SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Flat-Iron: 1903

The Flat-Iron: 1903

New York circa 1903. "Flat-Iron Building, Fifth Avenue and Broadway." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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The car in question is a Hansom cab built by The Electric Carriage and Wagon Company for use in New York City. They were a failure as they were very costly to maintain. They were replaced by a fleet of French Darracq gasoline autos that proved to be more practical.


Any idea what type of automobile that is on the far right?


Seeing the building today, it still stands out as something special. Seeing it in the context of yesteryear and its surroundings is just startling. Truly an icon.

Equitable Life Assurance Society

Sign on the third floor reads (with assistance of a magnifying glass): Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States will occupy this entire floor Oct lst 1902.


Below is the same view from April of 2006.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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