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Fifth at 42nd: 1910

Fifth at 42nd: 1910

New York circa 1910. "Traffic at Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street." A vista last glimpsed here. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Big Road Apple

In the late 19th century up to 200,000 horses were working in New York City and leaving roughly 2.5 million pounds of manure and 60,000 gallons of urine on the streets every day. As seen in the right side of the photograph, members of the New York City Department of Sanitation (known as "White Wings" because of their white uniforms) were responsible for removing the waste and generally keeping the streets clean.

Horse houses

I can't help but wonder where all the horses were stabled and what happened to that business when the automobile took over.

[Horses were kept in multi-story livery stables. - Dave]

To Mr. Streetsweeper

Ben Turpin, is that you??

Small(er) delta

It's arguable, of course, but I would maintain that the change in the 73 years since 1949 is far less than in the 39ish before it.

I guess that sign needed a good cleaning

Comparing the two photographs, I'm pretty sure the one posted today was taken first. It makes more sense that the streetsweeper was working his way towards the horse apples and then they were gone in the second photo. But did the photographer walk forward several steps between shots or was it possible to zoom in from where he was? The building on the left is the same in both photos, but the building on the right was cropped in the second. Even though the traffic is very different in the photos, it all happened while the man in the enlargement cleaned a small sign.

[The photo was cropped by me. The uncropped images are here and here. - Dave]


Below is the same view from September of 2014.

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