5 Facts About Albany, NY
No matter where you travel, SaveOnPaving.com knows there will be new things to learn along the way. Each city across the globe carries with it a rich historical past that built the foundation for what it is today.
Cities are also defined and created, in part, by the interests and lives of people that have resided there. And when we look at many cities in the US, the people living there today have ancestors that originally traveled across oceans from all over the world to settle in a young country.
With a legacy like that, how could there not be intrigue and wonder everywhere you look? Albany, New York–with its rich cultural diversity and interesting foundations–is no exception. Here are a few little-known facts about the city.
1. The Creation of Modern Day Toilet Tissue
Prior to an important discovery by an Albany, NY resident in 1871, the majority of people bought and used small squares of individually stacked toilet paper. But thanks to Seth Wheeler, today we have rolls of perforated toilet paper wrapped around a cardboard tube.
Wheeler invented this technique of producing toilet paper while living in Albany, and it didn’t take long for the method to become an international standard.
2. Evolution of Names in Albany, NY
After the Duke of York visited and the British took control of the region, the name “Albany” was born out of the Duke sometimes being referred to as the “Duke of Albany.” But before this period, the region had a number of names.
Most commonly, the settlement was referred to as “Beverwijck,” which means “beaver district.” This was due to the Dutch’s great success in tapping into the beaver fur industry while occupying the region.
3. Albany, NY, The City that Brought America Santa Claus
It is believed–and there is documentation that supports as fact–that the celebration of St. Nicolas was first brought from the Netherlands directly to Albany, NY. This tradition was slowly adapted by the region, and the tradition of St. Nicolas evolved into Santa Claus over the decades.
There are manuscripts that report the celebration of St. Nicolas arriving on his reindeer-drawn sleigh to bring gifts to children in Beverwyck that date back to the 1650s.
4. Teddy’s time as NY Governor
It is rumored that Theodore Roosevelt’s time as governor of New York pushed local reporters to their best physical fitness levels. Story has it that then Governor Roosevelt would regularly exercise in the morning’s by running up and down the 77 steps that led to the capitol building. Reporters were aware of this habit, and it is said that Roosevelt would accept an interview from anyone who could beat him to the top of the steps.
5. A Baker’s Dozen
Once upon a time, the concept of “a dozen” was no different than any other idea of a dozen–even that of a baker. But when a baker named Baas Volckert Jan Pietersen Van Amsterdam set up shop in Albany, he began adding one extra item to his baked goods that were sold in dozens. While this was likely just a good business move, the trend took off and the phrase “baker’s dozen” was coined.
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