Immaculately Restored Film Lets You Revisit Life in New York City in 1911

Oth­er than one or two of the world’s super­cente­nar­i­ans, nobody remem­bers New York in 1911. Plen­ty of liv­ing his­to­ri­ans and enthu­si­asts of the city have paid inten­sive atten­tion to that boom­ing time peri­od when the city’s pop­u­la­tion fast approached five mil­lion, but none expe­ri­enced it first-hand. They, and we, can get no clos­er to it than watch­ing the footage above, orig­i­nal­ly shot by a Swedish doc­u­men­tary team which set out to cap­ture the most cel­e­brat­ed places in the world at the time, a list also includ­ing Nia­gara Falls, Paris, Monte Car­lo, and Venice. The prac­ti­cal­ly immac­u­late con­di­tion of the film high­lights both the sim­i­lar­i­ties and dif­fer­ences between the street life of New York over a cen­tu­ry ago and of New York today.

Take a look at the tai­lored or tai­lored-look­ing cloth­ing on near­ly every­one, even the one-legged man mak­ing his delib­er­ate way past the Chi­nese gro­cery. Then as now, most New York­ers got around on foot, and since the city’s first sub­way line had opened just sev­en years before, the dom­i­nant pub­lic tran­sit options remained street­cars and ele­vat­ed trains.

In the realm of pri­vate vehi­cles, horse-drawn car­riages had only just begun to give way to motor­cars. (Since 1911 was still the age of silent film, the ambi­ent sound of all this was added lat­er.) “Take note of the sur­pris­ing and remark­ably time­less expres­sion of bore­dom exhib­it­ed by a young girl filmed as she was chauf­feured along Broad­way in the front seat of a con­vert­ible lim­ou­sine,” says the Muse­um of Mod­ern Art’s notes.

MoMA, which exhib­it­ed the footage last year, also points out famil­iar land­marks: “Open­ing and clos­ing with shots of the Stat­ue of Lib­er­ty, the film also includes New York Har­bor; Bat­tery Park and the John Eric­s­son stat­ue; the ele­vat­ed rail­ways at Bow­ery and Worth Streets; Broad­way sights like Grace Church and Mark Cross; the Flat­iron Build­ing on Fifth Avenue; and Madi­son Avenue.” Any mod­ern New York­er halfway inter­est­ed in the city will know all those places, and even if the city has changed in count­less oth­er ways, they’ll sense the very same char­ac­ter­is­tic vital­i­ty in these clips that they feel there today. Will New York­ers of the future have the same reac­tion, to, say, the Japan­ese high-def­i­n­i­tion video demo footage shot on those very same streets in the 1990s? It’ll take about eighty years to find out. We prob­a­bly won’t be here by then, but New York cer­tain­ly will.

via Kot­tke

Relat­ed Con­tent:

1905 Video Shows New York City Sub­way Trav­el­ing From 14th St. to 42nd Street

See New York City in the 1930s and Now: A Side-by-Side Com­par­i­son of the Same Streets & Land­marks

The Old­est Known Footage of Lon­don (1890–1920) Fea­tures the City’s Great Land­marks

Time Trav­el Back to Tokyo After World War II, and See the City in Remark­ably High-Qual­i­ty 1940s Video

Berlin Street Scenes Beau­ti­ful­ly Caught on Film (1900–1914)

New York City: A Social His­to­ry (A Free Online Course from N.Y.U.)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (104)
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  • Droy says:

    Lots of horse manure in the street and looks like peo­ple walk­ing right through it!

  • Fred says:

    Every­one is wear­ing a hat, except for a few ram­bunc­tious kids.

  • Is Sojfer says:

    Movies in those days could only be silent movies. Was the sound­track added after­wards ? It’s very well done.

  • patricia says:

    amaz­ing and so inter­est­ing to watch and see the indi­vid­u­als going about their lives. I live near S.F. it was fun to see this ear­ly footage.

  • tom says:

    It says right in the main title that the sound was added and the speed cor­rect­ed (movie film then was 18 fps)…

  • Eric O says:


  • eric oberle says:


  • Kiki Hood says:

    Who made the sound­track?

