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Third Avenue Elevated Station at East 42nd Street, 1915

Third Avenue Elevated Station at East 42nd Street, 1915

This particular station on the Third Avenue Elevated line opened for business in 1878 and remained open until the main line of the Third Avenue El was shut down in 1955. In this shot, taken on March 5, 1915, we look north along the track from East 41st Street toward the platforms at 42nd Street with a southbound local in the distance.

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Thompson and Houston Streets, 1929

Thompson and Houston Streets, 1929

Smile for the camera, boys!  Geez, New York was a tough town in 1929, at least if these guys are any indication. We don't know who these men were, posing for a picture on the corner of Thompson and Houston, but it looks like the only time they'd ever been in front of a camera was for a mug shot. Even the two guys with coke-bottle thick glasses look like they'd teach that photographer a lesson if they could see him.

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Woolworth Building Under Construction, July 1, 1912

Woolworth Building Under Construction, July 1, 1912
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Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 1908

Fulton Street and Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, 1908

In this black and white photo from the spring of 1908, we look east beneath the Fulton Avenue Elevated Railroad at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue. Passengers wait to board several streetcars. Men are engaged in construction.

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Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street, c. 1910

Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street, c. 1910

Looking north along Columbus Avenue from West 79th Street, one can see the 81st Street Station for the Ninth Avenue Elevated Train. On the east side of Columbus Avenue, out of the frame of this photo is the American Museum of Natural History. The Ninth Avenue El became part of the IRT in 1903 and was dismantled when the City of New York purchased the IRT in 1940.

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Mulberry Street, 1905, looking north toward Canal Street

Mulberry Street, 1905, looking north toward Canal Street

Those who have read The Godfather or seen The Godfather II will recognize these as the environs of the young Vito Corleone. A hundred years ago, this part of the Lower East Side was Little Italy, teeming with Italian immigrants looking for a better life. Today the immigrants come from a bit further east than Italy -- China, Viet Nam, Thailand -- but it is still a vibrant home for brave souls seeking opportunity and freedom.

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Bicycle Parade in Central Park, 1895

Bicycle Parade in Central Park, 1895

Central Park and Bicycles have a long history together, coming into existence in roughly the same era. In this late Nineteenth Century photograph, you see an early bicycle club, composed mostly of young men, pedalling their way along the unpaved roads of Central Park.

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Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day in the Bronx, circa 1890

Memorial Day began in both the North and the South, following the Civil War, as a day to honor soldiers who had died in military service. Initially, the holiday was called Decoration Day, after the practice of decorating the graves of the fallen soldiers, but in 1882, not long before this photograph was taken, the name of the holiday was changed to Memorial Day. In this picture, we see the remaining members of Union Regiment 73 taking part in a Memorial Day Parade on Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.

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You've Come a Long Way, Baby, Since 1930!

You've Come a Long Way, Baby, Since 1930!

Around 1930, the Women's International Smoking Club hosted its first "smoker." These two women can be seen enjoying a smoke and furthering the cause. Unfortunately, their efforts toward putting women on more equal footing with men, who had been enjoying "smokers" for quite some time, had some unforeseen consequences.

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Lexington Avenue and East 65th Street, 1930

Lexington Avenue and East 65th Street, 1930

In this black and white photo from the winter of 1930, we see an almost traffic-free Lexington Avenue. A streetcar rolls past St. Vincent Ferrer Church, a taxi idles on the corner of 65th Street, and a couple of women saunter past Allison's Drug Store.

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