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01 May 2012

Old photographs: New York and its people, 1896

¡Pronto en español!

When I heard in the news that New York City Municipal Archives  had uploaded over 870,000 New York images -by the way, the news has spread so much that right now it is not possible to access, and you get this message: "Due to overwhelming demand, the New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery is unavailable at present. Maintenance activities are underway to address this issue." If you want to try later,click here.- I couldn't help to remember the time I have spent browsing some online collections from the New York Public Library

As you may have noticed by now :) if you follow the blog, I have a passion for the past and I love wondering what life was like for the average person and how the historical events that we all have studied affected or influenced their lives.

Here I will show you some of my favourite pictures, with links to the NYPL website where you can see them.

Today I will go for the oldest ones (1896) I can't help but think that the people that appear here lived at the same time as some of my ancestors did, and that they are not actually so many generations away from me. If you think about it, depending on your age, these people lived as the same time as your grandparents, great-grandparents or perhaps great-great grandparents.

What about this double-decker bus from 1896? I wonder how the women could get up there without falling because of not been able to see anything with those huge hats. By the way,  when was it that people stopped wearing hats as an everyday garment?

And the people dressed in the uniforms that corresponded to their jobs: we have the policeman -that big belly seems to be more typical nowdays, doesn't it?, the postman, a peddler (of sponges) -really!-, a man removing snow , see the snow carts of that time here!

What about those other "more popular jobs"? Bootblacks -poor kids! I wonder if they had ever before had a picture of them taken, they seem to be proud to be in a picture- the news boy, standing with his newspapers, but I think I prefer this picture of the news girl, again, what a hat!! I wonder if that could be comfortable in any way, the organ grinder and the pretzel vendor in the streets.

I will comment some more soon, some more modern and some on the city itself :)

1 comment:

  1. I love old photos too, specially of places that I know, but sometimes just of things that have changed almost out of recognition. What I always think, when I see those old double deckers, is how horrible it must have been when the weather is bad. And I do wonder why it didn't occur to anyone to put a roof on! :)