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July 18, 2022

Rarely Seen Photographs of New York From the 1870s

In the 19th century, New York City became America's largest city as well as a fascinating metropolis. Characters such as Washington Irving, Phineas T. Barnum, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and John Jacob Astor made their names in New York City. And despite blights on the city, such as the Five Points slum or the notorious 1863 Draft Riots, the city grew and prospered.

New York in the 1870s

In 1870, Long Island City was formed in Queens. Four years later, New York City annexed the West Bronx, west of the Bronx River. This era would come to be known as “the Gilded Age” – a time of radical progress but also great instability as the city's population continued to grow beyond its capacity.

In New York City, changes in the built environment reflected the ever-increasing presence of the poor and working classes. The 1870s saw the rapid expansion of hospitals, which were primarily religious and ethnic institutions that had evolved from almshouses. They served the poor primarily by providing warmth, shelter, regular meals, and basic nursing. Some of the major institutions opened in the 1870s included Presbyterian Hospital (1872), Reception (later known as Harlem) Hospital (1877), St. Johns Hospital in Brooklyn (1873), Long Island College Hospital (1871), Metropolitian Hospital Center (1875), and Roosevelt Hospital (1871).

Here is a set of rare photos that shows what New York looked like from the 1870s.

Suspension Bridge, Niagara Falls, New York, circa 1871

Bellini making the "Conchone Leap" from his rope into Niagara River, New York, 1873

Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York, circa 1870s

Central Park, New York, circa 1870s

Elevated railroad, Coenties Slip, New York, circa 1870s

Girl sitting in a goat carriage in Central Park, New York, circa 1870s

Menagerie, Central Park, New York, circa 1870s

New York elevated railroad, 42nd Street, circa 1870s

New York elevated railroad, circa 1870s

Niagara Suspension Bridge, circa 1870s

Panorama from Trinity Church, New York, circa 1870s

Shipping scene, New York City, circa 1870s

Taughannock Falls, 210 feet high, eight miles from Ithaca, New York, circa 1870s

The Mall, Central Park, New York, circa 1870s

Two girls sitting in a goat carriage, Prospect Park, Brooklyn, New York, circa 1870s

1 comment:

  1. For anybody interested in NY at this period, I recommend reading "Time out of Mind" by John R Maxim




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