Category Archives: New York

Old New York In Photos #167 – Madison Square

Madison Square Garden & Park circa 1900

This magic lantern slide shows Madison Square Park looking north and east from 23rd Street. All the vehicles seen in the photo are horse drawn and the surrounding buildings give us a clue to a date of 1900. Continue reading

May Day Gathering In New York For Socialists And Communists

May 1 Brings Out The Socialists And Communists In 1930s New York

Socialists Hold May Day Celebration In Central Park
Shown above is a scene on the Mall in Central Park, New York City on May Day as the Socialists listened to the various speakers. The Mall was crowded to capacity. credit: Acme May 1, 1935

In 1930s New York socialism was a popular draw. Continue reading

Radio As Effective As Morphine According To Beth Israel Hospital – 1925

Better Than Drugs – Radio Is Good For Patients

Radio As Effective As Morphine
This photo shows several young patients at Beth Israel Hospital, N.Y. listening in to concerts on the radio taking their minds off their ailments, and making them happy.

According to Beth Israel Superintendent L.J. Frank, the doctors and nurses agree that in a large number of cases, that, at times the radio is as effective as morphine, bromine and other narcotics. Many sufferers of rheumatism and other chronic afflictions require no other sedative other than radio since it was introduced at that hospital as a treatment. photo: United Press International / Acme –  August 25, 1925

Radio, morphine? An interesting comparison.

When doctors made this proclamation 99 years ago Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #166 – St. Paul’s Chapel & Broadway

Broadway With St. Paul’s Chapel On A Busy Day c. 1920

St. Paul's Church photo: Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside

St. Paul’s Chapel and Broadway. photo: Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside

If the clock on the tower of St. Paul’s Chapel is accurate, it is a couple of minutes before noon on a weekday. Looking at the pedestrians shadows, the clock is probably correct. Hundreds of people stream by Fulton Street while a trolley is coming down Broadway. One thing you might notice besides the fashion of the day, with many men wearing light-colored straw hats, is that there are few women present. One hundred years ago, the central business area around Wall Street was still the domain of a predominantly male working force.

Here is the same scene taken seconds apart with a tighter focus. The policeman directing traffic can now be clearly seen.

St Paul's Church and Broadway circa 1920 photo: Keystone-Mast Collection, UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California at Riverside

The 30 foot obelisk Continue reading

Harlem In the Teens & Twenties As Seen By Frederic A. Birmingham

Growing Up In Bucolic Harlem Before And After World War I

Frederic A. Birmingham’s 1960 memoir of New York, It Was Fun While It Lasted (J.B. Lippincott Company), describes a Harlem which few New Yorkers would recognize today.

The action takes place from approximately 1915 -1925, when Birmingham was between the ages of 4 and 14. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #165 – Broadway & 40th St. 1913

East Side of Broadway & 40th Street 1913

A Story Of Three Buildings On The Main Stem

This photograph taken by William Roege can be narrowed down to the autumn of 1913. Though photographer Roege engraved the year within the photo, he did not write an exact date.

The Empire Theater

We are looking at the east side of Broadway at 40th Street and the main clue to the time of year is the Empire Theater marquee which announces the appearance of actor John Drew.

John Drew

Drew was one of the turn-of-the-century’s big stage stars and the uncle of actors John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore. Continue reading

Food & Grocery Prices 100 Years Ago

Grocery Prices From The Buffalo Evening News February 21, 1924

Every so often we look back at life in the Unites States 100 years ago. In this case, we were looking at Buffalo, New York.

Besides the household prices for groceries, we glanced quickly at a few news items from the Buffalo Evening News newspaper for February 21, 1924.

Buffalo was dealing with a major blizzard. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #164 – Elevated Curve At 110th Street

The Ninth Avenue Elevated Curve At 110th Street c. 1880

The Ninth Avenue Elevated train tracks took a dramatic “S” turn at 110th Street to continue along Eighth Avenue. This part of the El system were very elevated, at certain points rising 100 feet above street level. Because of its phenomenal height Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #163 – The Financial District During An Air Raid Test

Pedestrians Scatter As President Eisenhower Runs An Air Raid Test In New York – 1957

My mother and father tell of practicing “duck and cover” in school.

The drill was to supposedly protect oneself from a nuclear bomb. As if crouching under a desk would have done anything to shield you from an atomic blast. Continue reading

New York 1921 Not Quite A Sanctuary City

In 1921 Police Were Not Concentrating On Rounding-Up Illegal Aliens

Instead They Were Arresting The Unemployed, Especially Those From Other Cities

Page 2 article New York Herald January 16, 1921

In 1921 instead of illegals, the New York City Police Department were gathering up men from other cities who were jobless.

This article is from the January 16, 1921 New York Herald:


Jobless Who Do Not Live Here Arrested as Vagrants.

Squads of detectives and uniformed policemen, under orders to arrest unemployed men who could not prove themselves residents of New York City, went through the lower East Side last night and early to-day inspecting saloons and lunch rooms. At one saloon at 199 Worth street twenty-nine men, who had nothing to do but warm themselves  beside a stove, were made prisoners and locked In the Elizabeth street station on charges of vagrancy. Continue reading