Friday, December 24, 2010

Store Front Windows & More : Vintage New York Online

Thank you Museum of the City of New York for putting more than 50,000 vintage photographs of New York online.  Works by Bernice Abbot, Jacob Riis, Samuel Gottscho, Byron Company and the Wurtz Brothers (so far), cover the waterfront and more.  Dozens of wonderful sepia-toned storefronts of pawn shops, vegetable stands on Mulberry Street, tenements, early shots of the Puck Building, bums living in coal cellars, trippers sleeping it off in opium dens.  It's a wild world, the past.

The site is organized into "film strips" which you can click on to isolate a particular photographer's works, and then move through the whole of the images collected.  Visitors to the site can also search images according to subject matter – clothing stores, peddlers, districts (like theater areas or streets), and persons (bums, drug addicts, some famous people).

I can see the S. Klein's Department store where my mother would go to shop with her sister Selma in Union Square.   Or Bond's Clothing Store, on 1530 Broadway, with the giant clock in the "O," a place where my father possibly went to pick up a "two-trouser" suit.

See the Collections portal of Museum of the City of New York.
Above: Bernice Abbott (1898-1991). The window of the Blossom Restaurant, occupying the ground floor, and Jimmy's Barber Shop, occupying the basement, of the Boston Hotel, a flophouse at 103-105 Bowery.

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