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Bureau of Social Requirements: 1910

Bureau of Social Requirements: 1910

New York circa 1910. "Fifth Avenue near 42nd Street." Among the many establishments making this their address is the curiously named Bureau of Social Requirements. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Below is the same view from September of 2014.

Better off a hundred years ago

You could ride open top double decker buses on Fifth Avenue in 1912, something you can't do in 2012, except on tour busses. I rode them in the 1940's and loved them.

From the horse's mouth.

The Temple Emanu-El at Back

The woman at the far left is standing in front of the original, rather plain sidewalk retaining wall of the New York Public Library (that opened May 23, 1911), before the terraces and staircases were installed. The twin dome towers at back to the right belong to the former Temple Emanu-El (1868–1927). The temple featured yellow brownstone, with an alternating red and black tile roof. The original congregation was formed in 1845 with 33 members, yet grew in prominence to finance the $650,000 construction soon after the Civil War. Temple Emanu-El merged with Temple Beth-El in 1927, and together they raised the current Temple Emanu-El on 5th Avenue at 65th Street, across from Central Park, on the former site of John Jacob Astor’s mansion.

As I explain in my book Silent Visions, when Harold Lloyd filmed his silent comedy Speedy at this spot in 1927, you can see the temple being demolished in the background.

Angie's List 1.0

This was a business started to provide vetted servants and services for the rich and the well-to-do. Think of it as a variation of Angie's List.

Bureau of Social Requirements

I give up. I can't find it in the photo; nor does it "ring any bells" in U.S. history.

Social Requirements List

1. Hat

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