SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
9000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Support Shorpy

Shorpy is funded by you. Help by purchasing a print or contributing. Learn more.

Social Shorpy


Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

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]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Bloodbath on Wall Street: 1920

Bloodbath on Wall Street: 1920

"Wall Street bomb." Aftermath of the explosion that killed dozens of people in New York's financial district on September 16, 1920, when a horse wagon loaded with dynamite and iron sash weights blew up in front of the J.P. Morgan bank at 23 Wall Street. The attack, which was attributed to Italian anarchists, was never solved. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5
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!

It Gets Worse

It gets worse. If you read detailed accounts of this nasty incident, you'll learn that they found a woman's head, still wearing a hat, stuck about 30 feet up onto a wall.


The view on Wall Street hasn't changed much since 1920 (except for the dead horse, destroyed car and other carnage). Below is the same perspective from April of 2010.

Dear Dave

Dave, which part of my quote is "Dumbness and nonsense."? Do you have anything other than ad hominem to offer?

[All of it. Is air safety unimportant because more people get killed in car accidents? Or AIDS inconsequential because many more people die of malaria? Back to the freshman dorm. With a side trip to Mumbai. - Dave]

Quite a blast

It shattered and bent the upper level windows of the buildings. With the wagon completely destroyed, I'm suprised the horse is as intact as it is.

[According the the various historical accounts of what happened, the horse pulling the bomb wagon was blown to bits. So this would seem to be a different animal. - Dave]


Those who condemn anarchy should engage in some quantitative analysis. In the twentieth century alone, governments managed to kill – through wars, genocides, and other deadly practices – some 200,000,000 men, women, and children. How many people were killed by anarchists during this period? Governments, not anarchists, have been the deadly “bomb-throwers” of human history!

[Dumbness and nonsense. - Dave]

Wall Street

This is in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Washington is in front of the Federal Building. Straight back is Trinity Church. To the left of that is the NYSE. You can see the view today on Google if you go to the street view of Wall and William. It gets close but is one block away.


I like the guy in the background setting up his camera on a tripod.
Newspapers paid for photos like this back then, too. But it was a lot more work with the glass plates and likely developing them yourself. And how many pictures could they shoot at a time? Probably had to make every shot count...

"Terror on Wall Street"

From one of my other favorite sites.

Thanks for the Education

I had heard about this, but I thought it occurred in from of the NYSE, not the Subtreasury. Understand that you can still see marks where the iron weights hit some of the buildings. Now, I will have be able to go down there and check it out.

Nothing Has Changed

Anarchrist are still doing the same type of thing today. No regard for innocent people and animals, just their own political view.

[The Anarchrist, huh? Spooky! - Dave]

They like to look.

What is it about human psychology that makes us all stand around to watch? Even the statues seem to be observing.

23 Wall St.

Anyone have a current picture of this area, same basic angle?

Such impatience!

All they had to do was wait 8 years - or 88 - and the financial institutions would've done the work for them.

Nice work

Nice work - I'm sure we all wanted to see a picture of a horse with its head blown off. What the hell, you couldn't have picked a different one?

[The horse's head is not blown off. We're looking at its rear end. Speaking of which ... - Dave]

Sign of Irony

What lends a certain bit of irony to this horrible scene is the sign in the background: "Albert A. Volk House Wreckers."

Thanks, Dave, for yet another impressive photo to add to our viewing enjoyment.

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.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2019 Shorpy Inc.