New York City Souvenir View Book Covers From 1911 – 1919
New York of To-Day published by L.H. Nelson 1913
According to NYC & Company over 58 million people visited New York City in 2015. Many of them possibly bought a keepsake to bring back home; a t-shirt, mug or some other knick-knack.
Souvenirs have remained a constant in the world of tourism. Since about 1880, view books have been one of the souvenirs that appealed to visitors of New York City. With everyone now having a camera to photograph where they were and sights they have seen, view books are pretty much on their way to becoming extinct.
During their heyday from the late 1800s until the 1940s view books were a popular and inexpensive souvenir choice. Most view books generally ranged in price from a quarter to a dollar. They generally contained anywhere from a dozen to 400 photographs of buildings, tourist sights and attractions. Many had plain covers, while others had covers to attract the eye.
Going through my collection, I selected a few view books that date between 1911-1919.
These examples are relatively common for collectors. When they were new I think would have caught the eye of a visitor, because they are still striking today.
Scenes of Modern New York published by L.H Nelson 1911. A nice cover featuring The Williamsburg Bridge (completed 1902), The Fuller Building aka Flatiron (completed 1902) and The Subway (opened 1904).
New York Illustrated published by C. Souhami 1914. A colorful panorama of lower Manhattan taken from the Brooklyn tower. On the left is the tallest building in the world, The Woolworth Building (completed 1913). To the right is the 40 story Municipal Building (completed 1914). On the waterfront, South Street with its docks and shipping activity was still the hub of maritime New York. Continue reading