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    That was REALLY fas­ci­nat­ing, and the added ambi­ent sound gives the film much greater imme­di­a­cy.

  • Megan Graney says:

    I’m impressed by the num­ber of white men on the streets. Females and peo­ple of col­or were not allowed to move freely in pub­lic!

  • Clint says:

    Amaz­ing but could some­one now recre­ate it in 2018 frame by
    Frame it would be great to see the dif­fer­ence nowa­days

  • yo says:

    Not sure whp thay lady is but i look just like her!!!

  • Amy says:

    This is amaz­ing. I was also struck by how for­mal­ly every­one was dressed. I’ve seen com­plaints online the decry mod­ern pub­lic dress as the dis­so­lu­tion of civ­i­liza­tion, but it’s anoth­er thing to actu­al­ly see it. Of course, at the time all cloth­ing *had* to be tai­lored because we did­n’t have the stretch jer­sey mate­ri­als we use now. Also, at the time cloth­ing pro­duc­tion and repair was part of house­keep­ing, like cook­ing.

  • Paula Malarky says:

    Fan­tas­tic video would love to have a copy of all it

  • Janelle Sadler says:

    I just adore this! Thanks so much for putting the hard work into cre­at­ing this won­der­ful video. Very well done!

  • Mike says:

    What stands out. Peo­ple are much bet­ter dressed than today. Notice, there are very few over­weight peo­ple in these scenes. A very dif­fer­ent time in our his­to­ry. This footage makes you won­der what future gen­er­a­tions a hun­dred years from now will notice about us that is dif­fer­ent.

  • Larry Saltzman says:

    Notice that almost no one is over­weight. I watched this twice to con­firm that.

  • Donna Miles says:

    It felt like you were real­ly there,and every­one was very well dressed in suits and 🎩 enjoyed it immense­ly 😁

  • Sue Vaughan says:

    I noticed that also!

  • Sue Vaughan says:

    I saw sev­er­al black men.

  • Sue Vaughan says:

    This is fan­tas­tic!! I shared it with my friends. Thanks to who­ev­er com­piled this footage.

  • papamen says:

    it was a good time to be in the hat busi­ness

  • Larry Barnes says:

    Just think, all those peo­ple are dead! Actu­al­ly, I’m sor­ry I brought that up.

  • Michael (Joseph) Siano says:

    I was just notic­ing how poor the air qual­i­ty was back then. I look at that and thInk, imag­ine if our air qual­i­ty today resem­bles the air qual­i­ty then what an uproar that would cre­ate. They could­n’t even see their sun or a ckear sky can you imag­ine that today. Oth­er than that I like how dif­fer­ent­ly the wardrobe being worn by women was com­pared to today’s fash­ions , lots of big hats adorned with birds feath­ers of long extinct birds /and it’s no won­der why.
    The gen­er­al appear­ance of the pop­u­la­tion looked like they were in bet­ter shape than the cur­rent ver­sion. The absence of high fruc­tose corn syrup in every processed food and the absence of processed foods alto­geth­er made for a health­i­er pop­u­la­tion.

  • Lisa DI says:

    At 5:13 to the left of the screen a guy makes what looks like an insult­ing ges­ture at the cam­era after a kid points out the film mak­er! So fun­ny!

  • Cappie stuff says:

    The Amer­i­can Bible Soci­ety was there giv­ing out Bibles to all new peo­ple’s arriv­ing. They still do exist and give Bibles through out Unit­ed States. God Bless Amer­i­ca

  • Suzanne M Morss says:

    Not many over­weight peo­ple. Every­one is dressed so nice­ly!

  • Barbara Johansen Newman says:

    I just caught that, too, upon a sec­ond view­ing! So fun­ny!

  • Mary Ann Gimbel says:

    When this excel­lent film was over, I was sur­prised to see that my cheeks were wet from cry­ing. I real­ized that my beloved grand­par­ents were about 13 at that time and I had been think­ing about get­ting a glimpse of what their world looked like back then. What a trea­sure this film is! I am going to watch it again and again. Thank you so much for post­ing this won­der­ful film!

