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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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Fifth Avenue: 1911

Fifth Avenue: 1911

New York circa 1911. "Fifth Avenue at West 43rd Street." 5x7 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Looking north

This is a view looking north on Fifth Avenue. Virtually everything in this photo has been changed since 1911, with the exception of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the twin spires of which appear in the distant haze on the right. There is today, however, a big pedestal clock on the same (west) side of Fifth Avenue, one block north of its location in the old photo. You can see it on Google Maps, and all of the filigree and other details on the clock appear to be the same as the one in the photo. Perhaps it was moved sometime after 1911? One final note: if this photo had been taken just 5-7 years earlier, the horses and buggies would still have greatly outnumbered the automobiles, even in midtown Manhattan. But by 1911, the tide had clearly turned.

From where

would this photo be taken?

[I think a couple of them are heading down the street on the right. -tterrace]

Right-hand drive?

So early on the US had right-hand drive cars? Very interesting, would love to know the history surrounding the change.

[A situation often noted in Shorpy photos; in the words of Dave, "Cars of the era were a mix of right- and left-hand-drive. By 1920, most auto makers had settled on left-hand drive." -tterrace]

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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