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Rutland: 1904

Rutland: 1904

Rutland, Vermont circa 1904. "Merchants' Row." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Sitting on the pedal

The bikes are parked neatly along the curb because they don't have kickstands.

The Overnet

Many photos of this era show the almost complete occlusion of sunlight caused by the density of overhead telegraph and telephone wires. That feature of the turn of the century is not missed.

Water Truck and bikes

Many of Shorpy's urban scenes show wet streets. I wondered if they were watered down on a regular basis with some kind of vehicle. To my knowledge this is the first photograph we've seen showing one at work.

Without becoming nostalgic, would it be accurate to suspect those bicycles parked along the street were unlocked? We live in barbarous times.

Tip O' the Hat

Every man that I could see on the street was wearing a hat. Some are summer straw. Even the Teamster is sporting a Derby. They look better than baseball caps.

One Particular Gentleman

... our dapper friend must be. Look how lightly he steps to avoid ruining his shoes in the water from the street cleaner! I love that.

Whenever I see these street scenes I so wish I could look in the windows. Wouldn't it be wonderful to get a glimpse of the daily life going on behind the walls?

Just last week

I was standing on this exact corner in Rutland last week, and commenting to my friend that it was so nice that it probably hadn't changed much since the glory days of the town. Aside from the parked cars it really hasn't.

That google Street View image is taken at a horrible angle! Practically all you can see is pavement markings and cars. If you actually stand there and look up and down the street to right and left it is all still these great old buildings and looks terrific. Not so much in the way of awnings though.

The sad part is the other side of the street, behind the viewer, which is a vast minimall with Walmart. Now that's just not pretty.

The awning biz

Looks like the awning maker did very well in that town. Of course another source at that time could have been the Sears Roebuck catalogue.

Something Missing

The certain something missing is people.

Both Sides Now

Interesting that horse and wagons drove on either side of the road. The whole right/left choice came in with cars. I hadn't thought of that.

Rutland litter pickers

don't seem to have cleaned up the right side of the street curb or is that just a coincidence? Or maybe they pick up before the dust control spray. Regardless, it seems that there is a lot of rubbish there for such a quaint village center.

Not Anytown, USA

Thank you Shorpy! At first glance this town seemed like many that I have seen in my lifetime. I noticed that the town had public transportation, so checked out the town further and found out it was a very important town. Marble capital of the world at one time. Also, interesting that the city of Rutland is surrounded completely by the town of Rutland or vice-versa.


The horse drawn tanker with the sprinkler arms is pretty cool. I'm sure a couple of passes down the street during the day would help with keeping the dust down.

Electric Transit

One of my favorite sequences in E. L. Doctorow's "Ragtime," set in 1908, was the journey taken on sudden notice to get a young girl out of wicked New York City. Using a sock full of saved up nickels and dimes, her immigrant guardian hustles her down to the trolley line and just starts traveling "north."

Without any planning or reservations, they just keep following each line to its end, where they typically find a recreational park with food vendors, facilities for washing up etc, and a place to board the line to the next town.

Images of rolling along boulevards on a summer evening, with their own little electrical storm crackling across the overhead wires, followed by the next day's run across open country on an interurban stretch, where the thrill of booming and rocking along draws the first smile he can recall seeing on her face for a long time.

In a few days they reach Boston to start a new life. Something about the distant streetcar approaching "downtown" through elm-shaded residential districts brings this to mind.

A Rutlander

It was nice to see my hometown on your homepage today!

What is it?

What's in that horse-drawn tank being sprayed on the road?

[Water. - Dave]

Bicycle parking etiquette

I like how the bicycles are neatly parked at the curb. These days it seems, most kids just drop their bikes right outside the front door of whatever store or custard stand they enter and force other folks to walk over and around them.

How dapper!

I love the blurry pedestrian in the middle of the picture -- suit, straw boater, distinguished white hair and beard. I have to wonder if he is crossing the street after shopping at Hopkins & Howle on the right?

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