination. In particular, the Riegelmann Boardwalk enabled the crowds to be dispersed away from Surf Avenue, the main west–east avenue in the area. [53] : 147 [59] : 23–24 Despite staff shortages during World War II, Coney Island retained its popularity and was frequented by military personnel. [70]

The era was also marked by frequent fires, and those at the beginning of the 20th century were particularly destructive. [71] [72] A 1907 fire at Steeplechase Park [73] [74] resulted in the park having to be completely rebuilt. [75] Dreamland burned down in 1911 [76] and was never rebuilt. [71] One of the largest conflagrations at Coney Island, which occurred in 1932, [71] [72] left at least a thousand people homeless. [77]

The early 20th century additionally saw the infilling of a portion of the 3-mile-long (4.8 km) Coney Island Creek, thereby connecting Coney Island to the rest of Brooklyn. In the previous decades, there had been plans to dredge and straighten the creek as a ship canal, which were later abandoned. By 1924, local landowners and the city had filled a portion of the creek. [7] : 337 [5] : 200 A major section of the creek was further filled in to allow construction of the Belt Parkway in the 1930s, and the western and eastern ends of the island became peninsulas. [5] : 200 More fill was added in 1962 during the construction of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. [78]

Residential development and decline Edit

Robert Moses era Edit

In 1937, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses published a report about the possible redevelopment of Coney Island, which would have entailed the addition of parking lots and reconstruction of part of the boardwalk. [79] The city purchased a 400-foot-wide (120 m) strip of land along the shoreline, which would allow the boardwalk to be moved 300 feet (91 m) inland. [80] At this point, Coney Island was so crowded on summer weekends that, according to Moses, a coffin would provide more space per person. [31] Though ride construction was delayed due to material shortages caused by the onset of World War II, two new rides were constructed in 1946 at the end of the war. [81]

In August 1944, Luna Park was destroyed by a fire. [82] Two years later, it was closed permanently and sold to a company who wanted to tear down the park's remnants and build Quonset huts for military veterans and their families. [83] Moses asked the city to transfer Luna Park's land along the Coney Island waterfront to the Parks Department, a request that was granted in 1949. [84] Moses then had the land rezoned for residential use, with plans to demolish "about a third" of attractions along Surf Avenue, one block north of the beach, and replace these with housing. [85] Moses moved the boardwalk back from the beach several yards, demolishing many structures, including the city's municipal bath house, as well as several blocks of amusements. [53] : 149 He claimed that fewer amusement-seekers were going to Coney Island every year, because they preferred places where they could bathe outdoors, such as Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, rather than the "mechanical gadget" attractions of Coney Island. [85] Moses also announced that the Steeplechase Pier would be closed for a year so it could be renovated. [86]

In 1953, Moses proposed that most of the peninsula be rezoned for various uses, claiming that it would be an "upgrade" over the various business and unrestricted zones that existed at the time. Steeplechase Park would be allowed to remain open, but much of the shorefront amusements and concessions would be replaced by residential developments. [87] [88] After many complaints from the public and from concession operators, the Estimate Board reinstated the area between West 22nd and West Eighth Streets as an amusement-only zone, with the zone extending 200 to 400 feet (61 to 122 m) inland from the shoreline. [89] [90] Moses's subsequent proposal to extend the Coney Island boardwalk east to Manhattan Beach was denied in 1955. [91] A proposal to make the Quonset hut development into a permanent housing structure was also rejected. [92]

A new building for the New York Aquarium was approved for construction in the neighborhood in 1953. [93] : 687 [94] Construction started on the aquarium in 1954. [88] The development of the new New York Aquarium was expected to revitalize Coney Island. [95] [88] By 1955, the area still included four children's amusement areas, five roller coasters, several flat and dark rides, and various other attractions such as the Wonder Wheel. [95] The New York Aquarium's new site opened in June 1957. [96] At this point, there were still several dozen rides on Coney Island. [31]

Fred Trump era Edit

During the summers of 1964 and 1965, there was a large decrease in the number of visitors to Coney Island because of the 1964/1965 World's Fair at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens. [97] Crime increases, insufficient parking facilities, bad weather, and the post-World War II automotive boom were also cited as contributing factors in the visitor decrease. During the summer of 1964, concessionaires saw their lowest profits in a quarter-century. Ride operators reported that they had 30% to 90% fewer visitors in 1964 compared to the previous year. [98]

A small amusement park called Astroland was announced for the boardwalk in 1962, to open the following year. [99] Steeplechase Park, the last remaining large amusement park in Coney Island, closed permanently after the 1964 season. [100] [52] : 172 The surrounding blocks were filled with amusement rides and concessions that were closed or about to close. [52] : 172 The rides at Steeplechase Park were auctioned off, and the property was sold to developer Fred Trump, who in 1965 announced that he wanted to build luxury apartments on the old Steeplechase property. [101] At the time, residential developments on Coney Island in general were being built at a rapid rate. The peninsula, which had 34,000 residents in 1961, was expected to have more than double that number by the end of 1964. Many of the new residents moved into middle-income co-operative housing developments such as Trump Village, Warbasse Houses, and Luna Park Apartments these replaced what The New York Times described as "a rundown sprawl of rickety houses". [102] Developers were spending millions of dollars on new housing developments, and by 1966, the peninsula housed almost 100,000 people. [97]

During 1966, developers tried to revitalize the Coney Island boardwalk as an amusement area. [97] Trump destroyed Steeplechase Park's Pavilion of Fun during a highly publicized ceremony that September. [52] : 172 [103] In its stead, Trump proposed building a 160-foot-high (49 m) enclosed dome with recreational facilities and a convention center, a plan supported by Brooklyn borough president Abe Stark. [104] The next month, the city announced its plans to acquire the 125 acres (51 ha) of the former Steeplechase Park, [105] a move that many residents supported but that Trump considered to be "wasteful". [106] In January 1968, New York City parks commissioner August Heckscher II proposed that the New York state government build an "open-space" state park on the Steeplechase site, [107] and that May, the New York City Board of Estimate voted in favor of funding to buy the land from Trump. [108] [109] Condemnation of the site started in 1969. [110] The city ultimately purchased the proposed park's site for $4 million, with a stipulation blocking Trump from developing the site as apartments. [111] [112]

Trump filed a series of court cases related to the proposed residential rezoning, and ultimately won a $1.3 million judgment. [110] The Steeplechase Park site laid empty for several years. Trump started subleasing the property to Norman Kaufman, who ran a small collection of fairground amusements called "Steeplechase Park" on part of the site. [52] : 172 [110] The city also leased the boardwalk and parking lot sites at extremely low rates, which resulted in a $1 million loss of revenue over the following seven years. Since the city wanted to build the state park on the site of Kaufman's Steeplechase Park, it attempted to evict him by refusing to grant a lease extension. [113]

Late-1970s attempts at restoration Edit

The 1970s brought along further renewal plans, such as proposals to construct public housing, though the community was beset by social issues such as high crime and a drug epidemic. [109] By 1975, the city was considering demolishing the Coney Island Cyclone in favor of an extension of the adjacent New York Aquarium. [53] : 153 The proposed demolition was controversial, [114] and after a refurbishment by Astroland, the Cyclone reopened for the summer 1975 season. [115] The abandoned Parachute Jump was left in situ, and the New York City Board of Estimate planned to tear down the structure. [52] : 174 [116] In the meanwhile, Coney Island was still affected by a perception of crime and deterioration of old rides, but by the mid-1970s, middle-class families started returning to Coney Island following the implementation of a unified admission ticket to Coney Island's amusement areas. [117]

The city continued to pursue litigation over the site occupied by Norman Kaufman, but for over a decade, was unsuccessful. [110] It had no plan for the proposed state park, and in 1975 the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development nearly withdrew a proposed grant of $2 million to fund the proposed park. [113] The city ultimately accepted the grant, though different city agencies still disagreed over whether to return the funds. [118] Kaufman continued to operate the site until the end of summer 1980. The following June, the city paid Kaufman a million dollars for the rides, effectively evicting him, even though the amusements were estimated to be worth much less. [119] [112]

In 1979, the state announced that it would be conducting a report on the feasibility of legalizing gambling in New York State. Mayor Ed Koch proposed that the state open casinos in New York City to revitalize the area's economy. [120] Residents and politicians supported the idea of building casinos at Coney Island, which they felt would alleviate its poverty, crime, and property vacancy rates. [121] However, there was substantial controversy over the plans to place a gambling site in Coney Island. [122] The state's interest in legalizing gambling had subsided by 1981, and the New York state legislature failed to take action on such proposal. [123] [119]

In an effort to reduce crime, the city also began demolishing abandoned bungalows on Coney Island. [109] By 1982, the area was filled with vacant lots, though several residential developments were being planned for Coney Island. [124] Having finally acquired Kaufman's rides, the New York City government began advertising for developers to redevelop the former amusement park area that November. [123] The Mermaid-Neptune Development Corporation constructed three residential developments at the neighborhood's western edge, with a combined total of 430 units. These developments were completed through the mid-1980s. [125] Even so, the area still suffered from drug-related killings and other crimes, especially west of West 20th Street. Former amusement structures such as the Parachute Jump lay unused, and prostitutes roamed around the neighborhood at night. [126] [112] Through the 1980s, prostitution and drug use in Coney Island increased, as did the area's murder and felony crime rate. [127] By the late 1980s, deadly shootings were common, particularly in the low-income housing developments inside Coney Island. [128] Commercial activity also decreased, and by 1990, storefronts on Mermaid Avenue had decreased by 90%, from over 400 stores before the urban renewal to 39 stores afterward. [109]

