A Photo Essay on Vintage Photos of New York City and The Photojournalist Who Took Them
Just a few month ago the Museum of the City of New York put on their web site thousands and thousands of vintage photos taken of New York. Has I looked over some of them I was fascinated at the quality of these photos after all these years in storage. These are moments in time that are frozen by these photojournalist’s cameras for us to see how New York looked back then.
If you have the chance and like to see more of these great photos of New York back in the early days, I have put a link to the Museum of the City of New York at the bottom of this hub . There are so many photos on that site and of so many different things as well, might be a great project to do with the kids on a rainy day. And they get to see how New York looked back in the day.
My favorite photo I have used in this hub is one taking be Robert Bracklow and it is a photo of men and woman on the beach fully dressed ,with men in suits and woman in big fancy dresses, I thought it was funny compared to how man and woman are on the beach today with very little on. I guess back then they could not show any skin on the beach, and today sometimes we see to much skin on the beaches, how times have changed .
I tried to find the best photos as well has the best photojournalist to make it more interesting, and give you a bio of these men and woman photojournalist who took all these vintage photos of New York and use their photo to illustrate their work.
Requirements in Order to Use These Photos
In order to use these photos I must fulfill some requirements, here they are : You may download low-resolution images for such fair uses as criticism, reviews, or illustration, as long as they are accompanied by the photographers name, the title of the work, and the line: From the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York. You may not alter, add to, modify, or crop the images in any way without the Museums written consent.
And now let us begin our time travel back in time so you can see how New York looked to these men and woman as they looked through their cameras . Enjoy the trip and photos !
Norman and Lionel Wurts started The Wurts Brothers Company of architectural photographers sometime in 1879. Many companies would hire them to take some photos of buildings throughout the city. They had over the years of the company taken many photograph of many building and even home as well. And the collection of photos taken from the time the company started till it closed is said to be more then 18,000 .When Lionel's son Richard joined the company he expanded it by not only taking photos for companies that would hire them but he looked to the future of the company and saw a great market for many of the photos the company had taken and would let them be used in many types of printed format , and did that successfully till the company closed.
Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) Born in Springfield,Ohio-Died in Monson, Maine
When Berenice lived in New York City in the late 1920 she began to see New York changing and taking on this new look, and she began to start to photograph the changing landscape of the city. This project would take up many years of her life to do and most often it was payed with her own money, but the results brought her a lot of praise and fame for this photographic project which she later called this project “Changing New York.” She captured photos of bridges as well has some older building being replaced and overshadow by tall skyscrapers reaching for the sky.
She also traveled to New England to photograph there with her photographic style. In the late 1930, her first book, "Changing New York" was published. In the years after her book was published, her name would appear in many other books and magazine articles. At the same time she was an inventor, and had a great interest in scientific photography which fascinated her. Some years later she took on a new project, she began to photograph scientific phenomena research for the Physical Sciences Study Committee at MIT. In 1960 she became a resident of Maine and lived there for many years, she died in 1991
Robert Bracklow (1849-1919) Born in Germany-Died in New York City
Robert’s photographs shows a very clean and crisp style and that may be because he used a sharp focus and never need to retouch any of his photos. In his lifetime New York was changing quickly and he set out to capture in photos that change. This rapid change grew this visually excitement within him, architectural change was very interesting to him and he went out to find as much of it has he could. He also liked to take photos of people enjoying their day in the park or at the beach or just sitting by the countryside having a picnic. He also travel to New England has many of the photojournalist did back then, and photograph many buildings in many towns there. He still lived in the same apartment he had shared with his mother, and would live out the rest of his live there
Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942) Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-Died in New York, New York.
At a young age Jessie began teaching at a local school in Massachusetts and did that for many years. But her love for photography won her heart and she left teaching to become a full time photographer and make some money doing it. Sometime in the early 1900 one of her photos that she took of the Vermont fair was lucky enough to be published in a local paper and won her the title of being the first woman news photographer.
One year later she got a job at one of the local papers and worked there for four years. Seeing a great opportunity to give her career a boost she ask if she could take some photos for the paper of the 1904 World’s Fair which was held in St. Louis. Her bosses told her that they would not allow a woman to do that . But being the strong willed person she was she went there anyway. She did come across much prejudges because she was a female photographer, but she finally got that much need permit to photograph the exhibits at the Fair.
Has she had thought these photos would help give her career that much needed boost and most of her photos did appear in many other publications as well. Now having become the polished photographer she was she had no trouble finding work. And set out to photograph many of New York buildings and used her camera and style to take many photos which she would later call “the soul of New York”.
After her divorce she tried to keep working as a photographer and also raise her daughter as well. She would take many jobs so she could make enough money for her and her daughter to live on. But the Great Depression took many of the much need jobs she depended on away. She ended up penniless and died at Bellevue Hospital.
The very sad part is that most of her photographic work is in very poor shape and so little of it as well. I tried to find the best photos I could find that would illustrate her work and do justices to her talents as a photojournalist I think most of her work was lost to poor storage and handling of her photos over many years.
I hope you enjoyed this photo essay and it’s time travel back in time to the very early days of New York City Thanks to these great photojournalist and their beautiful photos we get to see how New York looked to them as they lived there and has they saw it through their cameras.But remember to that these men and woman photojournalist did not have all the nice small cameras we have today, they had a big heavy camera on a tripod to carry around and then they had to set it up and get the photos they wanted. So just getting the camera from one point to the next was not easy task . It is so nice for the Museum of the City of New York to make these and many more photos of the early days of New York viewable on their web site and it cost you nothing but time to view them all.
If you liked all these photos in this hub and would like to see more of these type of photos of New York City you can go to the Museum of the City of New York web site and view more of their collection of photos of New York. Museum of the City of New York
And by going on the Museum of the City of New York web site and viewing some or all of the photos they have there is like saying thanks to all the men and woman, that not only had to put thousands and thousands of photos on the museum's site but had to put all the written information for each photo as well. And also had to make sure that they had the right photos for the right photojournalist .