  • Walt Trepashko says:

    This is the New York my Grand­fa­ther immi­grat­ed to from Rus­sia in 1917. It’s a tour that feels won­der­ful­ly famil­iar because I saw much of what was in the doc­u­men­tary grow­ing up in New York in the 1950’s. No hors­es of course but some of the sky scrap­pers are rec­og­niz­able. Images from my child­hood were cap­tured in b/w and look sim­i­lar to the b/w images in this film. Such an exci­tiung trip down mem­o­ry lane.

  • Mike says:

    No Gold­en Arch­es

  • George Rowles says:

    Do you think the 2 men walk­ing hold­ing hands did that for the cam­era, or were there gay men walk­ing around hold­ing hands in 1911?

  • Michael Gillivan says:

    I real­ly enjoyed this. Very nice­ly done.

  • Chris Donze says:

    The fre­quent use of elec­tric car horns in the added sound­track is incor­rect. In 1911, cars did­nt have them yet, they had “bulb” horns.

    The Klax­on horn (“aaooog­gha”) was­n’t avail­able for three more years, and did­nt become stan­dard fair on cars until the 1920’s.

    Using this as a sound effect is like adding the sound of jet planes fly­ing over­head.

  • David says:

    Wow!! What a great restora­tion! (And sound adding too!)
    I too thought of my grand­par­ents, who would have been 13 and 11 yrs old and my great great Uncle Eddy who was 23 at the time.
    Although not from there, or an urban area, I remem­ber old fam­i­ly pho­tos just like that, every­body dressed so dap­per with mod­esty and respect in attire being expressed. A time when no tele­vi­sion sucked peo­ple and kids into a vor­tex, while processed & pack­aged food and snacks and high fruc­tose corn syrup sculpt­ed bod­ies, and an active lifestyle was “liv­ing life”. And to also think of their per­se­ver­ance in the upcom­ing WWI, the Great Depres­sion and WWII, transportation/flight, and med­ical advance­ments, all in the era of the slide-rule, no work/no eat cul­ture and lay-away.
    I saw no head­phones worn to block out the world of sounds or flashy, blind­ing, scrolling mar­quees
    My Wife also men­tioned, ahh­h­hh, no cell phones!

  • Eamonn says:

    Very cool video. Kudos to the folks who restored it and added the sound. Com­pared to today, air qual­i­ty looks atro­cious and pace of move­ment is much slow­er. Yes every­one looks more fit than most Amer­i­cans today but over­all New York­ers have always looked more fit because most of them are like­ly walk­ing a ton each day.

  • GrumpyVisualArtist says:

    thanks for this dream­land vision

  • Geraldine Ewing says:

    Dur­ing that time friends often showed affec­tion in pub­lic. You often see men hug­ging in old pho­tos. I noticed it too.

  • dan cole says:

    Actu­al­ly, that’s not accu­rate. There were real­ly not that many minor­i­ty folks in New York at the time, the mass migra­tion from the south was not yet in full swing. Also, many women were at home rais­ing chil­dren or man­ag­ing the house­hold. It’s not because they were restrict­ed from going out, it was because they had respon­si­bil­i­ties that kept them at home. And man­ag­ing the house was hard, time-con­sum­ing work.

  • Rich Bergstrom says:

    What a great piece of his­to­ry. All par­ents should share this with their kids.

  • Tony Green says:

    I turned the sound off

  • Michael Edwards says:

    I won­der about that also! Clear­ly they notice the cam­era; but I’m unsure whether the young men are jest­ing or if they are pleased with their own brava­do in dar­ing to be so open? Either way, it is a mem­o­rable scene. I hope they had hap­py lives in any case.

  • Cynthia Rollo Hannon says:

    Nos­tal­gic for me because my father was born in 1911 and I had no idea of what the city was like then. He became a pho­tog­ra­ph­er as a pro­fes­sion and worked in the city at Newsweek Mag­a­zine. I felt a con­nec­tion to when his life began that I could nev­er have before.

