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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

Niagara Street: 1908

Niagara Street: 1908

Buffalo, New York, circa 1908. "Erie County Savings Bank, Niagara Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Flags

I've noticed in most of the cityscape photos that the numerous flagpoles perched on nearly every building never have flags flying from them. Anyone know on why and would they only fly them on holidays?

Tower Admission 10 Cents

I wonder how many people paid 10 cents for the view from the tower in the building across the street. I guess that would be a couple of dollars in today's money.

Guaranty Building

The building on the left is the Guaranty Building, one of the first skyscrapers, which was designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler and built in 1894. At first I thought that it couldn't be, because it's at 28 Church Street, one long block from the foot of Niagara Street. However, a map of Buffalo from 1896 shows that Niagara Street used to extend all the way to Church Street. Not only is the Erie County Savings Bank gone, the block on which it stood is gone too.

Frank F. Williams

Frank F. Williams, officing to the left of Norton, was a corporate lawyer of admirable conscience. Secretary for the Buffalo orphan's home and the public library board, Frank (with his wife Ruth Churchyard Williams) was a leader in Andrew Carnegie's international peace movement. The Williamses were in the American delegation to the annual 1914 peace conference - scheduled for August 1, 1914, on the German side of Lake Constance. The peace conference was "postponed to a more propitious time" when war broke out that week. The Williamses safely returned to London, then to Buffalo.

Streetcar Stop

If my guess is right the sign highlighted is a blue background with white letters porcelain marker used as a control sign for streetcars because it is hung from the cross span wire which holds up the power providing trolley wire. At this time I believe there were very few traffic signs for general traffic as such signs start to come into play in the late teens and early 20's as automotive traffic increased.

Ferrous Dealer's Half Off

It's not that there is no market for pig iron -- it's just that people wouldn't walk up to the fifth floor to buy it. Even when a 2-for-1 ingot sale was on.

Traffic

Interesting balance of vehicles- about 13 self-propelled as opposed to eight horse-drawn. One car looks like a Model N Ford, and there is at least one curved-dash Oldsmobile. Wonderful photo!

Get a Car

Note how by 1908 the autos are outnumbering the horses.

Times are Changing.

This photograph along with many others you have posted show the revolution in transportation that took place in the first decade of the 20th century. This photo, taken in 1908, includes a mixture of automobiles and horse drawn wagons, but photos taken of city streets a mere five years or more earlier portray horse and buggies and wagons being used for transportation.

Chas. P. Norton

Charles P. Norton, the occupant of the law office atop the second turret, was not just any lawyer. In 1908 he was three years into his fifteen-year term as Chancellor of the University of Buffalo.

Who are

Frank F. Williams and Chas O. Norton and why do they have the niftiest offices in Buffalo?

More & More Automobiles

We have seen a lot of city street scenes from 1900 to 1905 with no automobiles visible. Now it is 1908 and motorized vehicles outnumber horse drawn by almost two to one! I count 15 automobiles and busses versus 8 or 9 horse powered.

Bountiful Buffalo

A magnificent city in its day. It's been said that Buffalo never came out of the recession of 1958. The city still struggles to deal with its slow decline. But it still has magnificent architecture, beautiful homes in lovely neighborhoods, a park system designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and enough industry to pay the rent.

I think that's the Guaranty Building at the left, one of America's great architectural treasures.

In spite of decline, Buffalo is still a very nice city.

STOP

Check out the traffic control device over the street, and the window washer.

Tragic End

Demolished around 1970 to make room for a mall. The mall is barely hanging on, and is generally despised. Here is a link to a slide show of the demolition.

The straddle method

The guy on the 4th floor of the building on the left is using what looks like a horizontal pole placed for just the purpose of window cleaning.

Poor Buffalo

Should passenger rail service ever return in a big way, Buffalo is standing by with its huge abandoned railroad terminal.

16 Niagara Street

Another great image of buffalo this week!, thank you so much for this beautiful shot. This is the former erie county savings bank, which was demolished in 1968. more info here.

Click below to enlarge.

The site today:


View Larger Map

Get your pig iron here

I've heard of putting lipstick on a pig, which looks stupid, but the pigs don't mind. But getting them to do your laundry? Turns out pig iron is not some porcine alternative to a "Chinese hand laundry."

Pig iron is the intermediate product of smelting iron ore with coke, usually with limestone as a flux. Pig iron has a very high carbon content, typically 3.5–4.5%, which makes it very brittle and not useful directly as a material except for limited applications.

I guess you would use it for things like still banks, toys, and ornamental iron work (such as decoration on an andiron). But I still wouldn't want to walk up to the fourth floor of this gorgeous gothic building to buy iron ingots. I hope they delivered, and this was just their office.

 
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