Binghamton has been known as the “Parlor City” for a long time. In fact, the 150th anniversary of the first published use of the nickname is coming up.
The “Parlor City” reference appeared in the Scranton Daily Times on August 13, 1873.
An Orange County resident, Barry Popik of Goshen, has written about the origin of Binghamton’s nickname on his website. He believes the upcoming anniversary is something worth celebrating.
Popik said it’s “one of the oldest nicknames in the United States.” He notes New York City has been called the “Big Apple” for only a century or so.
Although some people have suggested the first use of the “Parlor City” when discussing Binghamton started in the Scranton Republican newspaper in 1874, Popik said he discovered the it actually appeared in another publication the previous year.
Popik had to do some work to track down the appropriate edition of the Scranton Daily Times. When he found it, he scanned the small item on page 4.
Popik said the nickname “Parlor City” wound up spreading fast with businesses and others using it to refer to Binghamton
While Binghamton may have been the first place in the United States to be known as the Parlor City, it’s not the only one. Popik said three other cities have used it: Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Monroe, Louisiana; and Bluffton, Indiana.
At this point, there apparently are no celebrations planned in Binghamton to mark the 150th anniversary of its beloved nickname. But that could change. Stay tuned.
LISTEN: Barry Popik discussed the debut of Binghamton’s “Parlor City” nickname during a live WNBF Radio interview on June 23, 2023.
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