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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 ARTIST'S GARDEN BY CLAUDE MONET

Sale To-day: 1905

Sale To-day: 1905

Circa 1905. "Nassau Street, New York City." So, $3.50. By the hour? By the pound? Oh wait. Per pair. Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Predecessor to the $5 footlong

Regal Shoes ads from that decade help to explain the odd juxtaposition of "women" and "$3.50." Regal's business model was positively 20th century: sell most of your products for a flat, highly-publicized price ($3.50), open up new branches like crazy, and deliver to the rest of the masses by mail. What was less modern was the company's use of gender-specific stores. Woe to the lady who was attracted to the Ann & Nassau location by the "WOMEN" sign overhead. According to a 1906 ad in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Regal's store at Ann & Nassau sold men's shoes, and its closest ladies' shoe store was at 785 Broadway.

1/4 Sizes!

From The Daily Standard Union (Brooklyn), March 22, 1907. In tiny text, under Men's Stores in NYC, the first item in the listing is 102 Nassau St. at the corner of Ann St.

Hanging or Meditation

Corner window of Fulton Building's 3rd floor (?) is a gentleman either looking out, thinking, or hanged.

Bring money if you want to live there

The building just to the right of center, with the rounded corner, is another one still around today. It is known as the Fulton Building and has an address of 130 Fulton Street. When it was built in the mid-1890's it was one of the last Manhattan office buildings constructed with load-bearing masonry walls as opposed to the steel frames that soon became universal.

The Fulton Building was converted into residential condominiums in 2005, one of many office-to-residential conversions which occurred about that time in lower Manhattan. This wasn't terribly good timing for buyers, as within a couple of years they found themselves living next to the massive Fulton Street Transit Center construction project. Not that market value has suffered too much, as units are selling at upwards of $1.5 million.

Hanover Building

North of the Cable building is the Hanover Bank Building (1903) demolished to make room for the Bankers Trust annex tower (1931).

Commercial Cable Building

The domed tower at the end of the vista (but not the end of the street) is the 22-story Commercial Cable Building, built 1896-1897 to the designs of Harding and Gooch. It stood at 20 Broad Street, right next door to George B. Post's Stock Exchange (a small sliver of which is visible just below it). The Commercial Cable was demolished in 1954.

93 Nassau Street

The white cast iron building on the right is 93 Nassau Street and it is still there. The view is looking south, towards Wall Street. Broadway is one block west. The World Trade Center was two blocks farther west from Broadway.

Damn inflation.

Today those women would be $88.07.

 
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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