A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 25, 2004
Johnny Pump
A "Johnny Pump" is a fire hydrant. It's a name that I don't hear much anymore.

I found it first in the following novel, which is full of "classic" New York speech.


Call It Sleep
by Henry Roth
New York: The Noonday Press, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
1991, eleventh printing 1996
(Originally published in 1934)

Pg. 87:
They marched cross the street in single file and stopped before a tall hydrant.

"Jump on Johnny Pump!" commanded Sidney leaping up on the two stumpy arms of the fire-plug.

Posted by Barry Popik
Names/Phrases • (0) Comments • Sunday, July 25, 2004 • Permalink