6 Unique Facts About Brooklyn

A Slice of Brooklyn bus tours

Need some ammo for trivia night? Want to be the envy of all your friends with your knowledge of Brooklyn? Then read on for some unique facts, and cool photos, of the greatest place on Earth.

The Manhattan Bridge almost had another name

A Slice of Brooklyn bus tours

The Manhattan Bridge was the third bridge to be built across the East River, so it was simply going to be named, “Bridge No. 3”. The New York Times wasn’t having that and appropriately said that name was “meaningless”, so the name was changed to the Manhattan Bridge. It connects Lower Manhattan at Canal St. with Downtown Brooklyn.  

Tootsie Rolls were invented in Brooklyn

A Slice of Brooklyn bus tours

The Tootsie Roll was invented by candy store owner Leo Hirschfeld, who settled in Brooklyn from Austria in 1884. His daughter always asked him to make her candy. He used what he could find in his house: sugar, cocoa, butter, etc. and all the neighborhood kid wanted some. Hirschfeld decided to sell his invention in his candy store for a penny a piece. He wanted to create a candy that was in a wrapper, so needed a name for it. Then he remembered what he’d say to Clara when she’d ask for candy, “Yes my little Tootsie I will make you some candy”.

Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel is known as the most romantic ride in the world

A Slice of Brooklyn bus tours

Wonder Wheel by Jessie Essex

Today we know it as Deno’s Wonder Wheel, but “Deno’s” wasn’t always part of its name. In 1948, future Wonder Wheel owner, Denos Vourderis, proposed to his wife right in front of the Wonder Wheel saying he would someday give her,  “a ring so big, everyone in the world would see how much he loved her, a ring that would never be lost.” By the late 1970s, Denos was working at Coney Island fixing the kid rides and in 1983 he was able to buy the Wonder Wheel for $250,000. Deno’s Wonder Wheel is now the site of many marraige proposals.

Credit cards were invented in Brooklyn

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Maybe this isn’t good news, but the very first credit card was issued in 1946 by John Biggins of Flatbush National Bank in Brooklyn. He offered a Charge-It program so local Brooklyn shops could extend credit to their customers.

The entrance to Green-Wood Cemetery is a New York City Landmark

Main Gate to Green-Wood Cemetery

The entrance to Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn is made of brownstone. It’s one of the first places brownstone was used in Brooklyn. The Gothic-Revival style gates stand at a whopping 106 feet tall.

21 elephants once crossed the Brooklyn Bridge

A Slice of Brooklyn bus tours

After the bridge was built, city officials needed a way to show he general public that the bridge was safe, so they called P.T. Barnum and asked for help. On May 17, 1884, the famous circus founder paraded 21 elephants across the bridge proving its strength.


Want to know more about Brooklyn? Hop on one of our bus tours where you’ll not only learn more about the borough, but you’ll experience it with a tour guide who was born and raised in Brooklyn!

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