  • Jim Benson says:

    Absolute­ly bril­liant! Well done!!

  • Helen Houghton says:

    This was sim­ply wonderful…as a his­to­ry buff, and espe­cial­ly of this time peri­od, I’m so glad to have seen this and will watch it again and again and share it with oth­ers. Many thanks to all who made this pos­si­ble. I’d love to see the oth­er films the Swedish team made in oth­er cities at that time, if they still exist.

  • David Berry says:

    Fas­ci­nat­ing film, but the added sound­track is spoiled by the use of elec­tric Klax­on car horns that had­n’t been invent­ed yet. Some­one did­n’t do their research.

  • Melissa Keiper says:

    In addi­tion, folks were expect­ed to keep their bod­ies cov­ered, even in the sum­mer, dur­ing which this seems to be filmed. No shorts, no skirts above the ankles. Not even a bare arm in sight!

  • Herkie says:

    You nailed it, I noticed one over­weight per­son, just before the amputee with the crutch­es at minute 2:02 there was a fel­low get­ting off the tram who was a bit port­ly, oth­er­wise every­one looked fit. As for dress, even in the six­ties peo­ple still dressed appro­pri­ate­ly for the most part. But in those days it was an offense to go out inap­pro­pri­ate­ly attired. I noticed air pol­lu­tion also. Clear­ly it was filmed in sum­mer and was quite hot. At one point the cam­era is at least 25 floors up and you can see only a few blocks for the haze, yet the wind was blow­ing, flags were mov­ing about. You could see what appears to be steam plumes on top of build­ings. That would make sense in win­ter but as hot as it was it had to be smoke. And the way that chauf­feured car belched exhaust. I can­not imag­ine liv­ing in NYC and hav­ing to wear a col­lar and tie with a jack­et in high sum­mer pri­or to air con­di­tion­ing.

  • Cathy says:

    That is not true. My moth­er, grand­moth­er, aun­t’s & cousins all lived in NYC. I have tons of pic­tures of them walk­ing in the city. I can’t speak for peo­ple of col­or but I think your com­ment is a ridicu­lous one.

  • Barton Santello says:

    Beau­ti­ful! NOTE: This is not a crit­i­cism, but tech­nol­o­gy has improved such that all the ‘arti­facts’ seen in this film preser­va­tion can now eas­i­ly be removed in Davin­ci Resolve Stu­dio soft­ware.

  • Zooganopolos says:

    It was a real­ly dif­fer­ent world. Plen­ty more trains and trol­leys, far few­er cars, far few­er fat peo­ple. Almost every­one is dressed some­what nice­ly — and like­ly every­one on the trains/trolleys are quite a bit bet­ter man­nered, thus pub­lic tran­sit isn’t a bad option.
    Now New York is a dif­fer­ent place com­plete­ly. Bet­ter in a many many regards and worse in quite a few. Few peo­ple even car­pool and accord­ing to Wikipedia, there are 910 cars for every 1000 peo­ple in the US. Plen­ty are spoiled sil­ly and an obnox­ious. Sev­er­al peo­ple I’ve met in the last few years have called them­selves cut throat. In rel­a­tive­ly flat areas like this, trol­leys and trains would have made a lot more sense, but oil bar­rens got their way, got their mon­ey — from you — and your plan­et is warm­ing up because of emis­sions, respect and decen­cy is here, but few­er between (and often only for those who can give some mon­ey for it). It’s weird.
    1911 cer­tain­ly was­n’t per­fect, but some of the trade-offs we’ve made haven’t been for the bet­ter. In any case, ‘who’ knows what will hap­pen next!

  • Warren Litsinger says:

    Most peo­ple only had one or two suits of cloth­ing. They would wear the same clothes, usu­al­ly, for at least a week. They rarely bathed; gen­er­al­ly they would wash their face and hands only. If you con­sid­er that there was no air con­di­tion­ing, men’s out­er cloth­ing was made of wool, and women wore lay­er upon lay­er of skirts, the stench must have been over­whelm­ing. Add to that the con­stant horse manure and the thick coal and wood smoke in the air… it’s no won­der that city dwellers would try to escape to the coun­try­side when pos­si­ble.

