The Traffic Club of New York was born on April 10, 1906, as a result of Congress passing the Hepburn Act and the Carmack Amendment, which among other things, required interstate carriers to issue through bills of lading and which gave the Interstate Commerce Commission powers to fix maximum rates. That evening, twenty nine members of the "Community of Freight Traffic Interests" met at 320 Broadway and it was the unanimous and enthusiastic opinion of those present that a permanent organization of traffic and transportation men in the New York area would be of great benefit. It was resolved that the organization be named "The Traffic Club of New York". A committee was appointed to draft a Constitution and By-Laws.
The first official meeting was held on May 9, 1906 and it was determined that the purpose of the Club should be to cultivate closer relations between carrier and shipper and promote their best interest. On September 25, 1906 a meeting was held at the Hotel Astor where it was announced a total of 305 members had been accepted by the Club.
The first annual dinner was held at the old Waldorf-Astoria on Saturday, February 16, 1907 and the cost was $4.00 per person. The second dinner was held at the Hotel Astor on March 6, 1908, where the Honorable Charles Evans Hughes, Governor of New York, was the Guest Speaker. By this time the Club had over 500 members.
Our first headquarters was in the old Waldorf-Astoria until 1928 when the hotel was demolished to make way for the new Empire State Building. Our membership then was over 1,700. We then moved to the penthouse of the Park Central Hotel on 55th Street & 7th Avenue, where we remained for six years. We moved into the Hotel Biltmore on Madison Avenue and 43rd Street on June 26, 1934. The only time we canceled our annual dinners was during World War II.
We moved from the Biltmore into our own quarters at 15 Vanderbilt Avenue (on top of Grand Central Station) where we stayed until 1983. We then moved to the Downtown Athletic Club through 1998. We are still an active, viable Club.
For more history on our Club, view the
50th Anniversary Bulletin from 1956