1 A passage or alley between buildings. formerly widespread, now esp Chicago IL
1733 NY Weekly Jrl. (NY) 28 Jan /2, [Advt:] To be sold, a certain Lott of Ground, . . with a Gang-way of 4 Foot, comming out to the Slip, between the dwelling House and Store-House of the said John Blake. 1818 Providence Patriot & Columbian Phenix (RI) 28 Nov /1, The Coroner was called to view the body of Benjamin Tompkins, belonging to Tiverton, (R. I.) who was found dead in a gangway. 1873 Sioux City Daily Jrl. (IA) 23 May /2, Miss Nellie was found in her bare feet, with a loose wrapper on, standing in a gangway between two buildings. 1885 Boston Daily Globe (MA) 1 Oct 5/1, In conformity to the original plan, . . gangways sixteen feet wide are laid out at points midway between these contiguous streets. 1930 Portsmouth Times (OH) 1 July 9/1, A cigaret tossed in a gangway on the Eighth street side of the Knost and Son grocery . . resulted in the Hilltop and East End fire companies being called out. 1941 Southtown Economist (Chicago IL) 9 Nov 5/3, Bertram Nelson . . was held up late Friday night in a gangway near his home by a lone man who took $39. 1971 Times Rec. (Troy NY) 15 Feb 4/4, Helen Roberts . . was walking in a gangway to her house when she slipped on ice and her right arm went through a window. 1974 Joplin Globe (MO) 25 Feb sec A 2/7 St. Louis MO, Police said Jery Franklin was found early Saturday with stab wounds to the chest in a gangway at the rear of his home. 1995 DARE File Chicago IL, I must have been in my thirties before hearing anyone refer to the concrete walking place between buildings as anything other than a gangway. 2001 Daily Herald (Arlington Heights IL) 10 July sec 3 3/2, A girl of about 13 . . came out of the gangway between my home and the next. 2009 DARE File, Heard on a Cold Case Files . . episode that occurred in Chicago: . . Gangway: a narrow passageway, three to eight feet wide or so, between two houses or any other two buildings, leading from the front to the back of the building to the left. The same term with the same meaning is used in Saint Louis.
2 Among railroaders: see quot 1932.
1878 Pomeroy’s Illustr. Democrat (Chicago IL) 12 Oct 6/4, I called the fireman . . “can you see anything ahead there?” at the same time shutting off steam and reversing the engine. The fireman did not wait to answer; after looking ahead he turned and rushed to the gangway and jumped off without touching the hand holds. 1890 Indiana Democrat (PA) 13 Nov 1/1, A passing notice is all he receives until he serves the full period of the slavery of a locomotive gangway and moves from the fireman’s box on the left of the cab to the engineer’s box. 1932 RR Mag. Oct 368, Gangway—Space between rear cab post of locomotive and tender. 1955 Titusville Herald (PA) 3 June 6/2, It [=the diesel locomotive] cares little that it has deprived the bandana-necked fireman of that relaxing pleasure of tossing in coal to a roaring, draft-crazy fire and then standing in the gangway to watch the black smoke billow from the stack as it is borne back over the tender.
3 Among loggers: see quot.
1956 Sorden–Ebert Logger’s Words 15 Gt Lakes, Gang-way, The incline plane upon which logs are moved from the water into a sawmill.