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 April 28, 2015
Tungsten Territory (Broadway)

Broadway’s bright lights gave it the nickname “Tungsten Territory.” Broadway columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) used “Tungsten Territory” in 1927 and “Tungsten Belt” in 1930.

Other nicknames for Broadway and its bright lights include “Bulb Belt,” “Great White Way,” “Incandescent District” and “Mazda Lane.”


Wikipedia: Broadway (Manhattan)
Broadway /ˈbrɔːdweɪ/ is a road in the U.S. state of New York. Perhaps best known for the portion that runs through the borough of Manhattan in New York City, it actually runs 13 mi (21 km) through Manhattan and 2 mi (3.2 km) through the Bronx, exiting north from the city to run an additional 18 mi (29 km) through the municipalities of Yonkers, Hastings-On-Hudson, Dobbs Ferry, Irvington, and Tarrytown, and terminating north of Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County.

Wikipedia: Tungsten
Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is a chemical element with symbol W and atomic number 74. (...) Tungsten’s many alloys have numerous applications, most notably in incandescent light bulb filaments, X-ray tubes (as both the filament and target), electrodes in TIG welding, superalloys, and radiation shielding.

Google Books
27 November 1927, Vanity Fair, “A Primer of Broadway Slang” by Walter Winchell, pg. 134, col. 4:
Broadway is known as ‘The Main Stem’. Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it “Mazda Lane” and others refer to Broadway as “The Incandescent District”; “Tungsten Territory”, “The Big Artery”, and “Coffee Pot Canyon”.

3 June 1930, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 6, col. 8:
A well-known Broadway rounder who had been separated from his wife and children for a few years found diversion in the Tungsten Territory, spending heavy coin on the local sirens.

29 July 1930, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 4, col. 6:
Abel Green first referred to Broadway as “Mazda Lane,” while others call it “Orange Juice Gulch,” “The Tungsten Belt,” “The Chow Mein Stem,” ‘The Big Artery” or “Coffee Pot Canyon.”

6 November 1930, Evansville (IN) Courier, “Walter Winchell On Broadway,” pg. 6, col. 6:
What! No Broadway? No Tungsten Territory?

Old Fulton NY Post Cards
25 May 1936, Syracuse (NY) Journal, “On Broadway” by Walter Winchell, pg. 9, col. 2:
Broadway is known as “The Main Stem.” Abel Green, a theatrical reporter, calls it “Mazda Lane” and others refer to Broadway as “The Incandescent District,” “Tungsten Territory,” “The Big Artery,” “Coffee Pot Canyon.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityStreets • Tuesday, April 28, 2015 • Permalink