Revival Edit

Bullard deal, Sportsplex, and KeySpan Park Edit

In the mid-1980s, restaurant mogul Horace Bullard proposed rebuilding Steeplechase Park. [53] : 150 [112] On the site bounded by West 15th and 19th Streets between Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, Bullard wanted to build a $55 million amusement park based on the originals. The city agreed, and the project was approved in 1985. [53] : 150 [111] Bullard planned to open the park by mid-1986 to coincide with the Statue of Liberty's centennial. [111] However, the project was delayed while the New York City Planning Commission compiled an environmental impact report. [129] By early 1987, the cost of the amusement park nearly doubled, to $100 million. [130]

Concurrently, in December 1986, the New York State Urban Development Corporation formally proposed a 17,000-seat minor-league baseball stadium north of the boardwalk between West 19th and West 22nd Streets as well as 15,000-seat indoor arena north of the Abe Stark Rink. Negotiations were ongoing with the Mets and Yankees to ensure their support for the minor-league stadium. [131] [132] State senator Thomas Bartosiewicz attempted to block Bullard's plan, as he was part of a foundation that had promised another developer, Sportsplex, the right to build an amateur sports arena on the site. [130] [132] Construction was held up for another four years, and by 1989, Bullard and the city were ready to sign a contract that would allow the developer to construct a 60-ride amusement park on a 25-acre (10 ha) waterfront strip, which would be completed by 2002. [133] Other proposals for the area included a $7.9 million restoration of the boardwalk, as well as a new high-school and college sports stadium. [129]

Some of Coney Island's iconic rides were designated as official city landmarks during the late 1980s. [134] In 1988, the Cyclone roller coaster was made a New York City designated landmark. [135] This was followed by the Parachute Jump and the Wonder Wheel in 1989. [134] [136] The neighborhood's high crime rate had reversed slightly by the 1990s. However, Coney Island's relative isolation from the rest of New York City, along with its ethnic diversity, deprived the area of significant political power, and to a greater extent money. [137]

After Rudy Giuliani took office as New York City mayor of New York in 1994, he negated the Bullard deal by approving the construction of a minor-league baseball stadium on the site allotted for Steeplechase Park. [53] : 150 Giuliani had wanted to build Sportsplex in order to improve sports facilities in the area, and to create a professional baseball team in Brooklyn. [138] By the late 1990s, some $67 million had been secured for the development of Sportsplex. [139] In 1997, developer Bruce Ratner proposed constructing a $100 million entertainment complex between West 9th and West 15th Streets, with a "virtual-reality amusement park" as well as a movie theater multiplex. [140] Concurrently, a four-phase, 873-unit housing development in Coney Island was completed in 1996. [141]

In 1998, Giuliani canceled Sportsplex and the entertainment complex, and instead unveiled another plan where only the parking lot would be built. The Sports Foundation had prepared another proposal that would allow a scaled-down Sportsplex to be built next to the minor-league baseball stadium. [139] The minor league team was called the Brooklyn Cyclones, though naming rights to the stadium were sold to Keyspan Energy. Bullard, now no longer rebuilding Steeplechase Park, had wanted to restore the Thunderbolt as part of a scaled-down amusement park, but it was demolished instead. [53] : 150 In 2000, the city approved the $31 million project to construct Keyspan Park using the funds from the canceled Sportsplex, [142] and the minor-league baseball stadium opened the following year. [143] Other major projects at the time included the reconstruction of Coney Island's sewers and the refurbishment of the Stillwell Avenue subway station, [139] the latter of which was completed in 2005. [144]

Thor Equities ownership and rezoning proposals Edit

In 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took an interest in revitalizing Coney Island as a possible site for the New York City bid of the 2012 Summer Olympics. A plan was developed by the Astella Development Corporation. When the city lost the Olympic bid, the plans were passed to the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC), which made modified plans. [145] Shortly before the CIDC's plans were to be publicly released, a development company named Thor Equities purchased all of Bullard's 168,000-square-foot (15,600 m 2 ) western property for $13 million, later selling the property to Taconic Investment Partners for over $90 million. [53] : 158 Taconic now had 100 acres (40 ha), on which it planned to build 2,000 apartment units. [53] : 158–159 [146] Thor then went about using much of its $77 million profit to purchase property on Stillwell Avenue for well over market value, and offered to buy out every piece of property inside the traditional amusement area. [53] : 158–159

In September 2005, Thor's founder, Joe Sitt, unveiled his new plans for a large Bellagio-style hotel resort with a timeshare development, surrounded by rides and amusements. The CIDC report suggested adding year-round commercial and amusement area, and recommended that property north of Surf Avenue and west of Abe Stark Rink could be rezoned for other uses, including residential. [145] Sitt, a resident of the area, spent more than $100 million to buy land in Coney Island. [147] Astroland owner Carol Hill Albert, whose husband's family had owned the park since its 1962 opening, sold the site to Thor in November 2006. Two months later, Thor released renderings for a $1.5 billion amusement park, entertainment complex, and indoor water park called Coney Island Park. [148] [149]

In 2007, the DCP started circulating a rezoning plan that would cover 47 acres (19 ha) of Coney Island. The city would spend $120 million to redevelop 15 acres (6.1 ha) into an amusement park surrounded by around 5,000 new housing units. [150] [151] The Aquarium was also planning a renovation in conjunction with the rezoning. [149] The city's and Sitt's proposals directly conflicted: Sitt wanted to build housing inside the amusement park, while the city's rezoning would create a special amusement district where residential development was forbidden. [151] [152] In April 2008, because of objections from land owners, residents, and developers, the city revised its rezoning proposal. Only 9 acres would be used as an amusement park, while private owners and developers could build on the rest of the land as long as they followed the DCP's general master plan. [153] While the city negotiated with Thor, Sitt evicted several amusement operators on his land, including Astroland, in the expectation that he would soon be able to redevelop it. [154]

The DCP certified the rezoning plan in January 2009, [155] which allowed the city to create a 9.4-acre (3.8 ha) amusement district. [156] At the time, Thor Equities said it hoped to complete the project by 2011. [157] In June 2009, the city's planning commission approved the construction of 4,500 units of housing, including 900 affordable units, and promised to preserve affordable housing already in the neighborhood. [158] [156] Subsequently, the city government paid Sitt $95.6 million for 7 acres (2.8 ha) of land. [156] The nonprofit civic group Municipal Art Society wanted the city-operated park to be larger, though the city was reluctant to spend so much money. [152]

Progress on expansion Edit

The Zipper and Spider on West 12th Street were closed permanently and dismantled in September 2007 after its owner lost his lease. [159] The same year, plans to restore Coney Island's historic B&B Carousell were revealed. [160] After Astroland closed in 2008, [161] it was replaced by a new Dreamland in 2009 [162] and by a new Luna Park in 2010. [163] [164] In April 2011, the first new roller coasters to be built at Coney Island in eighty years were opened as part of efforts to reverse the decline of the amusement area. [165] The B&B Carousell reopened in 2013 at Luna Park. [166] The Thunderbolt steel roller coaster, named after the original wooden coaster on the site, was opened in June 2014. [167] Furthermore, a live performance venue, the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island, opened on the boardwalk in 2016. [168]

In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused major damage to the Coney Island amusement parks, the Aquarium, and businesses. Despite this, the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest was held the following summer, as usual. [169] Luna Park at Coney Island reopened as scheduled on March 24, 2013. [170] Rebuilding of the aquarium started in early 2013, and a major expansion of the aquarium opened in summer 2018. [171] [172]

In August 2018, the NYCEDC and NYC Parks announced that Luna Park would be expanded between West 15th and West 16th Streets, next to the Thunderbolt. [173] [174] There would be a public plaza and an amusement arcade within the newly expanded amusement area. [174] [175] The same month, it was also announced that a 50-room boutique hotel was being planned for Coney Island within the former Shore Theater on Surf and Stillwell Avenues. [176] [177] The city also expressed its intent to demolish the Abe Stark Rink and redevelop the site, as per the 2009 rezoning, though residents wanted NYC Parks to retain control over the site rather than sell it off to a private developer. [178] Many of these construction projects were placed on hold in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. That year, the businesses and amusement parks at Coney Island either operated in a sharply reduced capacity or did not open at all. [179] [180] [181]

The addition of new amusements coincided with the development of over 2,000 new residential units on empty lots, through the early 2020s. [182] [183] These included a 1,000-unit mega-development and a 40-story, 522-unit residential tower that would be the tallest in southern Brooklyn. [184] [185]

Oral history archive Edit

In 2004, the Coney Island History Project began collecting stories of Coney Island from longtime residents. [186] The CIHP records, archives, and shares oral history interviews about Coney Island. [186] The organizations conducts interviews in English, Russian, Chinese, and Spanish. [187] During the COVID-19 pandemic, the CIHP continued to record interviews via phone or Skype. [188] As of 2020 [update] over 370 interviews were available online via the Coney Island History Project Oral History Archive. [189] [190] [191]

