SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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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.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Flatiron: 1909

Flatiron: 1909

August 1909. "The Flat Iron building, New York." Yet another iteration of everyone's favorite proto-skyscraper. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

To stay online without a paywall or a lot of pop-up ads, Shorpy needs your help. (Our server rental alone is $3,000 a year.) You can contribute by becoming a Patron, or by purchasing a print from the Shorpy Archive. Or both! Read more about our 2019 pledge drive here. Our last word on the subject is: Thanks!

Pach Brothers Studio

If you look close at the building behind the Flatiron you can see a billboard (on the roof) for Pach Brothers Studio. I took portrait classes from the last owner of Pach Brothers, Oscar White. When he closed the studio it was the oldest operating studio in North America. He had an amazing archive of famous clients' images. President Ulysses S. Grant was involved in getting the studio started.

That Flag!

Close behind the Flatiron. Does it not say "Lord and Taylor"?

Again, it's a good thing the average mph was something like "10" with the way people wandered across thoroughfares willy-nilly. Fatalities would abound nowadays.

Richard Hudnut. One of the sponsors of TV's "Your Hit Parade" in decades to follow.

Where to Cross?

Crossing the streets looks like a free-for-all. When were painted crosswalks invented?

Don't know how they did it

August. New York City, and no air conditioning. The horror, the horror.

The Flatiron in Harold Lloyd's "Speedy"

I used a nearly identical photo to show the path of Harold Lloyd's taxi up 5th Avenue, crossing Broadway in front of the prow of the Fuller Building, during his final silent comedy, "Speedy," filmed on location in New York during the summer of 1927.

You can see some of the 50 New York locations where Lloyd filmed by checking out my blog. I am presenting Speedy at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria-Queens on Sunday, October 16.

View Silent Visions of New York in a larger map

Here’s how the Fuller Building appears in my book Silent Visions, and how it appears during the movie. The arrow points north up 5th Avenue, while the trolley in the back is headed up Broadway.

Carriage Trade Shops

Some of the signs visible in this photo announce the shops of well-known New York dealers in luxury goods. The 900 block of Broadway, just behind and left of the Flatiron Building, includes the perfume manufactory of Richard Hudnut at 925, and the showrooms of carpet importers Van Gaasbeek & Arkell Oriental Rugs on the corner at 935. Here's Hudnut's 1909 perfume catalog cover and Van Gaasbeek's long-running print ad.

An August morning at 9:30

Great pic, looks like you could just step right into it and go back 102 years ago!


OK, so how did they keep these canvas window awnings from flying off into the sunset on a windy day?

SHORPY OLD 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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