  • Kenji Fuse says:


    One ques­tion:

    Why no seag­ull cries in the open­ing scene?

  • Jim says:

    All pre-‘talkie’. A huge tip of the hat to the sound team!

  • Danna says:

    Amaz­ing footage. And, not one cell phone in sight!

  • Catherine says:

    Loved the fact that it was a sim­pler life — no rush­ing — no road rage — respect of one anoth­er seemed evi­dent. Loved that fact that every­one dressed so nice­ly and every­one wore hats — my kind of time and the women wore long dress­es. The food seemed to be fresh to buy from the carts. I remem­ber grow­ing up we lived a block away from the 3rd Ave. L train. The preser­va­tion of the doc­u­men­tary is excel­lent and it would be fun to see the exact footage of the old with today the new.

  • Norma says:

    This was real­ly impres­sive, I enjoyed watch­ing it and found it mes­meris­ing. Thanks for all your hard work. It was very well done!

  • Irena says:

    I was think­ing the same thing.. its nor­mal to think that, it was 107 yrs ago
    my grand­moth­er was born 1911 so this was real­ly cool to see.

    Every­one is dressed up, not like today peo­ple wear ripped jeans
    and call it a style imag­ine if they would to see that today?

    They would think these peo­ple are in insane

    What I would have liked to have seen if they went into
    the restau­rants and see the prices of those days long ago.

  • Mario Desimoni says:

    Amaz­ing footage!!! Some of that hus­tle and bus­tle is the same as today along with many of the build­ings. NYC is time­less.

  • Mike C says:

    Fan­tas­tic see­ing this. Thank You..

  • rick says:

    slen­der to medi­um size builds on peo­ple seemed to be the norm .… why???

  • James says:

    These are all such great com­ments. The civil­i­ty and cour­tesy and respect make the com­ments like they come from the time of the film!

  • Phineas J Whoopy says:

    That’s because there were few processed foods.

  • Phineas J Whoopy says:

    Now you’re just being sil­ly.

  • JC says:

    The Flat­iron Build­ing is on the south side of 23rd Street between Broad­way & Fifth Avenue…NOT Madi­son Avenue.

  • Carol says:

    Every­one in this footage was dressed nice­ly but not every­one dressed nice­ly at that time. These are the upper­class who had time to walk about the city dur­ing the day. The low­er class were hard at work in the sweat shops wear­ing what­ev­er they could afford, often clothes made out of scraps. Oth­er low­er class peo­ple were hard at work in these rich folks homes doing their laun­dry, cook­ing, sewing, gar­den­ing, etc. Those peo­ple did not dress like this. Many rarely saw the sun as they went to work before day break and returned home after dark.

  • Angela E Hall says:

    This was almost like being in a time machine. It was a won­der­ful expe­ri­ence. I would have love lto seen more peo­ple of col­or for I know they where there but, it was nice any how.

  • linda sheppard says:


  • Janie Mannio says:

    My Dad was born in 1911 and I’m so impressed how peo­ple dressed back in those days. Going to a base­ball game the men wore suits. Today we are for com­fort it is kind of sad to see how relaxed we have become. This is a beau­ti­ful video.

  • Junius says:

    Wow.….so igno­rant

  • Junius says:

    What is wrong with see­ing sev­er­al black men? Black peo­ple have been on this con­ti­nent for almost 500 years

  • Benno Medina VonKupferschein says:

    Humbling..thank you…

  • Jose Sanchez says:

    That part intrigued me the most. Maybe two young men hold­ing hands was just con­sid­ered a friend­ly ges­ture at the time. Per­haps they were indeed gay and doing some­thing very bold. And maybe is just the angle and a shad­ow effect but the guy on the right looks dark skinned.

