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September 10, 2022

Incredible Pictures of New York City Crowds in the Early And Mid 20th Century

At the height of the pandemic, it seemed like New York, the city that never sleeps was finally going to bed. Streets once clogged with crowds and vehicles suddenly emptied. The startling stillness of the once-vibrant city felt eerily surreal.

Now, after 2 years, life is returning to some new semblance of normal. The city is bouncing back as it has before. Here, travel back in time to New York City from the early to mid-20th century when the streets were crowded with people through these 20 fantastic pictures:

Crowd at suffragette meeting City Hall, 1908.

Suffragettes on 23rd Street, 1908.

Crowd on Arbor Day, N.Y. Public Schools, 1908.

Labor parade in rain, 1909.

Geo. Philibiss, French Syndicalist, 1910s.

Huge crowd of baseball fans watching baseball scoreboard during World Series game, 1911.

Crowd watching “playograph,” World Series, 1911.

Crowd with signs at the May Day rally of the Socialist Party, 1912.

Crowd watching for Gibson, 1912.

Crowd gathered around exit at Pennsylvania Station awaiting the arrival of Billy Sunday, 1917.

Actors’ strike on 45th Street, 1919.

A sea of hats as hundreds flee after terrorists bomb Wall Street, 1920.

People in Harlem celebrate after Joe Louis' win over Primo Carnera, 1935. 

Lower East Side, 1942. (Weegee)

Penn Station during wartime, New York City, 1943. (Alfred Eisenstaedt)

Crowded streets in Harlem, 1943. (Weegee)

Crowd of people, many waving, in Times Square on V-J Day at time of announcement of the Japanese surrender in 1945. (Dick DeMarsico)

Crowd at Nathan’s from corner, 1947. (Al Aumuller)

People waiting to be vaccinated at the Department of Health building, 1947. (Al Ravenna)

Typical crowded urban scene in Midtown Manhattan looking north on 5th Ave from 31st Street, 1948. (Andreas Feininger)


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