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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

North Terminal Station: 1890s

North Terminal Station: 1890s

1890s. "North Terminal Station, Boston, Massachusetts." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Hustle and bustle

I love the women's fashion! Also, I think some of today's taxi drivers can sympathize with the bored-looking driver of the hansom cab in the lower right.

Early billboard van

Interesting to see the mobile advertisements on the small wagon in the middle of the street. A good way to exercise a horse, or a waste of space?

Causeway Street

I am assuming this is Causeway Street, looking toward the west. If so, there is nothing in this photo that would show up in the current view. In the 110+ years since this photo was taken, the elevated track of the Green Line was erected, running the entire length of Causeway Street for the better part of a century, and has recently come down. The old Boston Garden, where the Celtics won all those championships with Russell, Cousy, et al, went up where the station is depicted, and has also recently come down, replaced immediately behind it by the New Garden. North Station, such as it is, occupies the ground floor of the Garden. The space occupied by the station in the photo is today an essentially bare lot. Not an improvement.

Vintage Bollards

I was surprised at the appearance of bollards in this photo as well. In the post-9/11 world I became accustomed to seeing the proliferation of similar security barriers throughout Washington D.C. While I suspect the modern variant have deeper roots, the surface expression is remarkably similar to those seen in this photo.

Loading dock

is what I see. Bollards would keep vehicles using same from proceeding on along the sidewalk.

Bollards

Anyone have any idea why the bollards? Presumably to keep something either in or out, but what?

[Look at the building. What do you see? - Dave]

Taking care of business

The guy in the lower left of the photo in the white coat. This is where the classic line came from. "Honey, how was work today?" "It's picking up."

Full employment

Looks like the fellow in the lower left of the photo is a street sweeper and it also looks like he's picked a particularly fecund spot for his trade. In the 19th Century, the horse was the biggest environmental challenge that cities faced. A working horse produced between 15 and 35 pounds of manure a day.

http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/578.html

As a regular rider on the MBTA

I am constantly amazed at how poorly the current North station is designed. Now to realize that it was once a far more attractive and accessible building just rubs salt in that wound.

Like Penn station in NY, this is a piece of history that I almost wish I never knew.

 
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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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