From An 1892 Guidebook – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About New York
14th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in 1892 photo: KIng’s Handbook of New York
Some of these facts are pretty interesting:
The New York Post Office handled over 600,000,000 pieces of mail matter annually. That may not be so amazing. What is amazing is that they had an annual profit of $3 million dollars!
Trinity Church is part of Trinity Parish. The Parish was the richest in America. Income from its real estate and other holdings amounted to over $500,000 annually
It was free to walk over the 9-year-old Brooklyn Bridge. Vehicles had to pay a toll of 3 cents each way.
At Centre and Franklin Streets stood the City Prison, better known as The Tombs, because of the architectural resemblance to Egyptian tombs. Before the death by electrocution law went into effect in 1889, all condemned murderers sentenced to death by the New York courts were executed in the Tombs. Continue reading →
Two Views of Wall Street – 1880 & 1904 – With A Story From A 19th Century Stockbroker
Wall Street 1880
Wall Street 1904
The changes in Wall Street from 1880 to 1904 are clear by comparing these two photographs taken from Broad Street. The center of each photograph is unchanged with historic Trinity Church at the foot of Wall Street and Broadway.
In the 1880 photo the church clock indicates it is 9:40 in the morning. Wall street looks almost provincial with gas lit lamps and small five story buildings, mainly housing insurance companies, brokers and banks. With the wild stock swings in this tumultuous era, many firms were here today, gone tomorrow.
On the far left side behind the gas lamp you can see the advertisement on the stairs leading to 17 Wall Street for stock brokers Taylor Brothers. Directly adjacent is a three story building with a sign above its entrance for Duff and Tienken, gold brokers. Immediately next to Duff and Tienken at 13 Wall Street is the first building owned by the New York Stock Exchange. Looking closely at the sidewalk in front of most of the buildings, the small circular cylindrical objects are coal chute covers.
Fast forward 24 years later to 1904 and Wall Street is lined with tall buildings. Continue reading →