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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 • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Death Avenue II

Death Avenue II

Another bird's-eye view of Eleventh Avenue, a.k.a "Death Avenue," on New York's West Side as captured by the Bain News Service circa 1911. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

On horseback

I think that's the first photo I've seen of riders on horseback, as opposed to horses pulling wagons or cabs of one sort or other.

And that must have been some really fast shutter speed, to freeze the action like that. It's rare that we don't see ghostly motion blurred inhabitants.

Death Avenue

267 11th Avenue there on the left is between 27th and 28th on the western side of the road.

Tenth Avenue

All (?) of these "11th Ave" pics are actually on 10th Avenue. Easiest way to confirm that is look at the old real-estate (or fire insurance?) atlases at http://historicmapworks.com that show the west side of 11th Ave to be almost empty of buildings between 25th and 26th St-- just railroad yard. Also note the building numbers, which fit 10th Ave and not 11th (and in the other pic, looking south, 34 10th Ave is at the SE corner of 13th St).

The railroad ran on 11th Ave from the 60th St yard down to the 30th St yard, where it crossed over to 10th Ave to continue south. The newspaper term "Death Avenue" might refer more to the 11th Ave stretch than 10th Ave.

[The negatives all have "11th Ave." written on them. - Dave]

11th Avenue and?

Can anyone make out the cross street? Looks like a 24 to me, but I'm not sure. Street's too narrow to be 14 or 34 (They've always been bidirectional).

Man! People think NYC is dirty today!

[The answer is in the previous post. 11th Avenue and West 26th Street. - Dave]

Death Avenue

Eleventh Street was called "Death Avenue" due to the fact that an average of 100 people a year were killed in train accidents on the street during the 1890s.

Trains & Horses

These trains aren't moving at 70 mph...
In lots of cities rails and other traffic share the same space. You just need to get yourself, car, bike, or horse out of the way if a train / tram / trolley / cablecar starts coming at you. Ever driven in San Francisco?

Trains and horses

How long did it take people to decide it's not a good idea to allow horses and horse-drawn vehicles to go directly atop train tracks? The driver of the horse-drawn wagon on the left has the right idea: you can't be killed by a train if you're not in its path.

Why "Death Avenue"?

Why the name "Death Avenue"?

[See Friday's posts. - Dave]

 
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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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