Coney Island has two amusement parks, Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, as well as several rides that are not incorporated into either amusement park. These are owned and managed by several different companies and operate independently of each other. Coney Island also has several other visitor attractions such as skeeball and ball tossing, as well as a sideshow, that contains shooting, throwing, and tossing skills. The area hosts renowned events as well. Coney Island's amusement area is one of a few in the United States that is not mostly owned by any one entity. [53] : 153

Rides Edit

Current rides Edit

Coney Island contains three rides with landmark status. One is a New York City designated landmark, another is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), and a third is both a city landmark and a NRHP-listed landmark. [192] [193] [194]

The Wonder Wheel, opened in 1920, is a steel Ferris wheel with both stationary cars and rocking cars that slide along a track. [195] It holds 144 riders, stands 150 ft (46 m) tall, weighs over 200 short tons (180 long tons 180 t), and is located at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. [196] : 47 The Wonder Wheel was made a city landmark in 1989. [192] : 1

The B&B Carousell (as spelled by the frame's builder, William F. Mangels) is Coney Island's last traditional carousel, near the old entrance to Luna Park. The carousel was built circa 1906–1909 with a traditional roll-operated fairground organ. It was relocated multiple times, most recently to Luna Park's Steeplechase Plaza in 2013, [166] and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. [197] [198]

The Coney Island Cyclone, opened in 1927, is one of the United States' oldest wooden roller coasters still in operation. The Cyclone includes an 85 ft (26 m), 58-degree drop. It is owned by the City of New York, and is operated by Luna Park under a franchise agreement. [199] The Cyclone was made a city landmark in 1988 [193] : 1 [135] and was listed on the NRHP in 1991. [200] The Cyclone is New York City's only remaining wooden coaster and is considered "irreplaceable", since timber-supported coasters can no longer be built under modern city building codes. [201]

There are also multiple other rides in Coney Island. In March 2014, construction started on the new Thunderbolt, a steel roller coaster that was manufactured by Zamperla at a cost of $10 million. The ride features 2,000 feet (610 m) of track, a height of 125 feet (38 m), and a top speed of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h), as well as four inversions. [202] The Thunderbolt opened in June 2014. [203]

There are also multiple bumper car rides in Coney Island, all operated separately. As of 2019 [update] , these include an attraction in Deno's Wonder Wheel Park, [204] as well as Eldorado Auto Skooter on Surf Avenue. Historically, the earliest bumper car rides were located in Coney Island. [205] Furthermore, two traditional dark ride haunted houses operate at Coney Island: Spook-a-Rama at Deno's, [204] and Ghost Hole on West 12th Street adjacent to Deno's. [206]

Former rides Edit

Coney Island has had three major amusement parks in its past—Steeplechase Park (1897–1964), Luna Park (1903–1944), and Dreamland (1904–1911)—as well as several standalone attractions. [52] : 74 [207] In addition, Astroland operated at the site of the current Luna Park from 1962 to 2008, [208] while a second Dreamland only operated for the 2009 season. [209] [210]

In addition to the rides in Coney Island's former amusement parks, there were also several dozen roller coasters that are now defunct. [211] The Comet, next to the Cyclone's current site, was built in 1921 and destroyed in 1945. [196] : 46 Another coaster, the Oriental Scenic Railway, was created by LaMarcus Adna Thompson in 1887, [52] : 98–99 [196] : 41 and was demolished in 1955 to be replaced with a "hot rod" amusement ride. [95] The steeplechase roller coaster, created by Steeplechase Park operator George C. Tilyou in 1897, consisted of people riding wooden horses around the park on a steel track. [28] The original wooden Thunderbolt coaster, located between West 15th and West 16th Streets, was constructed in 1925, closed in 1983, and torn down in 2000 during the construction of nearby Keyspan Park. [212] [213] Nearby was Tornado, a wooden coaster constructed in 1926, [59] : 24 [214] and destroyed by arson in 1977. [215]

Coney Island also contains one defunct ride that is still standing, the Parachute Jump. Originally built as the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair, this was the first ride of its kind. Patrons were hoisted 262 ft (80 m) in the air before being allowed to drop using guy-wired parachutes. The Parachute Jump was closed in the 1960s, but was officially preserved, [100] having been listed on the NRHP in 1980 [216] and made a city landmark in 1989. [217] : 1 [136]

Beaches Edit

There is a broad public sand beach that starts at Sea Gate at West 37th Street, through the central Coney Island area and Brighton Beach, to the beginning of the community of Manhattan Beach, a distance of approximately 2.7 mi (4.3 km). The beach is continuous and is served for its entire length by the broad Riegelmann Boardwalk. Numerous amusements, as well as the aquarium and a variety of food shops and arcades, are directly accessible from the landward side of the boardwalk. [218] [219] The boardwalk in Manhattan Beach, located within Manhattan Beach Park, is not connected with the Riegelmann Boardwalk. [220]

The beaches in Coney Island used to be private until 1923 when the city bought all the land on the waterfront and created the Riegelmann Boardwalk and Beach. [221] Today, only the sand beach inside Sea Gate is private it is accessible solely to residents of that community. [219]

The public beaches are maintained on a regular basis by the city. Because sand no longer naturally deposits on the beach, it is replenished in regular beach nourishment projects using dredged sand. [6] The public beaches are open and free to use, though the boardwalk is closed during nights from 1 to 5 a.m. [222] The beach area is divided into several sections by rock groynes that were built in the 1920s to prevent erosion. [223] : 15

There are several clubs that host activities on Coney Island's beach. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club consists of a group of people who swim at Coney Island throughout the winter months. Their most popular event is an annual swim on New Year's Day. [224] [196] : 50 The beach also serves as the training grounds for the Coney Island Brighton Beach Open Water Swimmers, a group dedicated to promoting open water swimming, which hosts several open water swim races each year. [225] [226]

Public parks Edit

There are several public parks in Coney Island, operated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Parks within the main Coney Island neighborhood include: [227]

  • The Abe Stark Skating Rink, located on the south side of Surf Avenue between West 19th and West 20th Streets, adjacent to the boardwalk. It opened in 1970. [228]
  • Coney Island Creek Park, located along the south shore of Coney Island Creek. Opened in 1984, it is composed mostly of plants. [10]
  • Leon S. Kaiser Park, located on the northern side of Neptune Avenue between West 24th and West 32nd Streets, and contains playgrounds, athletic facilities, fitness equipment, and open spaces for barbecuing. [9]
  • Poseidon Playground, located along the beach between West 25th and West 27th Streets, and contains water spray showers, playgrounds, and handball courts. [229] , located along the beach between West 16th and West 19th Streets. It contains a public plaza with seating, as well as MCU Park, a minor league baseball stadium. [230]
  • Surf Playground, located on the south side of Surf Avenue between West 25th and West 27th Streets, just north of Poseidon Playground. It contains basketball courts, playgrounds, and water spray showers. [231]

Other attractions Edit

The New York Aquarium opened in 1957 on the former site of the Dreamland amusement park. [96] It is located on 602 Surf Avenue between West 5th and West 10th Streets. [232] As of 2018 [update] , the New York Aquarium consists of five exhibits: Aquatheater Conservation Hall Sea Cliffs Sharks, Rays & Turtles and Ocean Wonders: Sharks. [233] The original Bathysphere, a deep-sea submersible that made historic journeys underwater in the 1930s, is on display at the aquarium. [234]

KeySpan Park, located on the former site of Steeplechase Park, opened in 2001. [143] It hosts the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team. [235] In 2010, it was renamed after the Municipal Credit Union (MCU), the city's largest credit union, in an eleven-year naming rights deal. [236] [237]

In June 2016, the Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island opened on the boardwalk to the west of MCU Park, hosting several live musical acts as well as other events. [238] It was constructed at the location of the Childs Restaurant, which was originally constructed in 1923 and was renovated when the amphitheater was being constructed. The rooftop part of the restaurant reopened in July 2016. [239]

The nonprofit organization Coney Island USA also operates the Coney Island Museum, a collection of memorabilia that chronicles the history of the neighborhood. The museum opened in 1980, and is located at 1208 Surf Avenue near the intersection with West 12th Street. [240] It charges a $5 admission fee per adult. [241] [242] Another nonprofit founded in 2004, the Coney Island History Project, operates a space near the Wonder Wheel. [243]

Events Edit

Coney Island USA sponsors various seasonal acts every year. In April, the organization hosts the Noisefest and the Congress of Curious Peoples. This is followed in May or June by the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, which takes place on Surf Avenue and the boardwalk, and features floats and performances. During August or September, Coney Island USA produces the Beard and Moustache Competition Tattoo and Motorcycle Festival and Coney Island Film Festival. The organization then hosts the Creepshow at the Freakshow, an interactive Halloween-themed event, in October. [244]

The annual Cosme 5K Charity Run/Walk, supported by the Coney Island Sports Foundation, takes place on the Riegelmann Boardwalk toward the end of June. [245]

A major national volleyball tournament hosted by the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), which is typically hosted on the West Coast of the U.S., was held in Coney Island starting in 2006. The AVP built a 4,000-seat stadium and twelve outer courts next to the boardwalk for the event. [246] [247] The tournament returned to Coney Island from 2007 through 2009, but was not hosted at Coney Island in 2010 due to a lack of money. [248] When AVP tournaments resumed in Brooklyn in 2015, they were hosted at Brooklyn Bridge Park instead. [249]

