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That rather stiff and formal portrait is from July 4, 1842, when the Croton water supply was turned on and NYC got its first taste of (seemingly) unlimited clean water. The big fountain was supplied by Croton water; the cupola behind it is the top of City Hall. Here’s a smaller but color version of the engraving, showing the parade in all its glory.

Sixteen years later, a similar celebration for the opening of the first Trans-Atlantic cable set fire to the cupola. Given the state of photography in the 1850s, we don’t have a picture of that, but here’s the parade that preceded the fireworks:

For what it’s worth, roofers managed to set the cupola on fire again in 1917, after which it was rebuilt in fire-resistant materials.