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Beyond 57th & 7th: Fellow 125th Anniversaries

For 125 years, Carnegie Hall has been a place where history is made. In celebration of all 125th anniversaries, we recognize additional quasquicentennial anniversaries that are happening throughout our 2015—2016 season. Read about them below and keep an eye on our blog for Part 2 of this list, coming soon!

Yosemite National Park

On October 1, 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed the legislation that established Yosemite as a National Park. The establishment of Yosemite, the nation’s third national park, preserved over 1,500 square miles of land including Tuolumne Meadows, the park’s high country, Hetch Hetchy, and lands surrounding Yosemite Valley. Yosemite celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2015 as a fellow national landmark of the United States. View President Harrison’s speaking history at Carnegie Hall in our Performance History Search.

Sergei Prokofiev

Born on April 23, 1891, Sergei Prokofiev was a Russian conductor, composer, and pianist who wrote some of the 20th century’s most brilliant and percussive keyboard music. He performed at Carnegie Hall 14 times throughout his career. [hyperlinked to:] As both a pianist and a composer, he cultivated a sharply etched, ironic, and occasionally acerbic style that propelled him to the forefront of the modernist movement in the years before and during World War I. This season at Carnegie Hall, pianist Yefim Bronfman performs the complete Prokofiev sonatas, charting the path of the composer’s development.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1891 by its first music director, Theodore Thomas, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been led by musical greats like Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, and Riccardo Muti throughout its history. It has long been considered one of the finest orchestras in the world. Perhaps you have seen the CSO perform at Carnegie Hall since its debut in 1892—it has appeared here over 130 times!

Tesla Coil

The Tesla Coil was invented in 1891 by Nikola Tesla. These induction coils were used to conduct experiments in electrical lighting, x-rays, and transmission of electricity without wires. Léon Theremin invented his namesake instrument, the theremin, while experimenting with electromagnetism almost three decades after the invention of the Tesla Coil.

Swiss Army Knife

The Swiss Soldier Knife, later known as the first Swiss Army Knife, was built in 1891 for Swiss soldiers. It was meant for use on the field, for purposes such as opening canned food and disassembling rifles. The traditional knife has a blade, reamer, can-opener, and screwdriver.

The Ferris Wheel

In 1891, the directors of the World’s Columbian Exposition issued a challenge to American engineers to “Out-Eiffel” the Eiffel Tower, which debuted at the Paris International Exposition of 1889. The challenge inspired George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr. to develop what we now know today as the Ferris Wheel. Andrew Carnegie’s competitor in the steel industry, Bethlehem Steel, provided the materials for the first Ferris Wheel. The invention did not debut until 1893, but its planning dates back to 1891, when Ferris sought investors for the project.

Le Club Musical de Quebec

Image courtesy of Le Soliel Archives

Le Club Musical de Quebec was one of the first concert societies in Canada. In 1891, a group of women, inspired by trends in the U.S., formed the beginnings of a musical society in Quebec, calling themselves the Ladies Morning Musical Club. What started out as a small venture on the behalf of a few music lovers eventually developed into what is known today as Le Club Musical de Quebec. It is the only organization within Quebec to have hosted over a thousand artists, orchestras, and ensembles within its space, making it one of the most prestigious music halls in Canada.

Ouija Board

The mystical Ouija Board, used primarily by those seeking to communicate with spirits beyond the living world, has garnered a spooky reputation. Though its origins can be traced far back into history, the patent for the Ouija Board was not established until February 10, 1891 under Elijah Bond. The board acquired its name ten years later in 1901, but it had already established itself as an artifact for ritualistic practices. Spiritualism was a popular lecture topic at Carnegie Hall in the early 1900s. Check out this series of lectures in the early 1920s by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, spiritualist and author of Sherlock Holmes.


Did you know that Wyoming was the 44th state added to the Union in 1890? Covered with mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the eastern Rocky Mountains, the territory was one of the first to offer suffrage to women, granting the right in 1869. It is now the 10th largest state in the U.S., but also the least populated. Ernest Thompson Seton, a founder of the Boy Scouts, lectured at Carnegie Hall in 1899 on Wild Animals of Wyoming.

Stanford University

One hundred twenty-five years ago, Jane and Leland Stanford founded Stanford University in California. The institution was established on October 1, 1891 and has since developed a record for its groundbreaking research and discoveries. About 16,000 students attend the university, with notable accomplishments by alumni that include the founding of companies like Google and Hewlett-Packard.

Fig Newton

Cambridge, Massachusetts was the birthplace of mass production of the Fig Newton. Though the treat was actually invented in Philadelphia by Charles Roser, the recipe was purchased by the Massachusetts-based Kennedy Biscuit Company in 1891. Since then, the fig-filled snacks have popularized the shelves of grocery stores, as they were originally marketed for alleviating digestive problems.

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