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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

The Motor Girl: 1909

The Motor Girl: 1909

New York circa 1909. "Hudson Terminal Buildings." At the site of the future World Trade Center, a panorama encompassing the theatrical as well as the architectural. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

JELL-

I think these are the letters above the "O".

BOOKS on the roof

On the roof behind the Budweiser sign is what appears to be the word BOOKS painted on the roof. Any clues as to why? For a passing dirigible perhaps?

[It's aimed at all those eyeballs in the Hudson Terminal. - Dave]

Apostrophe Correct?

If Wm. Morgan has only 1 male child in the business, then I think that the apostrophe in "Son's" is correct usage, indicating singular possessive of the clothing factory mentioned on the left of the sign. Multiple children would require "Sons'"

[One son would be Wm. Morgan & Son; two would be Wm. Morgan & Sons. Business names like this generally don't use apostrophes. - Dave]

Apostrophe abuse in 1909

Wm. Morgan and Son's -- at least I don't see a professionally painted sign that says "Your going to like this."

The Brill Brothers

This was their first store, which they opened in 1887 at 45 Cortlandt Street. In 1910 they would open their fourth store, in the famous Brill Building.

The Midnight Sons

This show was a bigger hit and starred legendary dancer Vernon Castle. This was two years prior to his marriage to Irene. It ran from May 22, 1909 through Jan. 1, 1910 for a total of 257 performances. The popular song "I've Got Rings On My Fingers" was introduced in this show.

Context is everything

More photos here.

Brill Clothiers

In the lower right is a building with the sign for Brill Clothiers. The Brill Building (named after the clothiers) that housed many famous songwriters was on Broadway near Time Square. Was this another of their stores, an early location or simply an advertisement?

Definitely an old friend!

He's always been a good BUD of mine!

Wm Morgan & Sons

"Custom Shirt Factory" on the upper floors of the building. Anyone else getting a Triangle Shirtwaist vibe here, or is this facility just the "Salesroom"?

So which way is the Singer building?

I'm a tourist, all I know about New York is Shorpy photographs.

If I've got my bearings correctly, we're standing with our backs to the Hudson river, in the foreground is Cortlandt Street station of the 9th Avenue El, the tall building on the right edge is the City Investing Building, so the Singer Building would be behind and to the right of that.

And if we went down into the street and moved time forward 30 years, we'd get this photo.

Motoring Motor Girls

"The Motor Girl" was one of New York's most successful musical comedies in the summer of 1909, with a cast and chorus of 63 performers and 17 musical numbers. It opened at the Lyric Theatre on June 15 to very good reviews and ran into October with 111 performances. The fluffy plot concerns a plucky American girl, Dorothy Dare, who wins an automobile race while disguised as her brother. She is disqualified for her deception, but wins her childhood sweetheart in the second act. Here's a Bain News Service publicity photo taken on July 14, 1909, depicting the "Motor Girl" cast motoring out to a baseball game, with the show's lead, Georgia Caine, standing on the Studebaker's rear fender.

The Big "O"

What is that huge "O" painted on the tall structure on the left? Seems like a sloppy job.

Roof Ladders

That ubiquitous architectural feature of the early 20th century is well represented here.

Perhaps someone might have used one and fixed that fallen chimney stack.

 
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