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June 21, 2014

40 Stunning Black and White Photos Capture Everyday Life in New York City in the 1950s

Frank Oscar Larson was born in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 1896, the son of Swedish immigrants who moved to New York in early 1890s. After serving in World War I as an artillery man and then completing his college education, Frank took a job with Empire Trust Company in Manhattan, where he worked his way up the company ladder to become an auditor for the bank. He worked there until he retired in the late 1950s.

Frank had a number of hobbies which provided for him a creative outlet and a much needed relief from his 9 to 5 banking job. He played the violin, carved wooden sculptures and was an avid photographer. Photographs dating back to the 1920s attest to the fact that he was always the family shutterbug, but it was in the early 1950s that Frank's passion for photography blossomed.

For the next 16 years he took thousands of photographs, mostly with a medium-format Rolleiflex camera. On weekends in the early 1950s he would leave home early in the morning on photographic expeditions to exotic places like the Bowery, Chinatown or Times Square, or to less exotic places like Central Park, the Cloisters or nearby Kissena Park. Below is a selection of 40 black and white photos of everyday life in New York City in the 1950s taken by Frank Oscar Larson.


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