6 Drawings Of New York Unseen For Over 100 Years By Vernon Howe Bailey
Times Square The Great White Way (1911)
Obscure publications can yield hidden gems. These drawings by famed artist Vernon Howe Bailey appeared in the Illuminating Engineer in 1911 and as far as can be determined have not been reproduced since then.
Vernon Howe Bailey (1874-1953) was a prodigious illustrator whose work appeared primarily in newspapers and magazines.
He eventually made his way to the New York Sun newspaper in the 1920s where he captured New York’s architecture and streets with exquisite on-the-spot illustrations.
Eventually a good deal of Bailey’s New York City work was compiled in a book called Magical City. These illustrations were not included in that book. So for the first time in over 100 years here are Vernon Howe Bailey’s renderings of New York City in 1911.
Looking North on the Speedway to the Famous Highbridge (1911)
As these illustrations were intended for a magazine promoting electric lighting, you will notice that electric light fixtures appear rather prominently in each illustration.
The Harlem Speedway, where wealthy New Yorker’s used to take out their horse drawn carriages for a spirited run, was eventually incorporated into the highway that became the Harlem River Drive. Continue reading →
In 1911 The Proposed McCarren Bridge Was To Replace The “Old” Brooklyn Bridge So It Could Be Reconstructed
Existing & proposed bridges New York City 1911 – note the four lower Manhattan bridges instead of three (click to enlarge)
From the New York Tribune of January 1, 1911 comes this illustration showing New York City with its existing bridges and some proposed new ones.
Sandwiched very tightly between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge connecting lower Manhattan with Brooklyn, is a proposed new bridge which was to be called the McCarren Bridge named after “Long Pat” McCarren (1847-1909) a state senator who was Brooklyn’s Democratic political boss during the late 1800’s.
Once the proposed McCarren Bridge became a reality, city engineers planned to close and rebuild the Brooklyn Bridge. The engineers feared that the increase in heavy traffic on the Brooklyn Bridge would necessitate additional strength being added, otherwise a support or cable might give way causing a horrible catastrophe. Borings were even made at the site, but the McCarren Bridge was never built.
Other proposed bridges in the illustration show the Hell Gate Bridge which was begun in 1912 and completed in 1916.
Further north on the Harlem River connecting upper Manhattan with the Bronx is another proposed bridge that was never built nestled between the University Heights/West 207th Street Bridge and Washington Bridge. This bridge would have been located at 177th Street in the Bronx and was to be called The Morris Heights Bridge. Continue reading →
New York City In Old Color Photographs At The Turn Of The Century
Mulberry Street in color New York City 1900
Life was colorful in turn of the century New York City. But because almost all the photographs we see from that era are in black and white, it is hard to imagine what the city looked like in its full color glory.
The Library of Congress holds the incredible collection of The Detroit Publishing Company who manufactured postcards and chronicled the world with their photographs from 1880-1920.
One of the processes used to achieve color was called the photochrom. Photochrom’s are color photo lithographs created from a black and white photographic negative. Color impressions are achieved through the application of multiple lithograph stones, one per color. In 1897, the Detroit Publishing Company brought the process over from Switzerland where it was first developed.
The images presented here were eventually used for postcards. Here is a look at New York circa 1900 in high resolution color photographs. Click on any image to vastly enlarge.
South Street and Brooklyn Bridge 1900
Looking north along South Street with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background. This was still the age when shipping and boats crowded the harbor.
City Hall New York City 1900
City Hall looking northwest with a sliver of City Hall Park on the bottom extreme left. Continue reading →