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River Traffic: 1910

New York circa 1910-12. "Manhattan Bridge and East River from Brooklyn." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

New York circa 1910-12. "Manhattan Bridge and East River from Brooklyn." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Vantage Point?

I'm curious - from which building would this have been taken? I'd love to see (or take!) a photo from the same vantage point.


The building on the right is the R.H. Hoe Factory on the Lower East Side.

The boat is a steamer barge, not a schooner barge. It's not a piteous converted old sailing vessel. Her sails were for auxiliary use in a very tight margin trade.


Yay! More NYC waterfront! I love these pics. That's a Moran tugboat towing the schooner barge. Moran still hale and hearty all these years later. Link to their history at corp website.

Re: Met Life Tower

Can anyone identify the second tower? (Mr. Mel, Peter?)

Big Adventure

I had the pleasure of climbing to the top of the Manhattan Bridge's Brooklyn tower back in the days before Homeland Security. Safely accomplished with the help of a series of ladders nested inside of the tower. The bases of the large globes on the top of the tower were surrounded by large scrunched up and rotting canvas banners protesting the war in Vietnam, which had ended over a decade earlier.

The waterfront activity back in the day of this picture was astonishing, what a rich life, truly metropolitan! New York's transition to a tourist trap, theme park, shopping mall and mega-rich self-storage depot was just a hundred years ahead.

Things have changed, littorally

The wharves in the foreground were replaced by a park and playground in 2002, and are now part of the enormous Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The schooner barge in tow appears to be the Magnolia.

Ferry Terminal

I really love the Mansard roof ferry terminal. I know this image is 1912-ish, but when I spotted this building all I could think of was some 1930s potboiler detective film.

Schooner Barge?

An odd craft is on the right, being towed under the bridge. She has two masts forward, apparently rigged with gaff sails like a schooner, but a deckhouse aft more like a "machinery aft" steamship of the period. There's a small funnel, or at least it looks like that in the photo.

Might this be a "Schooner barge?" That's a retired sailing ship with a small schooner rig that can be handled by the crew normally assigned to handle tow and dock lines on a barge. (This would be a very small crew!) The time period is about right. The sailing rig was used to save the tug's fuel, reducing towline force required, in favorable winds, and occasionally tugs would cast off such a barge and let it enter harbor under sail if the wind was strong enough for that and from a suitable direction, saving time for the much more highly valued tug.

The most common trade for schooner barges was coal in bulk. Note there is a coal terminal clearly labeled with a big sign in the photo.

Met Life Tower

Is it possible, from this angle and at this distance, that we see, left of the central dip in the cables, the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, tallest building in the world from 1909 to 1913, way up at Madison Square Park, on Madison Avenue just above East 23rd Street?

[Met Life is on the left, and there's another on the right. - Dave]


In the enlarged version, that Sailing Schooner about to go under the Bridge.

When sail existed side by side with steam

So much to see and in such detail in this beautifully presented photograph. Great stuff!

Holiday? Weekend?

I was wondering why there are so few people visible? I would have thought it would all be bustling.

[Where would you expect to see them -- rowboats? - Dave]

Fulton Ferry

That's the Fulton ferry tucked in behind that Victorian looking ferry building.

Painting Day

Looks like a couple of crews are taking advantage of good weather to get some painting done on the cables. I've worked on up high on iron, but I believe I would pass on this.

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