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Washington Square Arch, 1905

Washington Square Arch, 1905

The Washington Square Arch was erected to commemorate the centennial of George Washington's inauguration. This is not that arch. This arch was erected in 1892 to replace the temporary plaster and wooden structure which spanned Fifth Avenue just north of the park. In this photo, we are looking at the north face of the permanent marble arch designed by Stanford White. Absent are the two statues of George Washington, which were added in 1918.

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Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Performing the Rite of Tashlikh on the Williamsburg Bridge, 1910

Every year for hundreds of years on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, Jews perform the Rite of Tashlikh, casting crumbs of bread, symbolic of their sins, into a flowing body of water. Here, in 1910, a group of women and girls cast their sins off from the Williamsburg Bridge into the East River. Jews in New York City still perform Tashlikh on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

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Messengers inside the New York Stock Exchange, 1930

Messengers inside the New York Stock Exchange, 1930

Messengers at the end of the trading day on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange write down orders.  The floor surrounding station number four is littered with slips of paper.  Aside from the three young men working overtime, the cathedral of commerce looks entirely deserted. 

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Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

Times Square VE Day Celebration, 1945

On May 8, 1945, the ticker tape came down on the throng flooding Times Square. The war had ended in Europe. A scale model of the Statue of Liberty was on site to oversee the proceedings. With brown-outs over now, Times Square will once again become the Great White Way, and the actual Statue of Liberty will be lit for the first time since the beginning of the war.

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Pretzel Vendor on the Lower East Side, 1903

Pretzel Vendor on the Lower East Side, 1903

A pretzel vendor sits, contentedly smoking his pipe, on the Lower East Side, 1903. Assuming the sign for the event at Webster Hall is recent, it's a beautiful day in October. A man dozes in the rear left, and a cat does the same on the pavement beneath a sign for Juicy Fruit gum. To the right of the Juicy Fruit ad is a sign advertising Harry Houdini.

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Rabbi and Student on the Lower East Side, 1907

Rabbi and Student on the Lower East Side, 1907

A rabbi and his student read together on the Lower East Side in 1907. The rabbi wear a tallis, or prayer shawl, and yarmulke, while the boy wears only a simple cap. They appear to be standing in alley, but seem so intent on their text that they appear not to notice the grungy surroundings.

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Workers on the George Washington Bridge, 1930

Workers on the George Washington Bridge, 1930

Here's a view you don't often see. Nine men casually posing for a photo atop the cables of the incomplete George Washington Bridge. There's not one wearing a harness. The George Washington Bridge, initially named, the Hudson River Bridge was built between October, 1927 and October 1931. This photo, taken in 1930, shows the bridge pretty far along, although clearly the roadways are not there yet.

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Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Times Square, 1918

Hats at a World War I Liberty Rally in Columbus Circle, 1918

There was a time when everybody wore a hat. Here a crowd of thousands, mostly men, stand in Times Square during a WWI Liberty Rally.  There's not a bare head amongst them. If you look carefully, you can see a couple of women's hats.

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Construction of Streetcar Tracks at Columbus Circle, 1897

Construction of Streetcar Tracks at Columbus Circle, 1897

In 1897, Columbus Circle was still the frontier. The monument to Columbus had been erected in 1892 to commemorate the four hundredth anniversary of Columbus's voyage, but construction of the circle was still underway until 1905. By 1920, in a traffic study commissioned by Special Deputy Commissioner in charge of Traffic, John A. Harriss, Columbus Circle was the business intersection in the world

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Christmas in the Ward, Bellevue Hospital, 1920

Christmas in the Ward, Bellevue Hospital, 1920

The Bellevue Hospital staff took time out for a photograph during the holiday season of 1920. This ward looks very well staffed, with three doctors, four nurses, and an orderly for three patients. Bellevue Hospital, known most famously for its psychiatric ward, is the oldest public hospital in the United States.

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