  • Antoinette says:

    I through­ly enjoyed this old video. Noticed that they peo­ple are all well dressed ander there ladies so trim, no fat peo­ple. Thanks so much

  • Sandy says:

    What a glo­ri­ous time to be born; to wit­ness the extreme changes over the past one hun­dred years! My par­ents, grand­par­ents (for sure) eas­i­ly recalled these life-style changes. I too, have many mem­o­ries of the extreme changes. Sur­re­al.

  • Ruth says:

    I would like to Have a copy of it .when I go to MY now it is so dif­fer­ent. Amaz­ing

  • Deborah Denaro says:

    This film was fas­ci­nat­ing ! My grand­moth­er told me what NYC was like “in her day” but to actu­al­ly see it was absolute­ly amaz­ing. She was six in 1911. I espe­cial­ly liked the bored girl in the motor car. Kids are the same in every gen­er­a­tion !

  • Denys Bucksten says:

    Horse manure became an enor­mous prob­lem in NYC and oth­er large cities. Armies of men cleaned up the manure from sun­set to ear­ly morn­ing, when the cycle repeat­ed itself.

  • Peter S says:

    The city as it used to be any maybe wish it could be. Civ­i­lized and clean and peo­ple mov­ing through their dai­ly lives. A hark back to a more gen­tile era. A time when then Pres­i­dent Taft was lead­ing the free world before every­thing changed. Mem­o­ries!

  • Angelique Pacheco says:

    Peo­ple back then didn’t eat all the processed crap we do today and beside that in most major cities peo­ple actu­al­ly walk a lot!

  • RS says:

    My dad came to NYC in 1914 as a child so this gives me an idea how the city was back then hors­es and horse­less car­riages. Peo­ple walk­ing every­where Thanks for the video.

  • Diana says:

    One thing that stood out to me is that in some of the scenes, there are no women. And in oth­ers, a woman here and there. In the park scene, there is a woman push­ing a baby. Where there are women, all are well dressed in skirts and dress­es. If you com­pare it to today, I’m guess­ing there would be a big dif­fer­ence in the amount of women out and about and of course in the cloth­ing. I’m sure that in 1911 women were home tak­ing care of the kids, and not going to work in the busi­ness dis­tricts.

  • Valerie says:

    Amaz­ing no vis­i­ble acci­dents! And with­out traf­fic lights or stop signs, despite peo­ple, street cars, auto­mo­biles, horse-drawn vehi­cles etc.

  • Jim says:

    Iwasn’t Able, w/o much dif­fi­cul­ty to watch the clip, Jen, but I did see it long ago in ‘still’ shots! Per­haps upon your return, you will be able to show it to me in way you sent it! Looks stu­pen­dous! Dad

  • Jen Frederick says:

    I am impressed with how lit­tle trash there is back then. Pre­sum­ably there were few­er dis­pos­ables. I don’t see peo­ple car­ry­ing much. We could do with less…

  • Marlene L. says:

    Lisa, HOW did you pick that up? I just re-ran the film and yes, it does indeed look like an insult­ing ges­ture was mad to the cam­era man! That is so fun­ny!

  • evelyn says:

    Amaz­ing film. i enjoyed mom wil­helmi­na frost was born in that year.thank you.

  • Randall Tenor says:

    It is too bad they did not film a base­ball game. If the peo­ple only knew World War I was com­ing and that next Pres­i­den­tial elec­tion with three can­di­dates would change Pres­i­den­tial pol­i­tics for years to come.

  • Randall B Tenor says:

    On that point, my father told me there was lit­tle unem­ploy­ment because if some­one could not oth­er a per­son could get a job as a manure clean­er. Remem­ber too, even health offi­cials say we may be too san­i­tized today in some cas­es.

  • Randall Tenor says:

    You are cor­rect. The indus­tri­al rev­o­lu­tion was in full force. Labor­ers were poor­ly treat­ed for the most part, it was main­ly a patri­ar­chal soci­ety, and minori­ties were unfair­ly treat­ed. This is why it is unfor­tu­nate the so many peo­ple are not inter­est­ed in the deep­er roots of our prob­lems today. When we could have back then, few addressed it.