In 2009, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performed in Coney Island for the first time since 1956. The event, titled The Coney Island Boom-A-Ring, was housed in tents that were located between the boardwalk and Surf Avenue. [250] [251] The following year, they returned to the same location with The Coney Island Illuscination. [251]

In May 2015, Thor Equities unveiled Coney Art Walls, a public art wall project curated by former Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles director Jeffrey Deitch and Thor CEO Joe Sitt. Located at 3050 Stillwell Avenue, the project featured work from more than 30 artists. [252] The exhibition started being held annually through at least 2019. [253]

Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the combined population of Coney Island and Sea Gate was 31,965, a decrease of 2,302 (6.7%) from the 34,267 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 851.49 acres (344.59 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 37.5 inhabitants per acre (24,000/sq mi 9,300/km 2 ). [254]

The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 32.2% (10,307) African American, 30.9% (9,880) White, 8.7% (2,793) Asian, 0.2% (78) Native American, 0.0% (4) Pacific Islander, 0.2% (67) from other races, and 1.5% (467) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 26.2% (8,369) of the population. [255] 82% of the population were high school graduates and 40% had a bachelor's degree or higher. [255] [256] : 2

The entirety of Community Board 13 had 106,459 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 80.4 years. [256] : 2, 20 This is lower than the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods. [257] : 53 (PDF p. 84) [258] Most inhabitants are adults, with 25% between the ages of 25–44, 27% between 45 and 64, and 22% who are at least 65 years old. The ratio of young and college-aged residents was lower, at 19% and 8%, respectively. [256] : 2 Coney Island's elderly population, as a share of the area's total population, is higher than in other New York City neighborhoods. [259] : 6

As of 2016, the median household income in Community District 13 was $39,213. [260] In 2018, an estimated 24% of Coney Island residents lived in poverty, compared to 21% in all of Brooklyn and 20% in all of New York City. One in eight residents (11%) were unemployed, compared to 9% in the rest of both Brooklyn and New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 55% in Coney Island, slightly higher than the citywide and boroughwide rates of 52% and 51%, respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018 [update] , Coney Island is not considered to be gentrifying. [256] : 7

Politically, Coney Island is in New York's 8th congressional district. [261] [262] It is also in the New York State Senate's 23rd district, [263] [264] the New York State Assembly's 46th district, [265] [266] and the New York City Council's 47th district. [267]

Coney Island is patrolled by the NYPD's 60th Precinct, located at 2950 West Eighth Street. [2] Transit District 34 is located at 1243 Surf Avenue, within the Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue subway station. [268]

The 60th Precinct ranked 34th safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010. Between 1993 and 2010, major crimes decreased by 72%, including a 76% decrease in robberies, 71% decrease in felony assaults, and 67% decrease in shootings. [269] As of 2018 [update] , with a non-fatal assault rate of 51 per 100,000 people, Coney Island's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 168 per 100,000 people is about the same as that of the city as a whole. [256] : 8 The 60th Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 84.6% between 1990 and 2019. The precinct reported 6 murders, 18 rapes, 121 robberies, 252 felony assaults, 85 burglaries, 425 grand larcenies, and 39 grand larcenies auto in 2019. [270]

The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) operates two firehouses in the area. [3] Engine Company 318/Ladder Company 166 is located at 2510 Neptune Avenue. [271] It contains the Coney Island Fire Station Pumping Station, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [272] Engine Company 245/Ladder Company 161/Battalion 43 is located at 2929 West 8th Street. [273] In addition, FDNY EMS Station 43 is on the grounds of Coney Island Hospital. [274]

As of 2018 [update] , preterm births and births to teenage mothers are slightly more common in Coney Island than in other places citywide. In Coney Island, there were 95 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 20.2 births to teenage mothers per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide), slightly higher than in the median neighborhood. [256] : 11 Coney Island has a high population of residents who are uninsured, or who receive healthcare through Medicaid. [259] In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 14%, which is higher than the citywide rate of 12%. [256] : 14

The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in Coney Island is 0.0067 milligrams per cubic metre (6.7 × 10 −9 oz/cu ft), lower than the citywide and boroughwide averages. [256] : 9 Nineteen percent of Coney Island residents are smokers, which is higher the city average of 14% of residents being smokers. [256] : 13 In Coney Island, 28% of residents are obese, 15% are diabetic, and 31% have high blood pressure—higher than the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively. [256] : 16 In addition, 18% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%. [256] : 12

Ninety-two percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is slightly higher than the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 70% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," lower than the city's average of 78%. [256] : 13 For every supermarket in Coney Island, there are 21 bodegas. [256] : 10 The primary hospital in the neighborhood is Coney Island Hospital. [259] : 6

Coney Island's primary ZIP Code is 11224, [275] though small portions located east of West 1st Street and Ocean Parkway are located in ZIP Code 11235. [276] There are two United States Post Office branches in Coney Island. The Coney Island Station is located at 2727 Mermaid Avenue, [277] and the Neptune Station is located at 532 Neptune Avenue. [278]

Coney Island generally has a similar ratio of college-educated residents to the rest of the city as of 2018 [update] . While 45% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 18% have less than a high school education and 37% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 40% of Brooklynites and 38% of city residents have a college education or higher. [256] : 6 The percentage of Coney Island students excelling in math has been increasing, though reading achievement has declined math achievement rose from 53 percent in 2000 to 72 percent in 2011, but reading achievement fell from 57 to 55 percent within the same time period. [279]

Coney Island's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is higher than the rest of New York City. In Coney Island, 26% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, compared to the citywide average of 20% of students. [257] : 24 (PDF p. 55) [256] : 7

Elementary, middle, and high schools Edit

Coney Island is served by the New York City Department of Education, and students in the neighborhood are automatically "zoned" into the nearest public schools. The zoned schools for the main portion of Coney Island include:

  • PS 90 Edna Cohen School (grades K-5) [280][281]
  • PS 100 Coney Island School (grades K-5) [282][283]
  • PS 188 The Michael E. Berdy School (grades K-4) [284]
  • PS/IS 288 The Shirley Tanyhill School (grades PK-8) [285]
  • IS 303 Herbert S. Eisenberg (grades 6–8) [283][286][287]
  • PS 329 (grades PK-5) [288]

IS 239, the Mark Twain School for the Gifted and Talented (6–8), is a magnet school for gifted students, and it accepts students from around the city. [289] In 2006, David Scharfenberg of The New York Times said, "Coney Island's elementary schools are a mixed lot, with only some exceeding citywide averages on the state's testing regimen." [283]

All New York City high school students can go to any high school in the city. There are two public high schools in Coney Island: Abraham Lincoln High School [283] [290] and Rachel Carson High School for Coastal Studies. [291]

Public library Edit

The Brooklyn Public Library (BPL)'s Coney Island branch is located at 1901 Mermaid Avenue, near the intersection with West 19th Street. It opened in 1911 as an unmanned deposit station. Ten years later, it moved to the former Coney Island Times offices and became fully staffed. In 1954 another branch was built. According to BPL's website, the library was referred to as "the first-ever library built on stilts over the Atlantic Ocean." The branch was rebuilt in 2013 after being damaged in Hurricane Sandy. [292]

Coney Island is served by four New York City Subway stations. [293] [294] The Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue station, the terminal of the D ​, F , <F> ​​, N ​, and Q trains, is one of the largest elevated rapid transit stations in the world, with eight tracks serving four platforms. [295] The entire station, built in 1917–1920 as a replacement for the former surface-level Culver Depot, [296] was rebuilt in 2001–2004. [144] [295] The other subway stations within Coney Island are West Eighth Street–New York Aquarium, served by the F , <F> ​​, and Q trains Neptune Avenue, served by the F and <F> ​ trains and Ocean Parkway, served by the Q train. [294]

A bus terminal beneath the Stillwell Avenue station serves the B68 to Prospect Park, the B74 to Sea Gate, the B64 to Bay Ridge, and the B82 to Starrett City. Additionally, the B36 runs from Sea Gate to Sheepshead Bay. The X28 and X38 provide express bus service to Manhattan. [297]

The three main west–east arteries in the neighborhood are (from north to south) Neptune Avenue, Mermaid Avenue, and Surf Avenue. Neptune Avenue becomes Emmons Avenue at Sheepshead Bay, while Surf Avenue becomes Ocean Parkway and then runs north toward Prospect Park. The north–south cross streets in Coney Island are numbered, with "West" prepended to their numbers. The street numbers run from West 1st Street at Coney Island's eastern border to West 37th Street at the western border, adjacent to Sea Gate. [298]

Coney Island contains several bicycle paths. The Ocean Parkway bicycle path terminates in the neighborhood, while the Shore Parkway bike path (part of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway) runs east along Jamaica Bay and west and north along New York Harbor. On-street bike lanes are marked in Neptune Avenue and other streets in Coney Island. In addition, the Riegelmann Boardwalk is open to cyclists during the daytime, though bicycling hours are restricted during the summer months. [299]

The western part of Coney Island is expected to be served by NYC Ferry's Coney Island route beginning in 2021. [300] [301] [302]

Coney Island has been featured in many novels, films, television shows, cartoons, and theatrical plays. [52] : 176 [303] This is linked to its iconic status as a vacation destination. [304] Various slapstick comedies and films have been set at Coney Island or allude to it. There have also been several television documentaries about the area's history. [303] : 137–142 [305]

Washington Pumper Enjoys Long History of Success & On Site Dewatering System

Kelly and Todd Summers are shown with their newest rig, a 2013 International vacuum truck from Erickson Tank & Pump

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Even the high-tech world around Seattle felt the recession several years ago. Businesses flying above the clouds fell to earth. But Ace Acme Septic Services didn&rsquot experience that. It kept serving customers in the counties and communities north of the city, and this family-owned company is still around after 62 years &ndash and it was featured about 20 years ago in Pumper &ndashbecause of its business mix and a polished focus on what it can do best for customers.


