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Little Italy: 1900

Little Italy circa 1900. "Mulberry Street, New York." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Little Italy circa 1900. "Mulberry Street, New York." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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What a scene!

The throng of people! One has to wonder about sickness in such a crowd of people. How easily it must have been to spread disease and so little medicines to help. Not a good time to live in that respect but I'm sure everyone was thankful they were there and not in the repressive country where they came from. My grandparents were German immigrants and one French grandmother, so I'm sure they were there in the city somewhere at least for awhile. Most of them migrated to Ohio and Kansas not liking city life and having farming backgrounds. This is an incredible picture! 111 years and everyone here dead and hopfully not haunting the street. ;D The person who stated his great-great grandpa's pharmacy was on this street must be excited to see this! I know I would be!

I Wish!

How I wish I could have been born that long ago. Times were much simpler and to be born here would be great seeing that I am half Italian.

Christmas Pilgrimage

My wife's family is originally from New York and part of the holiday ritual is a trip to Mulberry Street each Christmas Eve to procure the goodies for a proper Holiday meal. Alleva Dairy, one of the oldest stores in the city, is the first stop. Next door is a great pasta shop. There's a wonderful pork store near that, but the last three years we've been there the line is about 50 people long, so we skip it. Back to Mulberry and three blocks down is the last stop, Caffe Roma on Mulberry and Broome, for fresh pastries and desserts. Our surgical strikes into the city get us in at 9 a.m. and back home to central NJ by noon.

The throngs of people from the 1900 pictures is very alarming. I'm glad all of those folks weren't in the street Christmas Eve morning! Thanks for sharing this image.

Where are the people today?

They are all inside, at computers looking at pictures of what their streets used to look like with people on them.

Amazing to think

that today every person here would have a cellphone. Thanks for this fascinating picture.

Alas for the departed shutters!

The same buildings, but now they look like mere tenements.

Another Shorpy Masterpiece

So much detail, a History major could write a PhD thesis on this photo alone.

Where are the people?

What strikes me is the absence of people in the current view of the street. In 1900 the street is packed with people and life. In the 2009 view it's mostly a parking lot with a few people walking about.

Who can help but think...

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Madonna mia!

Facce di povera gente, facce da bandito e facce da guappo. Penso che molti italiani dovrebbero guardare meglio la loro storia. Bellissima fotografia, magnificent photo, thank you.

Will Someone Please Invent....

the New York Pizza?

"Jersey Shore"

Those fools on MTV wouldn't last five seconds in this crowd.


Detroit Publishing also had a Photochrom (colored) version of this scene. Click to enlarge.

Just Wow

At 86 Mulberry (here partly obscured by an awning) was my great-great grandfather's pharmacy.

Thank you.

Signor Malzone

The Banca Malzone was founded by Fausto Domenico Malzone. He was a banker, travel agent, wine seller as well as the Artistic Director of The Italian American Theatre club which was also at 88 Mulberry Street. Don Malzone was a respected member of the community.

A million details

There's even a young fellow holding a glass of beer in the middle of the street.

Beneke Bros. -- the best choice for your pedals.

The New York Times said of Beneke Bros. Shoes:

"They carry an immense stock of varied styles, and claim they can fit any man whose pedals are not abnormal in shape, and for misshapen feet they make to order anything that a Knight of St. Crispin can accomplish by art or ingenuity."

Chinatown adjunct

Was down there this weekend. Basically all Chinese now, but still a lot of small Italian specialty shops for cheese, cured meat, etc.

The old "Mustache Petes" are all long gone.


This photo is the reason I am a member of the Shorpy family. A person can spend hours looking at the details of life in the early part of the century.

201 Canal

Corner building with the dark bands of ad copy.

Fascinating glimpse into the past

So many little details. Wonder why so many people are looking at the camera? Did he attract that much attention or maybe call out to the crowd?

84 Mulberry

Looking north. The next cross street is Canal.

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