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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hung Out to Dry: 1936

Hung Out to Dry: 1936

December 1936. "New York. Scene from the Bronx tenement district from which many of the New Jersey homesteaders have come." There are a million stories in the Naked City, and a lot of them seem to involve laundry. Photo by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.

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What are all those poles for? Radio?

Advantages of 4th floor

I assume that the people on the fourth floor had dibs on the clothesline on the roof. In return for having to walk up all those flight of stairs, they never had to retrieve their bloomers from the lawn because one of the clothespins broke!

Re:Window Box

The box is called a 'pie safe.' It's designed to let baked goods cool without them being swiped by pigeons, gulls, or boys.
If you look closely you can see perforations in it.

The pillows are probably being aired out. I wonder how often they had to be retrieved from the back yard.

As to the small doors on the boxes next to the chimneys I think those are trash chutes that lead to the ground or to a bin next to the furnace where they were incinerated.

Window Box

What is that in the top right window? And what's with the pillows stuffed in the window just to the left of that?

Question from a Country Boy

I understand that the larger (steel?) structures on the roof are for access by tenants, maintenance, etc. However the smaller units have doors that don't look walkable, and there seems to be an excess of them. My lifetime experience with roofs is just to shed rain and snow, so I become interested in the various uses on the city roofs.

Rear Window?

If this image had been shot at night, I would half expect to see the glow of Lars Thorwald's lit cigarette in one of those darkened windows.

Radio Antennas

My aunt & grandmother lived in the LaReine apartments on Connecticut Ave, Washington, very near Chevy Chase Circle [built very late 1920s]. Each apartment had its own ++AM++ antenna on the roof with a cable to an outlet in the living room. There were frames on the roof with the antennas strung between them, as in this Shorpy photo.

Fishing in the Bronx

I assume those are not fishing or flag poles on about every rooftop.

Does anyone know what they are for or their purpose?

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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