Monday, March 18, 2013

Old New York in historic photographs

The Way We Were: New York: Nostalgic Images of the Empire State is currently a top-selling book in our History category, so I thought you'd enjoy these beautiful images of bygone days culled from the website nycpast.
This one of Broadway in 1860 is the oldest of the bunch.
The Flatiron Building under construction, 1903
Times Square, 1908
Times Square, 1915
Stagecoach, 1900
Hansom cab, Madison Square Park, 1910
Newspaper boy, 1908
Easter Sunday on Riverside Drive, 1904
Easter Sunday on Riverside Drive, 1904 (detail)
Grand Central Station, 1903
Grand Central Station waiting room, 1904
Grand Central Station waiting room, 1904 (detail)
Lower East Side Market, 1915

Central Park Choo Choo, 1904

J. P. Morgan, Judge Dickinson, and companions: Columbia Yacht Club, 1913

Grocery, 1912. They must be reading the funny papers!
Responding to the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, 1911

Suffragist parade, 1913

Two women out for a constitutional, early 1900s

Christmas 1910, 6th Ave
Below are three early 1940s images.

Mott Street, Little Italy

Opening day at the New York Public Library, 1911

Grant's Tomb on Riverside Drive, 1915. So pristine it looks fake!
Statue of Liberty torch with the World Trade Center on the horizon, 1985


  1. Is that little newspaper boy smoking a cigarette?! Whoa the times have changed!

    1. And he's standing under a sign advertising "children's work"--a little jest on the photog's part.

  2. These are fantastic photos! Love looking at images of old New York!

  3. I think the Camel billboard is actually smoking. Can anyone corroborate this notion?

    Unrelatedly, I think it is so interesting and odd to see (pictures of) streets, just like the roads we use today, but with horse-and-carriages traversing the blacktop.

    Neat pics!

  4. Oh yeah! The smoking billboard was a favorite landmark until smoking became a kind of social sin. There was a steam machine just behind the billboard that provided the smoke. I think it was taken down, though it might have been modified to enhance a cup of hot coffee, for example.

    1. I am quite amazed to see such bright lights in the Times Square of 1908. Thanks for the interesting pics!

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  6. Wow, the monochromatic New York City looks so peaceful and beautiful. Times have changed so much. Now there are so many people that you can not even see the road.