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.

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Entry from July 07, 2008
Silicone City (Houston nickname)

"Silicone City” is a nickname for Houston that first appeared in a lengthy story in the August 1995 Texas Monthly. The silicone breast implant was invented in Houston in 1962 by doctors Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow. In 1992, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned silicone implants, but (as evidenced by the 1995 article) the nickname “Silicone City” still stuck—even though breast implants were conducted using other materials.

In December 2006, a favorable FDA ruling on silicone implants caused Houston writers to wonder if their city would truly become Silicone City again.


Wikipedia: Breast implant
Silicone gel implants
Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow, two Houston, Texas, plastic surgeons, developed the first silicone breast prosthesis with the Dow Corning Corporation in 1961. The first woman was implanted in 1962. Silicone implants are generally described in terms of five generations which segregate common characteristics of manufacturing techniques.

Texas Monthly (August 1995)
Silicone City
The rise and fall of the implant: or how Houston went from an oil-based economy to a breast-based economy.

by Mimi Swartz

Houston (TX) Press
Image Augmentation
Plastic surgeon Franklin Rose saves his best makeover for himself

By Lisa Gray
Published on December 30, 1999
For better or worse, Houston introduced the wider world to such 20th-century marvels as Astroturf, enclosed shopping malls and restaurant fajitas, and each of those creations says something about the city. But none evokes the place quite so precisely as the silicone breast implant, invented here in 1962 by doctors Thomas Cronin and Ray Brauer. “Silicone City,” Texas Monthly once dubbed us, home not only to a high-powered medical center, but also to the world’s first publicly traded topless bar and to more than our share of glitzy socialites and rich lawyers. The boom-and-bust story of implants is a particularly Houston story, and it is perhaps best told through a particularly Houston character: plastic surgeon Franklin Rose. 

Houston (TX) Chronicle (April 14, 2005)
FDA shift on implants excites Silicone City.
By Kristin Finan
Apr. 14—A 1995 Texas Monthly article nicknamed Houston “Silicone City,” referring not to the actual implant—the Food and Drug Administration had banned that three years earlier—but the booming business of breasts.

In fact, Houston is the birthplace of the silicone implant, created by plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow in 1962. Since then, Houston has become an implant destination spot, second only to Los Angeles in the number of procedures performed.

So Wednesday, when an FDA panel recommended allowing some silicone-gel breast implants back on the market, surgeons in the “breast-implant capital of the nation” were paying attention.

“I’m excited to hear it,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Franklin A. Rose. “But having been through this for almost 15 years, I’m not going to…

Houston (TX) Chronicle (December 10, 2006)
Will FDA ruling bring back ‘Silicone City’?: Reversal on implants big news in Houston, where the craze began.
By Mike Tolson
Dec. 10—Say what you will about breast implants—and people have spoken volumes over the past three decades—they are as much a part of modern American culture as, well, Barbie, Marilyn Monroe, the Playmate of the Month and maybe even the Statue of Liberty, though we can only speculate on what the great lady is hiding beneath those robes.

Perhaps with that in mind, officials with the Food and Drug Administration have finally stepped away from the long battle over silicone, the main ingredient of the implant of choice, preferred by many women who say it looks and feels more like the real thing.

Lacking persuasive evidence that silicone is harmful to the human body, the FDA last month lifted a moratorium on silicone implants that dated to 1992, allowing it to be added without restriction to the cosmetic surgeon’s arsenal. The ban was put in place after thousands of women complained that their implants had made them sick—an assertion that failed to find support in subsequent medical studies.

Some silicone opponents are decrying the decision, saying the agency didn’t insist manufacturers prove the implants are safe.

Big news in Houston
The FDA’s decision was big news not only to plastic surgeons, who hailed it as a triumph of science over hysteria, but to many women unhappy with what nature denied them. It was even bigger news in Houston, birthplace of the…

Houstonist.com
December 11, 2006
Hello again, Silicone City?
It’s news you might have missed, but late last month the FDA lifted a 14-year-old moratorium on silicone breast implants. Big deal? Yeah, potentially — many women prefer the softer, lighter-weight silicone implants to the saline implants that have been used for the past few years, and the move back to silicone could mean a boom for plastic surgeons in Houston, where fake boobs are unusually popular (our fair city even earned the nickname “Silicone City” at one point, which is something we can all be proud of).
(...)
COMMENTS
By Matt
[2] | 12/18/06 02:17AM
I believe we where tagged Silicone Bayou

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Monday, July 07, 2008 • Permalink