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April 29, 2022

New York in the Early 20th Century Through Fascinating Photos

During the years of 1898–1945, New York City consolidated. New York City became the capital of national communications, trade, and finance, and of popular culture and high culture. More than one-fourth of the 300 largest corporations in 1920 were headquartered there.

New York in the early 20th century

New transportation links, especially the New York City Subway, opened in 1904, bound together the new metropolis. Increased immigration of Catholic and Jewish workers from Southern and Eastern Europe expanded the labor force until the World War ended immigration in 1914. Labor shortages during the war attracted African Americans from the Southeast, who headed north as part of the Great Migration. They sponsored the Harlem Renaissance of literature and culture celebrating the black experience.

The Roaring Twenties were years of glamour and wealth, highlighted by a construction boom, with skyscrapers built higher and higher in the famous skyline. New York’s financial sector came to dominate the national and the world economies.

These fascinating photos from Wolfgang Wiggers captured street scenes of New York in the early 20th century.

Balmer's Bathing Pavilion on Coney Island, New York, circa 1900

Balmer's Bathing Pavilion on Coney Island, New York, circa 1900

The Lusitania leaving New York, circa 1910

Chinatown, New York, 1914

Drinking trough (Probably in Central Park), New York, 1914

New York skyline, 1914

New York, 1914

Pell Street in Chinatown. The Chinese Delmonico is visible back right, New York, 1914

Skyscrapers, New York, 1914

The General Sherman Monument in New York, 1914

The Hamburg American Building, New York, 1914

The High Line, New York, 1914

The High Line, New York, 1914

Lonely in New York, January 6, 1921

The Battery Place elevated station near One Broadway (Washington Building), circa 1921

Near Bowling Green and old Standard Oil Building, New York, 1924

New York skyline, 1927

Ladies in furs, New York, circa 1920s


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