It's surprising that it doesn't show up much earlier -- we now have digitized text of many of Walter Winchell's columns. But it looks like the New York slang master didn't use it.
Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.
• “Too much Monday, not enough coffee” (3/25)
• “Christ Offers Forgiveness For Everyone Everywhere” ("coffee” backronym) (3/25)
• “To make me happy: Make me coffee, bring me coffee, be coffee….coffee” (3/24)
• “Coffee! Coffee! It’s our drink! If we don’t get it, we can’t think!” (3/24)
• “Coffee: because hating your job should be done with enthusiasm” (3/24)
More new entries...
Above, Big Apple Corner at 54th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.
Above, John J. Fitz Gerald, from the Oct. 17, 1931, Turf Play, p. 7.
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.