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Dandruff Avalanche: 1903

May 1903. New York. "Newsboys at Greeley Square." Our title is a word salad plucked fresh from this 8x10 inch glass negative. Detroit Photographic Company.  View full size.

May 1903. New York. "Newsboys at Greeley Square." Our title is a word salad plucked fresh from this 8x10 inch glass negative. Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

The Frank Slide

Canada's deadliest avalanche, known as the Frank Slide, occurred at the end of April, 1903. I wonder if that warranted a headline?

[As noted below, the headline is about an avalanche on Mont Blanc in the Alps. - Dave]

If I thought the Frank Slide was the subject of the headline pictured, I wouldn't have wondered if it warranted a headline of its own. Still loving my daily Shorpy time travel.

The Constitution was a Train Wreck

The Constitution was a contender to defend the 1903 America's Cup. She lost to the 1899 winner Columbia, principally owing to the ineptitude of her crew. Columbia went on to beat Sir Thomas Lipton's Shamrock II in the 1903 Cup.

Constitution wrecked?

The headline about the Mount Blanc Avalanche is interesting. I wonder if they're referring to the ship Old Ironsides or some piece of legislation the paper believes wrecks our country's most precious document. I'll vote for the USS Constitution as in 1903, Charles Francis Adams III, descendant of two US Presidents and in his role as president of the Massachusetts Historical Society at the time, requested Congress rehabilitate Old Ironsides and place her in active service. That would happen 22 years later when her restoration began.

[The Constitution was a racing yacht. - Dave]

The Shining

Small detail; But every adult in the picture appears to have a shine on their shoes.
Even the guy sitting on the right holding a stick, his shoes are a little rougher than the others, but there is still evidence of a shoeshine on the tip of the toes.

Later known as Herald Square

That's the Sixth Avenue El in the photograph. 1903 places during the period when electrification of the line was new and the first subway was under construction.

Today (from a different angle), courtesy of Wikimedia:

The New Coke!

Prevents baldness and clear thinking.

Old Style Humor

Dad (1919-1997) was a mixture of Jackie Gleason, Danny Thomas, Red Skelton, and Spike Jones. One of his many quips that he would shout out as he did household chores was:

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! 20,000 soles found dead in a shoe factory!

No, thank you, I already have one

I notice our dapper pedestrian in his bowler (derby?) isn't being petitioned to purchase a newspaper from any of the several vendors around him, no doubt because he is already carrying a newspaper. Reminds me of men or women who wear wedding rings when they're not married.

6th Avenue El

On the right side of the Shorpy photo is the 33rd Street station of the long-vanished 6th Avenue Elevated. The building is the Union Dime Savings Bank, also vanished (though it outlasted the El by 20 years).

In center of the image below, you are looking straight down the sidewalk in the 1903 photo.

Greeley Square

Greeley Square is a triangular park bounded by Broadway and 6th Avenue between West 32nd and 33rd Streets, two blocks south of Herald Square. It is named for one of the most eccentric figures in American history and contains a seated statue of him.

Horace Greeley (1811-1872) founded the New York Tribune, which by 1850 was the nation’s highest-circulation newspaper. One of the founders of the Republican Party, he was a continual irritant to Abraham Lincoln, not just because he thought he should dictate policy, but because he kept flailing among positions, supporting ‘peaceable secession’, then a strong war effort, immediate abolition, then a negotiated settlement with the South. Always enthusiastic, there was hardly any fad or ‘reform’ that he did not advocate at one time of another. (He was for, then against, women’s suffrage.) He supported Reconstruction but signed Jefferson Davis’s bail bond. Breaking with the Republican Party, he was nominated for president in 1872 on a fusion ticket with Democrats, lost badly to Grant, and died a month later.

He is perhaps best remembered for “Go West, young man,” a phrase he denied coining. (It probably originated with John B. L. Soule, an Indiana publisher.)

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