January 1, 1908

In 1904, Longacre Square in New York City was renamed Times Square in honor of (or at the urging of) the New York Times. “Lobster Palaces” quickly gained popularity, spots like Rector’s on the corner of Broadway and 44th, allowing NYC’s middle class to enjoy the delicacies and grandeur only known to the upper echelon until this point.

For New Year’s Eve 1907, Jacob Starr designed the first Time Ball to drop at One Times Square. The idea stemmed from the time ball in Greenwich, which dropped each day at 1:00 in order for sailors to set their clocks to a common time.

The Time Ball in Times Square has been re-created seven times over the past century, and has dropped every year since (with the exceptions of 1942 and 1943, when NYC was kept dimly lit during the heart of World War II).

George Rector’s Potato Croquettes

2 cups mashed potatoes
2 T butter
1 unbeaten egg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp celery salt
⅛ tsp pepper
2 tsp finely grated onion
1 beaten egg

Combine and mix all ingredients except the breadcrumbs and egg. Shape into croquettes. Roll the croquettes in the breadcrumbs, dip in the egg, and roll once again in breadcrumbs.
Fry in deep, hot fat that registers at 375 degrees on a thermometer, until nicely browned. Drain on absorbent paper.

*published in “Rector’s Naughty 90’s Cookbook” by Alexander Kirkland


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