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Friday, April 10, 1942
in What's New In Town
W. J. Sidis
The first school for civil air pilots to be operated by a commercial airline was started in Boston, by the Northeast Airlines. It may be interesting to note that this air line system was organized by the Boston & Maine Railroad, one of the worlds oldest railroad systems.
Charlestown is situated on a small triangular peninsula, and there is no approach on the land side except through Sullivan Square. This peninsula was originally connected with the mainland by a narrow neck of land between two coves, which since then have both been filled in―one by railroad tracks, while the other is now a playground. Charlestown is the original point from which Boston was settled. It is well known in history on account of a battle of the Revolution which took place there, called “battle of Charlestown” by the British forces, though the traditional American name of the battle is for the hill (Bunker Hill) where the battle did NOT take place. Bunker Hill Monument is accordingly atop Breed’s Hill.
Boston was the first modern city to have a city water supply. In 1655 the town constructed a public reservoir―no larger than an ordinary room―and had water regularly piped into it, for public use. In 1848, for the first time, this municipal water system was extended enough to make running water available to homes that would put in the requisite plumbing. This was done by piping a water supply from Lake Cochituate, into a reservoir located where the rear wing of the State House now is. Again Boston was ahead of the world in this improvement. There was a great public celebration on the Common when Cochituate water was first brought to town, as a fountain installed in Frog Pond spouted 90 feet with the new water. Only in Boston would you find a car line marked “Reservoir.”
In 1852, four competing railroad companies, getting ready to construct rival lines across Illinois, sent their respective stock promoters “back East” to raise funds. These four men met in Boston, and compared notes. As a result, they reached an agreement to pool their efforts. Out of this pool arose a new railroad organization, the Burlington Lines, now one of the great Western rail systems. The line had the distinction, in 1934, of introducing the world’s first streamlined train.
The idea of news bulletins in front of newspaper offices is a Boston one, started by the Boston Evening Traveler. It is understood that the original use of this bulletin was to give war news from the Mexican War.
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