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Maritime Manhattan: 1898

Maritime Manhattan: 1898

New York circa 1898. "Produce Exchange with tower, East River and Brooklyn from the Washington Building." 5x7 inch glass negative by William Henry Jackson. View full size.


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Raising cane

Three on the right, one on the left with his cane in the air, seems they knew the photo was being taken.

Tower View

The view from the tower must have been a special treat -

Like this

It must be a Monday in NY

Looking at the roofs, there's a lot of wash on the line.

Masts and steeples

Chimneys and smoke. And three hatted gents on the observation deck of the tower.

There until 1957

The interesting history of the Produce Exchange building can be found at this blog.

Sustainablility, sailsistance, sailstainablility

I am always fascinated by the fact of how long commercial sailing ships kept sticking around.

Judging from this photo one would assume that sails still accounted for the bulk of all commercial maritime traffic at the time. A lot more merchies with masts and sails in sight than merchies with those (relatively) newfangled steam engines.

Well, coal cost money, wind was free, and labor was cheap, I guess.

Still Sailing after All These Years

Although the dominance of labor-intensive commercial sailing vessels may seem paradoxical in a scene dating from so late in the Age of Steam, the fact is that, during most of the 19th century, steamships were not efficient enough to cross oceans without having to devote a large portion of their capacities to the carrying of their own coal for fuel. Sailing ships, which had made significant gains in speed during this period, remained competitive on certain freight routes until the eve of the First World War.

The Produce Exchange

was replaced by 2 Broadway, a glass box erected in 1958/59. 2 Broadway served as a backdrop for Billy Wilder's 1960 film The Apartment. I took this photo of 2 Broadway as I emerged out of the Bowling Green subway station back in May 2015.

Toot, toot!

Can you imagine the sounds? When my grandfather was telling me about arriving in NY harbor from Croatia in 1914 he said that one boat; "toot, toot!" and the next boat answers "Toot! toot!" Hundreds of boats blowing warnings and intentions to other boats.

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