Ace Acme covers four counties in western Washington along Puget Sound. The company&rsquos home is the city of Arlington in Snohomish County, which lies north of Seattle and contains some smaller cities of the Seattle metro area as well as aircraft assembly plants for the Boeing Co.

The description makes the county sound urban, but it&rsquos not. Probably 90 percent of Snohomish County is on septic, and most of the company&rsquos revenue comes from the county, says Todd Summers, who runs the family corporation with his wife Kelly.

In addition to Snohomish, the company covers part of King County, where Seattle is, Skagit County to the north of Snohomish, and Island County, which is comprised of some large islands just off the coast in Puget Sound.

The growth rate is not what it was. For a few years, Snohomish County was the fastest growing county in the nation, but even if its growth is no longer feverish, from 2010 to 2012 it was still a respectable 2.8 percent. Yet that growth is not reflected in the extension of big pipes from municipal wastewater systems.

&ldquoEach year there are more people going on septic than there are sewer,&rdquo Todd says. &ldquoIf they&rsquore within 10 miles of some city&rsquos border, it will take more than 10 years until a municipal system reaches them.&rdquo

It comes down to the cost of big pipes. No longer are municipal sewer extensions subsidized by governments or developers. Landowners face the full cost, and it is not a pleasant sight. &ldquoPeople will call me all the time because they checked on the cost to hook up to sewer, and it&rsquos [$40,000]. And that doesn&rsquot include the cost to run a lateral from the home to the main,&rdquo Todd says.


That may look like an opening for a profitable installation business, but Ace Acme doesn&rsquot do much of this work. The company doesn&rsquot carry a lot of manpower for such jobs, nor has it invested in large equipment. Todd says he finds it more profitable to do repairs and pumping.

For about 20 years Ace Acme also had a portable restroom operation, but that was recently sold. It was tough to manage, and their area had a lot of competition, Todd says. &ldquoWe decided to focus on our core septic service where most of our business and income comes from,&rdquo Kelly says.

Ace Acme&rsquos focus also fits its area. Advanced technology wastewater systems comprise perhaps 10 percent of the units Ace Acme deals with, and most of those are on the edges of waterways. Company technicians work primarily on systems installed from the 1960s to the 1990s. Technicians also deal with a problem typical in areas where people move out from cities: Customers have no idea how to care for a septic system or even how it works.

&ldquoPeople come into subdivisions and put anything down the drain. All the advanced systems with UV lights, sensors and pumps, they can&rsquot handle what&rsquos going into them, and it&rsquos just a matter of time until they choke up,&rdquo Todd says.


An important step for the company was the installation of an Alar Engineering Corp. dewatering system 22 years ago, about the time the company was first profiled in Pumper. The system sits in a 60- by 40-foot space, and helps considerably to keep down discharge fees and fuel costs. Ace Acme dewaters between 8,000 and 10,000 gallons per day. Water from the Alar machine goes into a city sewer. That was a consideration when the company built its headquarters. The city pipe is just 15 feet from the Ace Acme building.

The Alar system is simple. To each batch of septage a technician adds diatomaceous earth, which acts as a filtering medium. The resulting slurry is emptied into a large tub. Rotating in the tub is a large drum whose inside is under vacuum. The vacuum pulls the slurry against the outer side of the drum and draws water through the diatomaceous earth. From inside the drum the filtered water is sent out through the hollow drum shaft, through a meter, and into the sewer. Solids accumulating on the outside of the drum are scraped off by a knife, and the dry cake is sent to eastern Washington for land spreading as fertilizer.

Dewatering reduces the per-gallon cost of disposal considerably, Todd says. He can do that for about 5 cents a gallon. The other less expensive option for pumpers is a private disposal facility about 15 miles away. With the cost of fuel and labor figured in, Ace Acme&rsquos competitors are paying about 13 cents per gallon. By comparison, the cost of discharging septage into the municipal plant in the city of Everett was 7.25 cents per gallon when Todd started in the business. Everett is now charging 25 cents per gallon. Local pumpers don&rsquot go there.

Area wastewater plants are also tightening standards, Todd says. There are three dumping stations within 50 miles, but population growth has strained them. Plants reject loads on some days to restrict the volume of waste brought to them, and in the last five years restrictions have become tighter.

Todd has thought about installing a newer dewatering machine. So many industrial technologies have improved in 22 years, yet Todd doesn&rsquot think that&rsquos necessarily the case with dewatering equipment. Controls may be more sophisticated, but the machines are much the same and work in the same way, he says. Expanding the operation may justify a newer piece of equipment, but not continuing as is.


Ace Acme picked up some customers when other companies went out of business, but what Todd and Kelly Summers really want to do is keep customers.

&ldquoMost of them are pretty loyal, and there is a difference between doing installations and doing what we do,&rdquo Todd says. &ldquoThe installation business here is pretty competitive. But once we have a septic customer, we become the people they call for repairs.&rdquo

&ldquoOur philosophy, and what we like to instill in employees, is to treat customers as if their property is our property, and to treat customers as we want to be treated. We want to be friendly. We&rsquore there for service and to educate homeowners about their systems,&rdquo Kelly says.

Keeping the trucks clean is an obvious step in presenting a professional appearance, but if you look at Ace Acme trucks there is one thing you won&rsquot see: a selection of phone numbers covering the company&rsquos large service area. Instead there is just one number, a toll-free one that works only within the state of Washington.

To signal customers that they&rsquore calling a local business the company has local numbers in area phone books. But given the size and population of their service area, listing all area phone numbers on a truck would be too confusing, Todd says. The single toll-free number can be spotted with a glance and gives people only one thing to remember.


Ace Acme was founded in 1952 by a family friend. Todd&rsquos uncle later bought the business, and Todd&rsquos parents bought it from his uncle around 1974. It was very much a family operation for years. Todd&rsquos brother worked for their dad, Troy. One man was on the truck, the other answered phones, and the business was run from a home office.

Todd started in the business about 1983. They hired another man, and for a time it was Todd and the hired hand on the trucks. Then Todd was offered the chance to come into the office because his dad wanted to retire. That was 25 years ago.

The company is still family owned, but it&rsquos a family corporation. Troy remains the president but over the years has withdrawn from daily duties.


Ace Acme runs on a variety of equipment. The company has three service vans, all Ford F-350s.

There are three vacuum trucks. The newest is a 2013 International with a 4,000-gallon tank. Also in the fleet are a 2004 Peterbilt with a 3,250-gallon tank, and a 2006 Kenworth with a 3,250-gallon tank. All the tanks are steel and all the pumps are from Masport. Erickson Tank & Pump built them out.

The service vans may carry a SeeSnake camera from RIDGID, one of the company&rsquos Honda jetters, or pull a trailer with one of the two trackhoes, one from Kubota and the other from Takeuchi.


As Todd and Kelly Summers look to the future of Ace Acme, one possibility they see is expanding their dewatering operation by accepting waste from other haulers. That would provide additional revenue but not require more people, Kelly says.

Yet it also depends on the city of Arlington. The municipality invested about $2 million in its wastewater plant a few years ago, and the area is still growing. At one point there was a moratorium on new sewer connections while the city looked at its needs, Todd says. The question is how much more water the city plant can handle. Ace Acme is probably near its discharge limit given the present system and would have to base its expansion plans on future upgrades to the Arlington system.

Even without additional dewatering, the future looks good. The company has grown considerably from where it was when Todd joined, and he and Kelly are very comfortable with the amount and quality of the service they provide. Unlike the Seattle weather, there are no clouds on this horizon.


The design and construction of fire engines focuses greatly on the use of both active and passive warnings. Passive visual warnings involve the use of high contrast patterns to increase the noticeability of the vehicle. These types of warnings are often seen on older vehicles and those in developing countries. [1] More modern designs make use of retroreflectors to reflect light from other vehicles. Vehicles will also often have these reflectors arranged in a chevron pattern along with the words fire or rescue. [1] European countries commonly use a pattern known as battenburg markings. [2] Along with the passive warnings, are active visual warnings which are usually in the form of flashing colored lights (also known as "beacons" or "lightbars"). These flash to attract the attention of other drivers as the fire truck approaches, or to provide warning to drivers approaching a parked fire truck in a dangerous position on the road. While the fire truck is headed towards the scene, the lights are always accompanied by loud audible warnings such as sirens and air horns. [1]

In some regions, a fire engine may be used to transport first responder firefighters, paramedics or EMTs to medical emergencies due to their proximity to the incident. [3] [4]

Conventional fire engine Edit

Conventional Mercedes-Benz pumper of the Antwerp, Belgium fire brigade

A "pumper" in Australia operated by Fire and Rescue NSW. Note the open compartments on the side of the vehicle, containing firefighting equipment.

A conventional HLF fire engine of the Vienna Firebrigade. It is well-suited for standard scenarios, but only has a medium-sized water tank.

