Always Reminds Me Of The Limerick That Ends “ What He Thought Was H2O Was H2So4


Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye”s fast food restaurant on Google Maps.Recent entries:•Entry in progress—BP (5/4)•Entry in progress—BP (5/4)•Entry in progress—BP (5/4)•Entry in progress—BP (5/4)•Entry in progress—BP (5/4)More new entries…

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Above, Big Apple Corner at 54th Street and Broadway in Manhattan. Google Maps.


Above, John J. Fitz Gerald, from the Aug. 15, 1931, Binghamton (NY) Press, pg. 14.

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Listen to Robert Emmerich introduce “The Big Apple,” a hit song from 1937. Music written by Bob and performed by Tommy Dorsey”s Clambake Seven with Bob on piano. Lyrics written by Buddy Bernier and sung by Edythe Wright. Audio provided by Dorothy Emmerich.

Also listen to a 1937 “The Big Apple” song by Ozzie Nelson and his Orchestra. See a 1929 photo of John J. Fitz Gerald and a 1931 photo of John J. Fitz Gerald.

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Water (H20) should not be confused with sulfuric acid (H2SO4). A rhyming aid was cited in 1894 and has long been popular with high school and college chemistry students: Our Willie passed away today,His face we'll see no more;What Willie thought was H2OProved H2SO4. The author of the lines is not known. “Willie” has been replaced with other names, such as Johnny, Jimmy, Tommy and Timmy. Wikipedia: Sulfuric acidSulfuric acid (alternative spelling sulphuric acid) is a highly corrosive strong mineral acid with the molecular formula H2SO4. It is a pungent-ethereal, colorless to slightly yellow viscous liquid which is soluble in water at all concentrations. Sometimes, it is dyed dark brown during production to alert people to its hazards. The historical name of this acid is oil of vitriol. Google BooksNovember 1894, Hamilton Review (Hamilton College, Clinton, NY), pg. 54, col. 1:A CHEMICAL TRAGEDY.Our Willie passed away today,His face we'll see no more;What Willie thought was H2OProved H2SO4. — Bowdoin Orient. 1 February 1895, The Cosmos (Cedar Rapids, IA), pg. 54, col. 2:A CHEMICAL MISFORTUNE.Our Willie passed away today,His face we'll see no more;What Willie thought was H2OProved H2SO4. — Cornellian. Old Fulton NY Post Cards16 February 1898, Gazette & Courier (Greenfield, MA), pg. 3, col. 4:Poor Jimmy Brown is dead and gone.His face we'll see no moreFor what he took for H2)Was H2SO4.(This was published in the high school's paper, “The Alpha.”—ed.) Google Books8 October 1898, The Polytechnic (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY), pg. 14, col. 2:Our Willie passed away today,His face we'll see no more;What Willie thought was H2O,Proved H2SO4. Hadst though but given Willie boyNa HCO3,NH3 Ca(HO)2,He'd still have been with thee. “Twa better thus,” Will's spirit cried;“No NH3 for me.When vitriol gets in one's inside, The stomach goes, you see.” E'en though the stomach's gone,We know—since Schlatter showed the way—His ileum and oesophagus might Have served for many a day. But th' oesophagus, too, is always charredBy H2SO4.And so our antidotes are barredAnd death has closed the door.—Ex. Google BooksSeptember 1907, The Pacific Pharmacist pg. 246, col. 1:John H. Brown He used to drink, But now he drinks no more. For what he thought was H2OProved H=SO. — Nathan Winter, Ph. G. 1 November 1907, The Daily Echo (Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, IN), pg. 1, col. 3:Little Tommy's gone to heaven. His face we'll see no more— For what he thought was H2OWas H2SO4.—Ex. Google BooksJune 1909, The Clinique (Chicago, IL), pg. 402:Darby was a Drug Clerk, Darby is no more! What Darby thought was H2O, Was H2SO4. — Exchange. Google BooksFebruary 1910, American Journal of Public Hygiene, pg. 104:Before addressing myself to that topic, I am disposed to report the metrical form of death certificate, which is said to have been indulged in by a certain wag among the doctors: “Regarding William Shore We'll never see him more, For what he took for H2O Was H2SO4.” 19 September 1910, Iowa City (IA) Citizen, pg. 4, col. 4:“Our Willie boy is dead and gone,We ne'er shall see him more.What Willie thought was H2OWas H2SO4.”(From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.—ed.) Google BooksMinnesota MagazineVolume 181911Pg. 79:Alas for little JohnnyWe shall never see him moreFor what he thought was HsOWas H2SO4. 25 November 1913, Shortridge Daily Echo (Shortridge High School, Indianapolis, IN), pg. 3, col. 2:A TRAGEDY Little Willie now is singing On the golden shore. For what he thought was H2O, Was H2SO4. —Exchange.ANOTHER VERSIONLittle Willie now is coughing.Coughing sure is something new.For what he thought was perfumed waterWas H2O and Cl2. Google BooksYear Book of the College of PharmacyUniversity of Nebraska–Lincolnthe University Press1914Pg. ?:Fortier took a drink one day, But now he drinks no more; For what he thought was H2O Was H2SO4. Google BooksApril 1917, Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, pg. 200:In this connection the speaker is reminded of Willie: Willie had an awful thirst, But Willie is no more, For what he thought was H2O Was H2SO4. 14 July 1928, Boston (MA) Herald, “Selections From Our Mail Bag,” pg. 14, col. 8:It is to be hoped that his faith may have a surer foundation of knowledge than that of the youth in the time-worn lyric: “Johnny was a druggist's son,But Johnny is no more—For what Johnny thought was H2OWas H2SO4.”SARAH HINDS WILDER.Worcester, June 11. 11 June 1929, Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer, “Side Talks” by Ruth Cameron, pg. 3, col. 6:Indeed I doubt if I could even give a product its chemical nom de plume except sulfuric acid, which was forever fixed in my mind by the delightful couplet, “Our Johnny is no more, what Johnny took for H2O was H2SO4.” 18 March 1930, San Diego (CA) Union, “The Northeast Corner,” pg. 6, col. 6:Mysterious clipping received by the Corner: “Johnny was a chemist.But Johnny is no more.For what Johnny thought was H2O,Was H2SO4.” Will some leading druggist tell us what that means? Google BooksTotal Recall: How to Boost Your Memory PowerBY Joan MinningerEmmaus, PA: Rodale Press1984Pg. 102:Chemistry students have little desire to confuse a bottle of water with a bottle of sulfuric acid: Johnny was a chemist. Johnny is no more. For what he thought was H2O Was HZSO4. Urban DictionaryH2SO4The chemical formula for sulfuric acid.Little Timmy took a drink, But he will drink no more, For what he thought was H2O, Was Thumbs it up plz July 07, 2006 Google BooksThe 2,548 Wittiest Things Anybody Ever SaidBy Robert ByrneNew York, NY: Touchstone2012Pg. ?:2,021 Willie was a chemist; Willie is no more What Willie took for H2O Was H2SO4 —One ofmany Little Willie poems YouTubeTrack 07 “Acid Head” – Album “Vanishing Lessons” – Artist “Tourniquet”ChristianClassicRawk Published on Jul 18, 2012“Acid Head” Track 07 from the album Vanishing Lessons by Tourniquet.Lyrics:Johnny is a chemist's sonBut Johnny is no moreWhat Johnny thought was H2OWas H2SO4

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