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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

On the Avenue: 1913

On the Avenue: 1913

March 23, 1913. New York. "Easter Sunday, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

 

J. Walker

Manhattanites cross in between, not on the green. Apparently it's a very old story.

Zoolak!

I love the advertisement on the building to the right, for Dr. Dadirrian's Zoolak. It was some type of patent medicine. I happen to have a bottle from the same time period that is embossed with exactly that same product name. Wonder what was actually in it and what it was supposed to cure or remedy? I've always been curious. I collect antique bottles. Especially patent medicine bottles from the 19th century, so I find this photograph quite informative and interesting.

[A quick google shows Zoolak to have been lightly fermented milk. - Dave]

ZOOLAK.

The subjoined analysis of Dr. Dadirrian's zoolak was made by Edgar E. Wright of Brooklyn, N. Y.

In every 100 parts of zoolak there are:

Water 87.69
Proteid substances 3.98
Fat 4.91
Milk-sugar 2.03
Alcohol 0.07
Ash or mineral salts 0.78
Lactic acid 0.50
Carbon dioxide 0.04

This analysis shows that in the production of zoolak but little change is wrought in the percentage composition of the original cow's milk, save what would naturally be produced by the fermenting and peptonizing actions of the kefir ferment. These fermentative changes primary and secondary consist in:

1. The transmutation of a portion of the natural milk sugar into alcohol, lactic acid, and carbon dioxide.

2. The transmutation of a certain percentage of the proteid substances into protoses, and finally, perhaps, into true diffusible peptones.

Playbill

Sam Bernard -- All For The Girls

The Five Frankfurturs (NY 1913) and The Five Frankfurters (London)

Honeymoon Express --- go down halfway to a pic of Al Jolson. Interesting story about opening night.

Fanny's First Play plus The Script

Hats, Hats and Hats

I could NOT find anyone in picture, male or female, without a hat!

Houses of Worship

The nearer of the two is Congregation Emanu-El at 43rd Street. In 1929 it moved to its current location at 65th and Fifth Avenue, where it's one of the world's largest synagogues. In the distance is the spire of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Very clean streets

Not a scrap of litter anywhere. Delightful.

Double-deckers

Note the double-decker coaches to the right. Sightseeing? Some things just don't change in NYC.

Churches

There are two in the photo. What were they, and what happened to them?

42nd & Fifth

The building under the Michelin sign, 500 Fifth Avenue, was replaced by a 78-story office building in 1930. There are retail stores on the ground floor. Other than Nat Sherman, a tobacconist who occupied the corner store for many years, there weren't any unusual tenants. Nat Sherman moved across 42nd Street a couple of years ago. Stern Brothers also had a department store at that location or right next to it on 42nd Street. 505 Fifth Avenue, on the northeast corner, under the H.L. Herbert and Zoolax signs, has been replaced by an unimpressive 28-story glass box called the CIT building. It has an H&M clothing store in its retail space. The library site was originally a reservoir.

Half-staff

I've been trying to figure out why the flag is at half staff. The Omaha tornado which killed over a hundred people happened that day but not until Easter evening. Any idea why the country or city or state would be in mourning?

[The flagpole is in front of the New York Public Library, whose director, John Shaw Billings, had died March 11. - Dave]

Fifth and 42nd Today

Michelin.

It's interesting that even as far back as the teens, Michelin was selling tires in this country.

Do De Do Do

How funny that I was just watching the 1948 film "Easter Parade" and wondering about Easter parades in real life before I came to look at this Shorpy update. Stop reading my mind!

Gabrielle of the Lilies

Gaby Deslys sounds so familiar, but I've never seen any of her very few movies. But that gilded swan creation Norma Desmond uses for a bed? Belonged to Gaby.

Reading material

There's a lot to read on this street, even if you don't have a card for the New York Public Library, on the left.

 
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