The standard fire engine transports firefighters to the scene, carries equipment needed by the firefighters for most firefighting scenarios, and may provide a limited supply of water with which to fight the fire. The tools carried on the fire engine will vary greatly based on many factors including the size of the department and the usual situations the firefighters handle. For example, departments located near large bodies of water or rivers are likely to have some sort of water rescue equipment. Standard tools found on nearly all fire engines include ladders, hydraulic rescue tools (often referred to as the jaws of life), floodlights, fire hose, fire extinguishers, self-contained breathing apparatus, and thermal imaging cameras. [5]

The exact layout of what is carried on an engine is decided by the needs of the department. For example, fire departments located in metropolitan areas will carry equipment to mitigate hazardous materials and effect technical rescues, while departments that operate in the wildland-urban interface will need the gear to deal with brush fires.

Some fire engines have a fixed deluge gun, also known as a master stream, which directs a heavy stream of water to wherever the operator points it. An additional feature of engines are their preconnected hose lines, commonly referred to as preconnects. [6] The preconnects are attached to the engine's onboard water supply and allow firefighters to quickly mount an aggressive attack on the fire as soon as they arrive on scene. [6] When the onboard water supply runs out, the engine is connected to more permanent sources such as fire hydrants or water tenders and can also use natural sources such as rivers or reservoirs by drafting water.

Aerial apparatus Edit

Several aerial apparatuses in use at a fire in Los Angeles

An aerial ladder platform truck in London

An aerial apparatus is a fire truck mounted with an extendable boom that enables firefighters to reach high locations. They can provide a high vantage point for spraying water and creating ventilation, an access route for firefighters and an escape route for firefighters and people they have rescued. In North America, aerial apparatuses are used for fire suppression, whereas in Europe, they are used more for rescue. [7] [8]

Turntable ladder Edit

An aerial ladder platform in Taipei.

A turntable ladder (TL) is an aerial apparatus with a large ladder mounted on a pivot which resembles a turntable, giving it its name. The key functions of a turntable ladder are allowing access or egress of firefighters and fire victims at height, providing a high-level water point for firefighting (elevated master stream), and providing a platform from which tasks such as ventilation or overhaul can be executed.

To increase its length and reach, the ladder is often telescoping. Modern telescopic ladders may be hydraulic or pneumatic. These mechanical features allow the use of ladders which are longer, sturdier, and more stable. They may also have pre-attached hoses or other equipment.

The pivot can be mounted at the rear of the chassis or in the middle, just behind the cab. The latter is sometimes called a "mid-ship" arrangement, and it allows a lower travel height for the truck.

While the traditional characteristic of a TL was a lack of water pumping or storage, many modern TLs have a water pumping function built in (and some have their own on-board supply reservoir). Some may have piping along the ladder to supply water to firefighters at the top of the ladder, and some of these may also have a monitor installed at the top. Other appliances may simply have a track-way to securely hold a manually-run hose reel.

In the United States, turntable ladders with additional functions such as an onboard pump, a water tank, fire hose, aerial ladder and multiple ground ladders, are known as quad or quint engines, indicating the number of functions they perform. [9]

The highest TL in the world is the Magirus M68L, with a range of 68 meters (223.1 ft). [10]

Tiller truck Edit

In the United States, a tiller truck, also known as a tractor-drawn aerial, tiller ladder, or hook-and-ladder truck, is a specialized turntable ladder mounted on a semi-trailer truck. Unlike a commercial semi, the trailer and tractor are permanently combined and special tools are required to separate them. It has two drivers, with separate steering wheels for front and rear wheels. [11]

One of the main features of the tiller-truck is its enhanced maneuverability. [12] The independent steering of the front and back wheels allow the tiller to make much sharper turns, which is particularly helpful on narrow streets and in apartment complexes with maze-like roads. [11] An additional feature of the tiller-truck is that its overall length, over 50 feet (15 m) for most models, allows for additional storage of tools and equipment. [12] The extreme length gives compartment capacities that range between 500 and 650 cubic feet (14 and 18 m 3 ) in the trailer with an additional 40 and 60 cubic feet (1.1 and 1.7 m 3 ) in the cab. [12]

Some departments elect to use tiller-quints, which are tiller trucks that have the added feature of being fitted with an on-board water tank. [12] These are particularly useful for smaller departments that do not have enough personnel to staff both an engine company and a truck company. [12]

Platform truck Edit

Telescopic hydraulic platform in Roskilde, Denmark

A platform truck carries an aerial work platform, also known as a basket or bucket, on the end of a ladder or boom. These platforms can provide a secure place from which a firefighter can operate. Many platforms also allow for rescues to be performed and are outfitted with tie down clips and rappelling arms. [13]

Some booms are capable of articulating, allowing the arm to bend in one or more places. This allows the platform truck to go "up and over" an obstacle, and is an advantage over the traditional platform ladder, which can only extend in a straight line.

Wildland fire engine Edit

A wildland fire engine is a specialised fire engine that can negotiate difficult terrain for wildfire suppression. A wildland fire engine is smaller than standard fire engines and has a higher ground clearance. They may also respond to emergencies in rough terrain where other vehicles cannot respond. Many wildland engines feature four-wheel drive capability to improve hill climbing and rough terrain capability. [14] Some wildland apparatus can pump water while driving (compared to some traditional engines which must be stationary to pump water), allowing "mobile attacks" on vegetation fires to minimize the rate of spread. [15]

Fire departments that serve areas along the wildland–urban interface have to be able to tackle traditional urban fires as well as wildland fires. [16] Departments in these areas often use a wildland-urban interface engine, which combine features of a standard fire engine with that of a wildland fire engine. [17]

Water tender Edit

A tender capable of holding up to 7,600 litres (2,000 US gal) of water. This water tender also has a pump.

A water tender in Hofgeismar, Germany

A water tender is a specialist fire appliance with the primary purpose of transporting large amounts of water to the fire area to make it available for extinguishing operations. These are especially useful in rural areas where fire hydrants are not readily available and natural water resources are insufficient or difficult to exploit.

Most tankers have an on-board pumping system. This pump is often not of sufficient power to fight fires (as it is designed to be attached to a fire engine), but is more often used to draw water into the tender from hydrants or other water sources. Many tankers are equipped with fast-drain valves on the sides and back of the truck. This allows firefighters to empty thousands of gallons of water into a portable water tank in just a few seconds.

Most water tenders are designed to carry loads of 5,000–12,000 litres (1,100–2,600 imp gal). [18]

Airport crash tender Edit

LBFD Crash 3 responding to a call at Long Beach Airport

A Rosenbauer airport crash tender at London Heathrow Airport

An airport crash tender is a specialized fire engine designed for use at aerodromes in aircraft accidents. [19] Some of the features that make the airport crash tender unique are its ability to move on rough terrain outside the runway and airport area, large water capacity as well as a foam tank, a high-capacity pump, and water/foam monitors. Newer airport crash tenders also incorporate twin agent nozzles/injection systems that add dry chemical fire retardant (such as Purple-K) to create a stream of firefighting foam which is able to stop the fire faster. [20] Some also have gaseous fire suppression tanks for electrical fires. These features give the airport crash tenders a capability to reach an airplane rapidly, and rapidly extinguish large fires with jet fuel involved.

Other vehicles Edit

Other vehicles that are used by fire departments but may not be directly involved in firefighting may include

A "Turbo Extinguisher" of the German fire services

Armored fire and rescue vehicle for difficult situations

An early device used to squirt water onto a fire was known as a squirt or fire syringe. Hand squirts and hand pumps are noted before Ctesibius of Alexandria invented the first fire pump around the 2nd century B.C., [21] and an example of a force-pump possibly used for a fire-engine is mentioned by Heron of Alexandria.

In 1650, Hans Hautsch built a fire engine with a compressed air vessel. On each side 14 men worked a piston rod back and forth in a horizontal direction. The air vessel, a type of pressure tank, issued an even stream despite the backward motion of the piston. This was made possible by a rotating pipe mounted on the hose which allowed the jet to reach heights up to 20 m (65.6 ft). Caspar Schott observed Hautsch's fire engine in 1655 and wrote an account of it in his Magia Universalis. [22]

Colonial laws in America required each house to have a bucket of water on the front stoop in preparation for fires at night. These buckets were intended for use by the initial bucket brigade that would supply the water at fires. Philadelphia obtained a hand-pumped fire engine in 1719, years after Boston's 1654 model appeared there, made by Joseph Jenckes Sr., but before New York's two engines arrived from London.

By 1730, Richard Newsham, in London, had made successful fire engines. He also invented those first used in New York City in 1731 where the amount of manpower and skill necessary for firefighting prompted Benjamin Franklin to found an organized fire company in 1737. Thomas Lote built the first fire engine made in America in 1743. These earliest engines are called hand tubs because they are manually (hand) powered and the water was supplied by a bucket brigade dumping it into a tub (cistern) where the pump had a permanent intake pipe.

An important advancement around 1822 was the invention of an engine which could draft water from a water source. This rendered the bucket brigade obsolete. In 1822, a Philadelphia-based manufacturing company called Sellers and Pennock made a model called "The Hydraulion". It is said to be the first suction engine. [23] Some models had the hard, suction hose fixed to the intake and curled up over the apparatus known as a squirrel tail engine.

