1885—After its completion in France in 1884, the Statue of Liberty is disassembled and shipped to the United States in crates. On June 17, 1885, the French steamer Isère carries the Statue of Liberty into the New York City harbor. Shown: The unpacking of the head of the Statue of Liberty.
The view of Broadway, north from Cortlandt and Maiden Lane, c. 1885–87.
Plans for sanitary engineering courses within Civil Engineering for 1885 (left). Two students graduate in 1889. The program ends in 1895. The program is briefly revived in 1909 (right).
Students attending a summer class in surveying, 1886 (possibly at Camp Columbia).
1886—The Gansevoort Market, which had opened to the public in 1884, sells produce mostly from New Jersey and Long Island. The market sits near West Street and Tenth Avenue, an area later known as the Meatpacking District.
1886—The first long-distance line opens, connecting New York City and Philadelphia. 1892—Long-distance service opens between New York and Chicago, with Alexander Graham Bell (shown) making the first call.
In 1886, Winifred Edgerton becomes the first woman to receive a PhD from Columbia. This is the first PhD degree in mathematics awarded by an American institution to a woman.
1887 photo showing the very common cobweb of elevated telegraph, telephone and electric wires.
The Great Blizzard of 1888, also known as the "Great White Hurricane,” strikes on March 12–13, 1888. The storm paralyzes the Eastern Seaboard from Maryland to Maine, causing temperatures to fall as much as 60 degrees in New York City. About 21 inches of snow fall on the city, but winds whip drifts as much as 20 feet deep.
The School starts a course in Microscopy and Biology in 1888, its first in biological sciences. Shown: A Paul Waechter, Large model No. 1b microscope used for bacteriological investigations. c. 1888 (not at Columbia).
1888—Herald Square, with the Sixth Avenue “El.”
July 4, 1888 celebration with School of Mines participation.
Seven years after Thomas Edison had first suggested it, Columbia Trustees agree in 1889 to create a department of electrical engineering offering graduate instruction to complement the four year curriculum at the School of Mines. The new department is headed by Professors Francis Bacon Crocker and Michael Idvorsky Pupin, both Columbia graduates (shown on bottom and top left). Shown on right: The first class.
1890—The tabulating machine invented by Herman Hollerith EM 1879, PhD 1890 reduces the time to process the 1890 census data from ten years to three months. US patent 395782, Herman Hollerith, “Art of Compiling Statistics,” is issued Jan. 8, 1889. His company later merges with others to form what is now known as IBM. Early versions of the integrating (electric tabulating) machine and the hole punched card are shown.
Carnegie Hall opens on May 5, 1891, with a concert featuring the American debut of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky.
1892—The Department of Civil Engineering is formally established. Professor William H. Burr, an expert on bridges and canals who later consults on the Panama Canal, serves as inaugural chair.
January 1, 1892—The Ellis Island Immigration Station opens, and will eventually process over 12 million people. The original building (upper photo) burns in a fire in 1897. The familiar new Main Building opens in 1900 (lower photo), after the fire.
A full four-year undergraduate course is instituted in 1892 for a degree in electrical engineering. Early degree shown, 1897.
1892—The intersection of Broadway, Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. The Times Tower in Times Square is later built at the site of the billboards.
Summer in the City, Central Park in 1894.
Towards the end of the 19th century, advances in cycling technology lead to a “bicycle craze.” Shown: Cycling on Riverside Drive in 1894.