A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

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 Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 31, 2015
Battery Acid (coffee)

Entry in progress—B.P.
(Oxford English Dictionary)
battery acid  n. dilute sulphuric acid as used in a lead-acid cell as the electrolyte.
1835   Philos. Trans. (Royal Soc.) 125 269 (heading)  Nature and strength of the battery acid.
1905   School Sci. & Math. 5 272   The battery acid consists of 30 parts sulphuric acid by weight and 70 parts distilled water.
1 June 1941, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, pg. H5, col. 7:
The draftees assigned to Camp Claiborne, in Louisiana, got out a glossary of slang terms to describe everyday things in army life, we read the other day in a United Press story.
No doubt, the boys at Fort Ord and Camp McQuaide, in our State, know what the Louisiana lads are talking aoubt when they call canned milk an “armored cow,” and the white fish a “sewer trout,” but civilians are puzzled by the lingo without the aid of a dictionary of vulgarisms.
The Louisiana lads call prunes “army strawberries”; chicken, “crow”; coffee, “battery acid”; hot cereals, “North Dakota rice”; foot inspection, a “kennel show”; insects, “motorized dandruff”; steel helmets, “Mae West bonnets,” and machine guns, “Chicago atomizers.”
Of all sports, we think that baseball has the most quaint and richest expressions.  The young men at Camp Claiborner must have been bush baseball players in their civilian days, otherwise we cannot account for the sprightly imagination that provoked them to call army coffee “battery acid.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • Monday, August 31, 2015 • Permalink

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