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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 • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Chelsea Morning: 1912

Chelsea Morning: 1912

New York circa 1912. "West Street (11th Avenue) north from 26th, view of Hudson River." As well as the Chelsea Piers and fluttering banner atop the Otis Elevator building. 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

A little place for my stuff

The Terminal Warehouse is today partially occupied by a "mini-storage" facility. I kept the excess stuff that I, for some unknown reason, owned that didn't fit in my Manhattan apartment there for a couple of years (until I could finally afford a bigger place to live). Very interesting cast of characters hanging around that place, including some well-known musicians who used their storage rooms as practice spaces, which definitely brightened up the otherwise dreary surroundings.

Terminal Warehouse!

Still there, looks relatively untouched:


View Larger Map

I'm pretty jazzed about that.

Cornell Iron Works still in the works

Sometimes searching the names of the old firms in the wonderful Shorpy photos yields surprises. Cornell Iron Works is still going and the in depth historical information on its website mentions this location on the far side of the cement mixer.

Re: Cement Mixer

TahoePines, you are correct, thank you.

Knowing what it is I was able to find this illustration (or really grainy photograph?) of a similar machine.

Otis Elevator Building

The history of Otis Elevator and its headquarters building can be found in West Chelsea Historic District pages 81 to 84.

Cement Mixer

Putti; putti...

The Strange Device is, I believe, a skid-mounted (hence portable, sort of) steam-operated cement mixer. The large dark vertical cylinder is the boiler, the engine - also vertical - can be be seen to the right of it, and the big barrel is the mixer itself with its delivery chute facing us.

Now, back to Pico and Sepulveda.

Nary an automobile in sight.

But there is a steam dummy crossing the avenue just past the Otis building. Steam dummies were locomotives disguised with car bodies so as not to alarm horses.

[There's an automobile just a few feet away. - Dave]

And I, evidently, need new glasses!

Strange piece of machinery

I'm really curious as to what this device is in the lower left.
It looks like a giant Vacuum Cleaner?

Buck buck.

I love the small details in these photos. In this one, unloading or more likely cleaning up the carcasses from a poultry car in the lower left corner.

Ups and downs

The Otis building is still there!

Night March

The notorious reputation of "Death Avenue" for fatal train accidents has been mentioned here before. An extraordinary event occurred on the night of October 24, 1908, when 500 schoolchildren marched down the avenue, "carrying American badges and flags draped in mourning," to protest the death of 7-year-old Seth Low Hascamp. The boy had been "ground to death" the month before, when he fell off the top of a freight car at 11th and West 35th during a game of Follow-the-Leader.

W&J Sloane Warehouse

The W&J Sloane Company was a high-end home furnishing business. Established in 1843, they filed for bankruptcy protection in 1985. Their retail store was at 888 Broadway, at 18th Street, now home to ABC Carpeting, a similar business. This area was known as the "Ladies Mile" district it had many stores catering to the well-to-do. Sloane eventually moved to the even more exclusive 5th Avenue.

 
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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