Not Just Pencils: A Virtual Talk on the History of Innovation in Greenpoint with Dr. Dann


Brooklyn historian Dr. Kevin Dann has just launched Not Just Pencils – a Kickstarter campaign that will gift Kickstarter and its global community with a book revealing the stories of the generations of makers who lived and worked on the Greenpoint block where Kickstarter now curates Earth’s prodigious crowdfunded creativity. Not Just Pencils uncovers the stories of carnivalesque characters like Neziah Bliss, whose Novelty Iron Works employed 1500 people and was America's largest builder of steamboat engines; Alpheus Rollins, who rowed Bliss and others across the East River to Manhattan for 3¢ a trip in his hand–built skiff the Katy Dear; and Magdalena Duryea Meserole, who as a widow and mother of 5 daughters ran the enormous farm between Noorman's Kill (Bushwick Inlet) and Mespath Kill (Newtown Creek), long before a single factory smokestack broke Green Point's Arcadian horizon.

Join Dr. Dann to drill down into the microhistory of this single Brooklyn block's pioneering gadgets, gizmos, and machines – and their creators.

 Historian and troubadour Kevin Dann is the author of the recently released book,  Enchanted New York: A Journey Along Broadway Through Manhattan’s Magical Past.


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Photo credits: Map - Matthew Dripps 1869, Map of the city of Brooklyn : being the former cities of Brooklyn & Williamsburgh and the town of Bushwick, as consolidated January 1st, 1855 by an act of the legislature of the State of New York, NYPL Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division

Lifeboat Drawing: Joseph Francis, Francis' Metallic Life-boat Company, New York: Bryant & Co., 1852