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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Vaudeville Hook Is Born!

Miner’s Bowery Theatre

 

— 165-7 Bowery —

 
Vaudeville Hook Is Born! Marker image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
1. Vaudeville Hook Is Born! Marker
Inscription.  Your standing at the former site of Miner’s Bowery Theatre, a legendary vaudeville house that once saw appearances by Eddie Cantor, Al Jolson, Bert Williams, Pat Rooney, Weber and Fields, A.O. Duncan (vaudeville’s first ventriloquist), singer Lottie Gilson, exotic dancer Saharet, W.C. Fields (then a juggler), and the Houdini Brothers.

Harry Clay Miner (1842-1900) was a former New York City policeman, U.S. Congressman, printer and founder of one of the world’s first theatre chains. The most famous of his houses was Miner’s Bowery Theatre (est. 1878). It was here that his son Tom instituted the famous amateur night and its famous innovation “the hook”, a large shepherd’s crook used for yanking unpopular acts off the stage—often at the audience’s urging: “Get the hook!” The device was widely emulated throughout the country, and has even become an idiom in the English language. The innovation lives on in popular memory, even if Miner’s Theatre does not.

-Trav S.D., No Applause, Just Throw Money – the Book that Made Vaudeville Famous
 
Erected 2016 by
Vaudeville Hook Is Born! marker site image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
2. Vaudeville Hook Is Born! marker site
165-167 Bowery, 2016
Bowery Alliance of Neighbors.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Entertainment.
 
Location. 40° 43.192′ N, 73° 59.642′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on Bowery near Delancy Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 165-167 Bowery, New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. John Brown's Body On The Bowery (a few steps from this marker); Hi-Tech (a few steps from this marker); Faerman’s Cash Registers (within shouting distance of this marker); NYC's Oldest Operating Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); Italian Theatre & Triple-Jointed Wonders (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Home Of Photographer Robert Frank (about 300 feet away); Anti-Slavery Work In Federal Era Houses (about 400 feet away); Christians, Cops, Elks & Anarchism (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. One of more than sixty entries in the “Windows on the Bowery” series.
 
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
3. Inset
Harry Miner and his vaudeville house
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
4. Inset
Getting the hook
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
5. Inset
"Amateur night at Miners", drawing by Glen H. Coleman, from Alvin Harlow's Old Bowery Days
Inset image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, July 22, 2016
6. Inset
Performers Al Jolson, Harry Houdini, Eddie Cantor
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 3, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 1, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 91 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on May 1, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021