Great post on the history of NYC’s nickname ‘Gotham’ from Carmen Nigro, Managing Research Librarian, Milstein Division of U.S. History, Local History & Genealogy, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at the The New York Public Library.
New York is a city of nicknames—the Big Apple, The City That Never Sleeps, Empire City, The City So Nice They Named It Twice… but let’s just concentrate on one: Gotham.
For some, the term Gotham City is forever tied to the Batman comic universe. But writer Bill Finger was inspired by an entry in a telephone book for Gotham Jewelers. Finger explains in the Steranko History of Comics that changing the locale from Manhattan to the fictional Gotham City made the setting of Batman more vague. In fact, the nickname goes a lot further back than 1940, when in Batman issue number four, Gotham City is named for the first time.
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