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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 • FLY TO THE CARIBBEAN BY CLIPPER, c. 1950s

Mott Street: 1905

Mott Street: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Mott Street." Another view of the funeral procession seen here. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.

 

Penultimate trip

People who are not from New York or the Northeastern states might not know that in the olden days the hearse would drive around the neighborhood of the deceased for one last time. I was just a kid when I was first made aware of this and went to an old Brooklyn relative's funeral, it was their last earthly trip around the block so to speak. I don't think they do that anymore but it was definitely a custom throughout the 1940s and 50s. Those people who were stopping and staring may have known the departed personally.

Phantastic photo

I could gaze at that young girl's face for hours. This capture has the quality of a painting, and yet the girl's face has an almost modern look, a face you could expect to see today anywhere.

The close-up of the horse-drawn vehicles is an intense delight, as are the faces of the men admiring them.

The architectural detail in this photo is dizzyingly delicious.

This is one of my very favorite pics on all of Shorpy.

The Sun, peeking out

The upper floors of the Port Arthur Restaurant were also the home of the Chinese Empire Reform Association. Dr. Sun Yat-sen, the future founder of the Republic of China but then an exiled leader of the Revolutionary Alliance, often used those offices when in the city. Two biographies say he spent six weeks in New York in early 1905.

Time waits for no one

Every single one of the people watching this funeral has since had their own. And you know what that means for us.

Paleoelectrical wiring

If you look under the marquee/awning on the right, you will see some ancient exposed wiring.

Re: tterrace

Thanks tterrace. Yeah, that guy on the bike won't be bothering me anymore, if you know what I mean.

re: +104

Interesting that new building at the right is carrying on the tradition of having a marquee. Clever framing job on the old building tower, timeandagainphoto. And it looks like the guy on the bike is horning in on your racket.

+104

No funeral procession is complete without fresh roasted peanuts. Below is the same view from May of 2009, sans peanuts and procession.

Not the same procession!

The carriage and driver are not the same in the two photos. Hence the two photo angles. I wonder if these were taken by the funeral company to advertise?

[It is the same procession. The hearse seen here is the third carriage in the other photo. - Dave]

Timing

I wonder if this photo was taken by a different camera from the previous one of the same procession? Both are taken on the same side of the street, but this is on street level, whereas the other seems to be from a second floor fire escape. This photograph is apparently taken just a short time after the first one, since the main white funeral coach has moved only a few buildings farther down the road. Does anyone know if seems plausible to have moved the bulky photographic equipment of 1905 down a fire escape in time to set up a new shot in under a minute?

Centaur

Very weird how the exposure time seems to have merged the horse with the man!

All the trimmings

Notice that every person on the street has a hat on. Also isn't all the wrought iron work on the buildings beautiful. Even the utilitarian fire escapes are ornate. I was born in the wrong decade!

A very pretty young lady

Absolutely charming. Mason, first class, I believe.

 
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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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