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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Macys Herald Square: 1908

Macys Herald Square: 1908

New York circa 1908. "R.H. Macy & Co., Herald Square." Broadway at 34th Street, with a glimpse of the Sixth Avenue elevated tracks. Other Shorpy landmarks include Lucio's Pearls and a couple of the electric hansom cabs seen in a previous post. 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing. View full size.

 

Head warmer

Thanks for the close up of our placard bearer, now I can ambulate down to the Hair Dressing Parlour and get me a Marcel Waving False Hair rug to keep my bean covered.

Hair Dressing Parlors

The sign is a typical NYC advertisement, still in use today. It looks like Haynob's Hair Dressing Parlors, which provided services like: Marcel waving (popular female hairstyle of the teens & 20's), false hair, Chiropody (foot care).

[The name is HAVNOR'S (55 West 33rd Street; Henry J. Havnor, proprietor). - Dave]

Rowland vs. Fred.

You have to wonder what was the best and final offer from R.H. Macy to Fred K. Fox for the corner plot before he broke ground on his store with the chunk taken out of it.

Three Twins

"Three Twins," a musical, played at the Herald Square Theatre from Jun 15, 1908 to Mar 20, 1909.

What a beautiful day. The clock on building says a little before noon. Wish I could time travel back there for one day!

I see a circa 1908 Buick in front of Macy's. This is the second '08 Buick I've seen in a post. Have to look out for more of these.

An event

What on Earth has happened here? The total collapse - of what?

[It's dirt and pavement from the crew digging up the street. As Con Ed used to say, "Dig We Must." - Dave]

Cornered

The tale of the Macy's holdout.

Rolls Auto strop razor

I have a Rolls razor which is operated in the way described by Walt. This was only four years after the invention of the double edged safety razor. The Rolls razor shaves quite well too.

Only one head

I'm fascinated by looking at old street scenes. All of those people going about their important rounds, long forgotten now. The street is torn up on the left, and one set of tracks is blocked for a time.

The hot summer sun has caused some ladies to carry their parasols, and a thoughtful hansom cabbie has covered his horse to keep the sun and, maybe, the relentless flies away.

Also, HATS. I can spot only one human being without a hat, the fellow at the lower left, near the Shorpy logo; a counterculture type, no doubt.

Rolls Razor

My dad had one of these which fascinated me as a kid watching him work
the machine. In a beautifully made shiny metal case was the strop on the
bottom and the machine would flip the blade at the end of each stroke for the
return pull. He was very proud of this device.

Oiiinnnnkkkkkk

You could get a dozen Dying Pigs for $1.35. Can you imagine the amusement and delight caused by a dozen Dying Pigs slowly deflating on the floor?

That Corner Building

When Macy's acquired the land for this store, the owners of the corner building held out, so the emporium was built around it.

The same thing happened uptown almost 30 years later when the huge RCA building was erected on land that included the NE corner of 6th Avenue and 48th Street. The old building at that corner still stands, and for years was the site of Hurley's popular bar and restaurant.

Matched Pair

Does any Shorpyite know the manufacturer of the two strange vehicles at the kerb by streetcar 678? They would be no fun in at all in a decent snow storm!

[As noted in the caption, they are electric hansom cabs. - Dave]

The Auto Strop Razor

The Auto Strop uses a single edged blade that is kept sharp by inserting a thin leather strop into the head of the razor. One end of the strop is anchored to something solid and the other end is held taut in one hand. With the other hand the razor is slid along the length of the strop. The razor has a mechanism that flops the blade each time it changes direction. A few back and forth passes along the strop keeps a keen edge on the blade.

Lucio's Pearls, only $3.49 post-paid!

Ad in Popular Mechanics, 1921:

[Pearls, schmearls. I want a Dying Pig! - Dave]

Defy Detection

I love that Lucio's Rubies, Diamonds and Pearls "Defy Detection."

[So small, they're practically invisible! - Dave]

Picture-in-picture.

To the left of the entrance to Murray's Restaurant, there's another photographer working with his tripod in the street. It would be fun to find that photo somewhere in the archive!

Picketer

Wish I could read that sign the guy on the corner is carrying. An advertisement or some kind of protest slogan?

Auto Stropping

I'd love to know the technology behind the "Auto Strop Safety Razor." How does it strop itself? By having you replace the blade?

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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