New York City

Oyster Seller on South Street, c. 1900

Oyster Seller on South Street, c. 1900

Back when the South Street Seaport had yet to be turned into a tourist attraction and mall, carts like this could be found selling their wares along the pier.  This Oyster Seller is offering free ice water to all -- although it probably tastes a little fishy.

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Museum of Natural History, 1913

Museum of Natural History, 1913

The photo, taken by the Irving Underhill Studios in 1913, shows the Museum of Natural History's 77th Street Facade.  This was the main entrance to the museum until 1936 when it was moved to the Central Park West side at 79th Street.  The view here is northeast from the Elevated Train platform.  The tracks can be seen in the foreground, running along Columbus Avenue.  The Ninth Avenue El closed in June 1940, when the City of New York purchased the IRT line.

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Cherry Street and Rutgers Slip, c. 1890

Cherry Street and Rutgers Slip, c. 1890

A group of children play on a cart on Cherry Street in Lower Manhattan in the late 1800s. Children have a wonderful way of making fun where they find it and children of yesterday were no exception. It is a beautiful day in the city, and these children are forgoing one of the city's many playgrounds to make the most of this unattended cart.

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Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square with Streetcars and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, 1899

Herald Square, pictured here in 1899, was named after the New York Herald, the largest circulation newspaper of the time. The New York Herald Building was designed by McKim, Mead & White, and constructed in 1895. Herald Square could be called the ancestor of Times Square as the hub of New York City life. At the intersection of Sixth Avenue, Broadway, and 34th Street, with access to the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train and numerous streetcars, it was certainly a pre-eminent crossroads, well-trafficked enough to entice Macy's to open their flagship store there in 1907.

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Sightseeing Bus in front of Flatiron Building, 1910

Sightseeing Bus in front of Flatiron Building, 1910

New York City has always attracted tourists. Here a busload of them prepare to see the sights, and there's no better place to begin than the Flatiron Building, which had only opened a few years before, in 1902. The official name of the Flatiron is the Fuller Building,   which is inscribed on the metal gates below the arch.

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Depression Era Apple Seller at Broadway and W. 32 Street, 1930

Depression Era Apple Seller at Broadway and W. 32 Street, c. 1930

In 1930, the International Apple Shippers Association, overstocked on fruit, came up with short term solution for the unemployed. They sold them apples at a greatly reduced rate on credit. By November, there were 6,000 apple sellers in New York City alone. This remedy only worked while the overstock of fruit lasted, and by the end of 1931 the apple sellers were all gone. Here we see a young woman buying an apple from an unemployed man at Greeley Square. The Sixth Avenue Elevated Station can be see in the background.

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Grand and Thompson Streets, 1927

Grand and Thompson Streets, 1927

Was there ever a time when New York City was not under construction? Here, at the corner of Thompson and Grand in November, 1927, construction is business as usual. The photographer looks east, past construction on either side of the street, toward the West Broadway and the Grand Street Station of the Sixth Avenue Elevated Train, which ceased running in 1938. It was replaced by the IND line, which is probably what is being built in this photograph.

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Woolworth Building Under Construction, July 1, 1912

Woolworth Building Under Construction, July 1, 1912
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Train Departure Concourse, Pennsylvania Station, 1938

Train Departure Concourse, Pennsylvania Station, 1938

There was a time, not all that long ago, when railroads were the dominant form of travel in the United States, and the train stations of major cities reflected their importance. Pennsylvania Station in New York City was the grand-daddy of them all. Designed by the firm of McKim, Mead & White in the Beaux-Arts style, Penn Station was the ultimate blend of functionality with monumental grandeur.

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