The earliest engines were small and were either carried by four men, or mounted on skids and dragged to a fire. As the engines grew larger they became horse-drawn and later self-propelled by steam engines. [24] John Ericsson is credited with building the first American steam-powered fire engine. [ citation needed ] John Braithwaite built the first steam fire-engine in Britain. [ citation needed ]

Until the mid-19th century, most fire engines were maneuvered by men, but the introduction of horse-drawn fire engines considerably improved the response time to incidents. The first self-propelled steam pumper fire engine was built in New York in 1841. Unfortunately for the manufacturers, some firefighters sabotaged the device and its use of the first engine was discontinued. However, the need and the utility of power equipment ensured the success of the steam pumper well into the twentieth century. Many cities and towns around the world bought the steam fire engines.

Motorised fire engines date back to January 1897, when the Prefect of Police in Paris applied for funds to purchase "a machine worked by petroleum for the traction of a fire-engine, ladders, and so forth and for the conveyance of the necessary staff of pompiers". [25] With great prescience the report states "If the experiment prove successful, as is anticipated, horses will eventually be entirely replaced by automobiles". This was, indeed, the case and motorised fire engines became commonplace by the early 20th century. By 1905, the idea of combining gas engine motor trucks into fire engines was attracting great attention according to a Popular Mechanics article in that year, [26] such trucks were rapidly gaining popularity in England. That same year, the Knox Automobile Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, began selling what some [27] have described as the world's first modern fire engine. A year later, the city of Springfield, Illinois, had filled their fire department with Knox engines. Another early motorized fire engine was developed by Peter Pirsch and Sons of Kenosha, Wisconsin. [28]

For many years firefighters sat on the sides of the fire engines, or even stood on the rear of the vehicles, exposed to the elements. This arrangement was uncomfortable and dangerous (some firefighters were thrown to their deaths when their fire engines made sharp turns on the road), and today nearly all fire engines have fully enclosed seating areas for their crews.

Early pumpers Edit

Early pumpers used cisterns as a source of water. Water was later put into wooden pipes under the streets and a "fire plug" was pulled out of the top of the pipe when a suction hose was to be inserted. Later systems incorporated pressurized fire hydrants, where the pressure was increased when a fire alarm was sounded. This was found to be harmful to the system and unreliable. Today's valved hydrant systems are kept under pressure at all times, although additional pressure may be added when needed. Pressurized hydrants eliminate much of the work in obtaining water for pumping through the engine and into the attack hoses. Many rural fire engines still rely upon cisterns or other sources for drafting water into the pumps. Steam pumper came in to use in the 1850s.

Early aerials Edit

In the late 19th century, means of reaching tall structures were devised. At first, manually extendable ladders were used as these grew in length (and weight), they were put onto two large wheels. When carried by fire engines these wheeled escape ladders had the wheels suspended behind the rear of the vehicle, making them a distinctive sight. Before long, turntable ladders—which were even longer, mechanically extendable, and installed directly onto fire trucks—made their appearances.

After the Second World War turntable ladders were supplemented by the aerial work platform (sometimes called "cherry picker"), a platform or bucket attached onto a mechanically bending arm (or "snorkel") installed onto a fire truck. While these could not reach the height of similar turntable ladders, the platforms could extend into previously unreachable "dead corners" of a burning building.

Seattle Fire Department History

On this page, we will attempt to chronicle the history of the fire stations and apparatus of the Seattle Fire Department, beginning with the "volunteer" department, progressing through the establishment of the "paid" department in 1889, continuing through the horse-drawn era and onto the motorized apparatus, eventually ending with the newest rig on the SFD roster.

The LAST RESORT FIRE DEPARTMENT is in possession of hundreds of photographs, documents, and historical data that we've collected and preserved over the last 50-plus years, which we hope to include on this page. With the possible exception of some temporary structures in the early days, our plan is to include photographs of every fire station that has existed in the city of Seattle, with accompanying street locations, in-service dates, and any noteworthy data. We also intend to include photos of every piece of fire apparatus the S.F.D. has had on its roster from the beginning of the "paid" department in 1889, to the present, including pre-1889 volunteer equipment, and apparatus acquired through annexations, with appropriate captions for each photo. For those rigs and stations that underwent major modifications, we will attempt to include photos of each configuration.

In addition to the dozens of motorized apparatus the SFD has purchased since 1910, we will attempt to include all 19 horse-drawn steamers, the 3 chemical wagons, the 9 ladder trucks, and hopefully, the 35 horse-drawn hose wagons . . . and the water tower, the chief's buggies, and all the fireboats.

Developing this page will be a huge job, and we will work on the project as time allows. We suggest you check this page from time to time to see our progress.

The photos below are a "sampling" of what we hope will be a comprehensive photographic history of Seattle Fire Department stations and apparatus.

All photos on this page, and on this website are the property of the LAST RESORT FIRE DEPARTMENT, unless otherwise noted. Photos and information contained on this website may not be reproduced in any form without express permission from the LAST RESORT FIRE DEPARTMENT or the owner of the photo as listed in the photo credits.

We are still in the beginning stages of creating this page, but eventually
you'll be able to navigate directly to all the categories below. We will be
continuing with the "fire stations" and "motorized" sections soon.

It's a large page, so it may take a few moments for all the photos to "load".




Fire Stations of the Seattle Fire Department
Over 100 stations beginning in 1890 + Volunteer Stations, Temporary Quarters,
Alarm Centers, Sub-Stations, Annexed Stations, Fireboat Bunk Shacks,
Medic Quarters, Training Facilities & Maintenance Shops
Primary Stations Numbered 1 thru 41

Temporary Headquarters following
"Great Seattle Fire"

SFD Temporary Headquarters (1889-1890)

Temporary canvas-roofed structure was built after Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889

Occupied until Nov 1, 1890 when SFD moved into new Headquarters (Station 1) shown below

Current use of property: Commercial structure - Central Business District

Temporary Quarters of Chemical 1 beginning
six months after "Great Seattle Fire"

Chemical 1 organized - December 12, 1889

SFD Temporary Quarters of Chemical 1 (1889-1890)

Western Ave (West St) & Spring St

Structure temporarily occupied 6 months after Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889

Occupied until July, 1890 when Chemical 1 moved into temporary Headquarters shown above

Current use of property: Commercial structure - Central Business District

SFD Headquarters (1890-1903) / Fire Station #1 (1890-1937)

7th Ave & Columbia St

Photo taken: 1910

This structure served as Headquarters until 1903 at which time Headquarters moved to Station 10

Station 1 continued to remain the quarters for several companies until it finally closed for good in 1937

NOTE: The bell in the top of the hose tower is currently on display at the Museum of History & Industry

The "1890" granite block seen above the two center bay door openings has been preserved by the LRFD

SFD Fire Station #1 (1890-1937)

7th Ave & Columbia St

Photo taken: 1916, after station reconfigured due to Columbia Street re-grade in 1913

After the fire department moved out in 1937, the building was used by the Office of

Civilian Defense until it was demolished for construction of the freeway

Torn down: 1961

Current use of property: Freeway onramp

Photo taken: February, 1961 - showing original "front" of station

Photo taken: February, 1961 - showing detail of "1890" granite block

Photo taken: February, 1961

Photo taken: 1961

P hoto taken: February 1963 - Station 1 being demolished for freeway

SFD Fire Station #2 (1890-1906)

3rd Ave & Pine St

Photo taken: 1901

Torn down: Approx. 1907

Current use of property: Macy's Department Store

SFD Fire Station #2 (1906-1921)

3rd Ave & Pine St

Photo taken: 1907

SFD Fire Station #2 (1906-1921)

3rd Ave & Pine St

Photo taken: 1916 after addition of 5th bay

Current use of property: Macy's Department Store

SFD Fire Station #2 (1921-present)

4th Ave & Battery St

Photo taken: 1937

SFD temporary Fire Station #2 (7-1-86 - 12-27-86)

5th Ave & Vine St

Temporary quarters during remodel

Ex-Totem Pontiac dealership

Current use of property: Commercial structure - Belltown Business District

SFD Fire Station #2 (1921-present)

4th Ave & Battery St

Photo taken: 1989

SFD temporary Fire Station #2 (3-11-09 - 7-20-10)

Aurora Ave N & Thomas St

Temporary quarters during remodel

Ex-site of Denny's Restaurant

Current use of property: Vacant lot

SFD Fire Station #2 (1921-present)

4th Ave & Battery St

Photo taken: 2010

SFD Fire Station #2 (1921-present)

4th Ave & Battery St

Photo taken: 2010

SFD Chemical Engine House #2 (1890-1904)

Broadway & Terrace St

Photo taken: 1890

SFD Chemical Engine House #2 (1890-1904)

Broadway & Terrace St

Photo taken: 1901

SFD Chemical Engine House #2 (1890-1904)

Broadway & Terrace St

Photo taken: 1910 - abandoned, boarded up & with broken windows, awaiting demolition

Torn down: Approx. 1910

Current use of property: Landscaped triangle bordered by Boren Ave, Broadway & Terrace St

SFD Chemical Engine House #3 (1893-1903)

1st Ave W & W Lee St

Photo taken: 1901

Current use of property: Saint Anne's School

SFD Fire Station #3 (1890-1904)

8th Ave S & S Main St

Photo taken: Approx. 1890

SFD Fire Station #3 (1890-1904)

8th Ave S & S Main St

Photo taken: 1901 after bay-doors widened to accommodate 3-horse hitch

Current use of property: Freeway main-line

SFD Fire Station #3 (1904-1921)

