SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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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: 1912

Fifth Avenue: 1912

New York circa 1912. "Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street." At left, the East Coast outlet of California's Cawston Ostrich Farm. 5x7 inch 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!

You couldn't pay me enough

No sirree, not me. Those two gents in the upper left working
on the sign need hazardous duty pay.

Men in White

The vehicle in the middle of the street heading away from the photographer appears to have a police officer and a Good Humor man in back. Any ideas as to what the vehicle would be used as? Paddy wagon, ambulance or ice cream truck?

[The white suits on New York's streets in photos from this era are generally sweepers with the Department of Sanitation. - Dave]

Early movie of 1911 New York City

In this speed-corrected early movie with sound added of New York City in 1911, it's amazing how these first people in human history to have access to self-propelled vehicles seem to have so quickly adapted to them without benefit of any rules or traffic lights, both pedestrians and drivers--it's almost like we had some kind of hard-wired affinity for the advent of the automobile. Of course, skill sets in other areas no doubt helped.

More dangerous than the Titanic

I wonder how many pedestrians were lost on the streets of New York in 1912?

Street Clock at 522 Fifth Ave.

Still standing!

Great old time outfits.

As long as you like Black.

Driving right

I know we've always stayed to the right in the US when traveling down a road, but I wonder when the driving position within the vehicle shifted to the left side? All the drivers in the photo are sitting on the right hand side of their vehicles.

[There was a gradual transition from a mix of left- and right-hand drive cars. By 1920 they were almost all LHD. - Dave]

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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