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Newspaper Row: 1906

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Newspaper Row, Washington Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Newspaper Row, Washington Street." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The Bowling establishment on the right side of the street interests me. Ten cents a string sounds great! I'm curious to know what kind of bowling was done in Boston in 1906? Candlepin? It was invented in Worcester in 1879, but I'm not sure that it caught on in Boston by this time.

The Freshman

I bet he is dead now.

Old South Building

I have walked down this stretch of Washington Street more times than I can count, and have frequently gazed up at the ornate Beaux Arts facade of the Old South Building (at the far right), have taken note of the "1903" date just above the arch, and have wondered what that part of town must have looked like when the building was new. Now I know.

Are those white dress shirts displayed in the window of the "Wm. J. Flanagan Co." store? Today, it's a Johnston & Murphy shoe store, and I recently bought a pair of shoes there that don't look too different from the ones worn by some of the fellows out for an afternoon stroll on the same street 104 years ago.

Clang clang clang

I have walked down this street so many times, it would be great to go back in time just to experience the sights, sounds and smells of downtown Boston in 1906.

The clanging trolleys, the smell of horse ... well, maybe just the trolleys.

It would also be great to see what color everything was. When you are depending on old photos, the past always seems to be such a grayscale world.

The three buildings on the right still exist, but most have given way to some rather utilitarian modern construction.

Plus ça change

1906: Boston Globe boasts daily circulation of 200,000
September 2009: Boston Globe boasts daily home delivery circulation of 205,071

Red Sox

I'd really like to see this in color. There's something strangely current about this scene even with the period clothing.

Move swiftly, Madame!

No wonder they always looked like they were in a hurry to cross the streets in this era - what a filthy mess to have to navigate in such dapper attire.

That old timer better skedaddle!

That trolley driver looks like he's got you in his sights.

Yet again, another scene that makes me want to go back in time for just one day. Then get the heck out.

Hot lead

Not far from the legendary Pi Alley. (That's pi, not pie -- printers' jargon for mixed up type)


This is at School Street. Here is the same view from May of 2008.

The Freshman

That lad in the "frosh cap" -- reminds me of my grandfather's yearbook photos. Looks like a Harvard man.

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