Terry Ave & Alder St

Photo taken: 1910

SFD Fire Station #3 (1904-1921)

Terry Ave & Alder St

Photo taken: 1969

SFD Fire Station #3 (1904-1921)

Terry Ave & Alder St

Photo taken: 2010

Current use of building: Harborview Medical Center Security Office

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

16th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - Midway down Dock 4

Rented Fleetwood Motorhome

Photo taken: 2002

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

16th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - Midway down Dock 4

Rented Fleetwood Motorhome

Photo taken: 2002

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

20th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - West Wall

With App. 395 (1994 Alpha-Leisure 5th-wheel trailer)

Photo taken: 2003

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

20th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - West Wall

With App. 412 (2005 Forest River 5th wheel R.V. trailer)

Photo taken: 2003

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

16th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - Midway down Dock 4

With App. 395 (1994 Alpha-Leisure 5th-wheel trailer)

Photo taken: 2004

SFD Fire Station #3 (2002-present)

16th Ave W & W Thurman St

Fishermen's Terminal - North End of Dock 4

With App. 412 (2005 Forest River 5th wheel R.V. trailer)

Photo taken: 2005

SFD Fire Station #4 (1889-1890)

1st Ave & Battery St

Photo taken: 1889

Torn down: Approx. 1891

Current use of property: Commercial structure - Belltown Business District

Photo Credit: MOHAI

SFD Fire Station #4 (1890-1908)

4th Ave & Battery St (on Denny Hill)

Photo taken: 1901

SFD Fire Station #4 (1890-1908)

4th Ave & Battery St (on Denny Hill)

Photo taken: 1900

NOTE: The bell in the top of the hose tower is currently on display at Station 2

Current use of property: Commercial structure - Belltown Business District

SFD Fire Station #4 (1908-1921)

4th Ave N & Thomas St

Photo taken: 1916

NOTE: In 1925, this building was converted into the Fire Alarm Office until 1961

Current use of property: Space Needle, Seattle Center

SFD Fire Station #4 (1972-1983)

26th Ave SW & SW Florida St

Photo taken: Approx. 1975

NOTE: This facility housed the Fireboats "Duwamish" and "Alki"

The "bay" was designed for small service vehicles only

SFD Fire Station #4 (1972-1983)

26th Ave SW & SW Florida St

Photo taken: Approx. 1978

Current use of property: Port of Seattle, container facility

Pumper YO-56 - History

17.11.1943 - Augusta (Italien) → → → → → → → → → 00.11.1943 - Bari (Italien)

BARLETTA 1.975 BRT Italien
BARON STRANRAER 3.668 BRT Großbritannien
CERION 2.588 BRT Großbritannien
DERWENTHALL 4.934 BRT Großbritannien
EMPIRE DUNSTAN 2.887 BRT Großbritannien (18.11.1943 - Versenkt von U 81)
EMPIRE PEAK 7.045 BRT Großbritannien
EMPIRE SOTHEY 7.041 BRT Großbritannien
EMPIRE SUCCESS 5.988 BRT Großbritannien
ERIDAN 9.928 BRT Frankreich
EURYADE 5.801 BRT Großbritannien
FACTO 1.522 BRT Norwegen
FORT ASSINIBOINE 7.128 BRT Großbritannien
FORT ATHABASKAN 7.132 BRT Großbritannien
FORT CADOTTE 7.128 BRT Großbritannien
FORT CHARNISAY 7.133 BRT Großbritannien
FORT CONNOLLY 7.133 BRT Großbritannien
FORT GLENLYON 7.132 BRT Großbritannien
FORT REMY 7.127 BRT Großbritannien
GEMA 5.282 BRT Norwegen
LOM 1.268 BRT Norwegen
NORLOM 6.412 BRT Norwegen
OCEAN VALENTINE 7.174 BRT Großbritannien
OCEAN VISTA 7.174 BRT Großbritannien
SOMERVILLE 4.265 BRT Norwegen
TESTBANK 5.083 BRT Großbritannien
WELSH COAST 646 BRT Großbritannien

Hinweis: Alle blau hervorgehobenen Textabschnitte sind Verlinkungen zum besseren Verständnis. Wenn sie auf diese Textabschnitte klicken werden sie zu einer Beschreibung des Bergriffes weitergeleitet.

Chicago Fire: October 1871

In October 1871, dry weather and an abundance of wooden buildings, streets and sidewalks made Chicago vulnerable to fire. The Great Chicago Fire began on the night of October 8, in or around a barn located on the property of Patrick and Catherine O’Leary at 137 DeKoven Street on the city’s southwest side. Legend holds that the blaze started when the family’s cow knocked over a lighted lantern however, Catherine O’Leary denied this charge, and the true cause of the fire has never been determined. What is known is that the fire quickly grew out of control and moved rapidly north and east toward the city center.

Did you know? The same day the Great Chicago Fire began, a fire broke out in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, in which more than 1,000 people perished.

The fire burned wildly throughout the following day, finally coming under control on October 10, when rain gave a needed boost to firefighting efforts. The Great Chicago Fire left an estimated 300 people dead and 100,000 others homeless. More than 17,000 structures were destroyed and damages were estimated at $200 million.

The disaster prompted an outbreak of looting and lawlessness. Companies of soldiers were summoned to Chicago and martial law was declared on October 11, ending three days of chaos. Martial law was lifted several weeks later.

History / Fire Department Overview

The Liberty Township Fire Department was organized in Liberty Township in the early 1950's by a group of residents in the Maustown area. The Board of Township Trustees placed a bond issue on the ballot for the construction of a firehouse and the purchase of a fire pumper. This station was built at 5763 Princeton-Glendale road (State Route 747), it was then further expanded in 1969 to include a meeting room and additional equipment bays in the rear. Liberty Township Fire Department Station No. 111 now houses: a 1995 Horton Ambulance, 2008 Sutphen 1500 GPM Pumper, 1984 4 wheel drive Grass Fire Unit, as well as a reserve ambulance and the original 1953 Howe 500 GPM Pumper.

Second Station

In 1974 a second fire station was built at 6957 Yankee Road. This station underwent renovation in 1999 to add a dormitory area, additional offices and an apparatus bay for the paramedic response unit. Station No. 2 currently houses: a 1994 Sutphen 1500 GPM Pumper, a 2009 Sutphen 1500 GPM Pumper, a 1999 Horton Ambulance, 1987 1550 gallon Tanker.

Third Station

In January of 2005, Station No. 113 was then built to serve as a functioning firehouse and administrative headquarters. Its firefighter, medics and EMTs serve the Southwestern quarter of Liberty Township. This station is located at 6682 Princeton-Glendale Road. Its bays house the following apparatus: 2008 4WD Paramedic Response Unit, a 1999 1000 GPM Sutphen Rescue Pumper and the 2004 110 feet Sutphen tower truck (quint).


The Liberty Township Fire Department is funded primarily by property tax levies. Additional funding is provided by "soft" billing of EMS transports. Donations and fund-raisers conducted by the Liberty Township Firefighter's Association have allowed the purchase of additional equipment over and above the budget.


Liberty Township Fire Department is dispatched by The Butler County Sheriff's Office on the Butler County Fire Band Frequency, 154.370. Liberty Township Fire Department was staffed entirely by paid per call (volunteers who receive a small stipend per response) personnel from it's beginning through 1994. In 1994 the transition was made to that of a combination department. The staffing was augmented by the addition of a full time Fire Chief and part time Firefighter / EMTs (emergency medical technician). Staffing was further increased in 1998 when a full time Assistant Chief was hired to direct and institute the new paramedic program.


Ambulance service was added to the fire department's service in the summer of 1974. The level of service was increased in 1991 to that of Advanced-EMT. 1998 saw another upgrade to the Paramedic level. At the same time part-time paramedic / firefighters were placed on station 24 hours a day to man the paramedic response unit. This decreased response times dramatically.

Township Growth

Liberty Township experienced tremendous growth during the decade of the 1990s. The township trustees wanted the highest quality and most efficient emergency services for their residents possible. For this reason, they decided to hire additional full-time firefighter / paramedics. In the intervening years we have grown steadily.

How Do I View My Computer History?

There are several ways to view your web history, depending on your web browser. Three of the most popular browsers, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer, have simple methods to view web history. In Firefox and Chrome, click on the menu button in the upper-right corner of the web browser, and then select History. In Internet Explorer, click the star icon in the upper-right corner and select the tab labeled History.

In Firefox and Chrome, the menu button is represented by three bars stacked on top of each other. In Firefox, when you click on the menu button, the history button has a clock image above the word History. The web history appears as a sidebar when you select it.

In Chrome, when you click the menu button, a drop-down menu appears. When you scroll down and click History, the web history opens in a separate tab. If you are logged in to your Chrome profile, the History tab shows not only the Chrome history of the computer you are using but also the Chrome history of any other device you have connected to a Google Chrome account, such as a mobile phone or tablet.

In Internet Explorer, when you click on the History tab, you can view history by date, by site most visited and by order visited. Firefox keeps web history for at least six months and Chrome for 90 days. In Internet Explorer, the max history is initially set to two weeks, but you can keep web history almost indefinitely by changing the number of days in the Internet Options menu, which is located in the Tools menu accessible in the far right-hand corner of the web browser.

Watch the video: Bad History - TRUMP Pump Trump


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