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St. George Street: 1894

St. George Street: 1894

Florida circa 1894. "St. George Street, St. Augustine." 8x10 inch glass negative by William Henry Jackson. View full size.


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Long wire into roof

It appears that the long wire on the right just enters the house roof right through the shingles. Could this be a line marked on the picture and not an electrical or telegraph wire?

[The wire, which passes in front of the roof, ends at the pole, wrapped around it. Thanks to willc for pointing this out. - Dave]

My wife wants to go shopping there

There's a Singer sewing machine office, a shooting gallery, a music shop, Mackenzie's Florida Curios, and has the telegraph pole worn away from having horses tethered to it? Also, Joseph F. Canova's printers, of whom we learn more here and of the family here -- printing ink was in the blood, it would seem.

Department of Thinking Too Much

Aha! Was my face red! Thanks Dave, for providing a more legible close detail. That's not a Chinaman, that's a shop boy in a dirty apron, holding an Infernal Device. As for the supposed second figure, there's no one there at all. I'd like to be able to claim that I read the Chinese figures into the image because of my annoyingly foggy laptop screen and an overindulgence in dried frog pills, but I managed to imagine the figures while stone sober. And it's Felice Beato and John Thomson, as long as I'm correcting myself. Regarding the clutter in my mind's eye, here's an Arnold Genthe photo from 1908, not all that different from what I thought I was seeing in the distance.

Barber plank

Instead of a pole outside the barber shop on the left. I also noticed some lightning rods on top of some of the taller buildings. With Florida being the number one state in lightning strikes, must have been an easy thing to sell.

Strange clothing shapes

Two people, one child-sized, are barely visible in the enlargement, standing in a shop doorway way down the block on the right next to the buggies. It looks as if the taller figure is a male wearing pants, a tunic over long sleeves, and a skullcap, and the shorter is wearing pants and a tunic, a bell-shaped jacket and a similar cap. I've looked at so many old Chinese-subject photos (Arnold Genthe, Felix Beato, John Thompson) that these barely visible costumes immediately look Chinese to me. Not impossible, since there were Chinese immigrants living all over the United States by 1894. But I don't know much about old Florida and its regional costumes. Could these two be Seminoles instead of Chinese? Or the neighborhood butcher in his apron, and a kid in an unlikely raincoat with a shoulder cape?

[I see Indians, Chinamen and a midget Eskimo. Click to enlarge. - Dave]

I wish

I could use Google street view on this picture so I could continue down the road and look at all the stores.

It is probably good that I can't, as there are so many excellent pictures here that I wish I could enter and explore. I would never get anything done!

St. St. St.

I'm amused by all the abbreviations in the caption... Two Saints and a Street!

I'm also loving this batch of FL pix. I'm a native Floridian (from the Panhandle) and I love seeing how the state used to look. But I have a hard time imagining how anyone survived in those days, pre-A/C.

Re: The Cage

Grand mystery solved! Once again Dave's one liners start my day off with a laugh!

The Cage

There is a caged shelf jutting out right above the little boy in the front of the picture. It is not unlike the guards installed around urban window air conditioners on a street level window. They are used to safeguard the air conditioner and protect the room behind it from a break in. Was it used for winter storage of perishables? Anybody know what they were used for?

[One clue might be the bird inside. - Dave]

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