Looking for 1906

August 08, 2006

Wondering what New York was like a hundred years ago, I searched the library (via Internet) for pictures. I found cable cars, sparsely populated roads, and a lot of formally dressed people captured on black and white film.

But what was it like to be there? I needed something more specific so I took my camera and went looking for these snapshots from a century ago, trying to find an entrance into New York City circa 1900.


Square 65 207th 1360549034 Square 65 flatiron 1360550307 Square 65 shore road 1360550301 Square 65 post office and eagle 1360548887 Square 65 fifth and 14th 1360548891 Square 65 sun 1360548896
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Uncropped 662 207th 1360549034

207th Street IRT Station, Manhattan, 1906 and 2006. (New York Transit Museum. Subway Style. New York

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Flatiron Building, Manhattan, 1903 and 2006. (Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society, #DN-0001198B)

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Shore Road, Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, 1904 and 2006. Shore Road used to be on the shore. Now it lies over 100 yards inland in parts (including here, around 82nd Street), beyond the Belt Parkway, a bike path, and the many parks and playgrounds which were constructed on hydraulic and dry fill in the 1930s. The Verrazano Bridge, completed in 1964, is now visible in the background. (Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection)

Uncropped 662 post office and eagle 1360548887

General Post Office and Brooklyn Eagle, downtown Brooklyn, 1906 and 2006. The Post Office has been expanded. The Brooklyn Eagle building, right of the post office in the 1906 photo, was demolished in 1954. (Mid-Manhattan Library Picture Collection)

Uncropped 662 fifth and 14th 1360548891

Looking up Fifth Avenue from 13th Street, Manhattan, 1898 and 2006. Note the Empire State Building, now only about 20 blocks away, just visible in the background. (AP Photo Archive)

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The Sun Building, Manhattan, April 15, 1912 and August 6, 2006. In the 1912 photo people are just learning about the sinking of the Titanic. The Sun, a newspaper which began in 1833, continued publishing until 1950 when it merged with the New York-World Telegram. (AP Photo Archive)