  • Adela Guzman says:

    You know,even in the late 50s and 60s there was still a dress code, if you will. I remem­ber one time when my broth­er went out, then sud­den­ly returned. I asked what was the mat­ter, and he said he for­got to put on a shirt- he was wear­ing a tee shirt. In those days he would’ve got­ten a sum­mons for inde­cent exposure.Nowadays, peo­ple walk around half naked on the street, and no one blinks. That’s how much things have changed in the last 50, or so years.

  • Kelly says:

    Blacks,Hispanics,Asians were allowed to move freely. Stop with the race card

  • Carol Yankay says:

    I can’t thank you enough for post­ing this fan­tas­tic restored
    Film. It was fas­ci­nat­ing to see the peo­ple, cars and trol­leys mov­ing in real-time. I always look for my grand­par­ents. They were in their late 20’s and my grand­moth­er used to talk about the third avenue El and how she met my grand­fa­ther most evenings after work at the sta­tion, with her friend of course.

  • Michel says:

    Thank you for shar­ing, this is a very nice video, with crys­tal clear visu­als! I par­tic­u­lar­ly love the street scenes between 2:15 and 2:50, with a much more diverse crowd and poor­er social class­es. If the movie would have shown even poor­er street cor­ners, I’m pret­ty sure the whole com­ment sec­tion would be much much less nos­tal­gic.

    Also why do y’all peo­ple com­plain about inde­cen­cy nowa­days? Are you liv­ing in natur­ist camps where every­one is roam­ing street naked?! At least, nowa­days every­one can wear what they want, and don’t have to wear suits, ties and hats, or long col­lared dress­es, all the time. The hor­ror of not fol­low­ing a dress code dur­ing your free time, and not sweat­ing all day in for­mal uni­form? Total­ly fine with it.
    And I cer­tain­ly don’t miss air pol­lu­tion and horse manure every­where.

  • Phil says:

    Let me point out some­thing: See all this infra­struc­ture? Trol­leys. Roads. Boats and har­bors. Schools. Street lights. Build­ings.

    All this was pos­si­ble with­out any income tax. What a work­er earned the work­er kept! This is what it’s like when the gov­ern­ment funds itself by consumption/usage tax­es instead of wage theft. Today, wage tax slav­ery is so com­mon that most peo­ple don’t know there is an alter­na­tive.

    (New York did­n’t start tax­ing income until 1920, and then it was only 1% for most peo­ple!)

  • Judy Hoffman says:

    How can I obtain a copy?

  • bob b says:

    the flat­iron bldg in the pic­ture is where i worked ON SAT FOR UNCLE PETE B IN 1954

  • Maureen ferragamo says:

    Great film. I also noticed the smog , the lit­tle girl who looked car sick to me. God knows what she was breath­ing in. Lol. The film was such a insight to days gone by

  • Judy schwake says:

    I noticed how peo­ple just walked wher­ev­er they want­ed to in the streets. I also thought about how all those peo­ple are dead now.

  • Steve says:

    I was won­der­ing the same thing.

  • Charles M says:

    It was­n’t from the addi­tion of processed foods that peo­ple are heav­ier today (aside from greater wealth in soci­ety now affords peo­ple more of what was expen­sive back then), No, it’s the same rea­son that you rarely see fat Japan­ese in Tokyo or any majors cities.….…..They WALKED MUCH MORE than we do today. I’m sure if you mea­sured the amount that peo­ple walked back then it would be at least 3–4x far­ther per day, if not more. More exer­cise, less Uber.

  • Dean says:

    It’s amaz­ing how few over­weight peo­ple there are in this video, shoot the same video now and see the huge dif­fer­ence.

    Prob­a­bly 8 out of 10 peo­ple were hor­ri­bly racist back then.

  • Dean says:

    Yep, spot on.

    It’s incor­rect to por­tray these peo­ple as angels, they stunk so bad that todays New York­ers would turn up their noses at the wealth­i­est peo­ple alive then.

    These peo­ple treat­ed minori­ties like ani­mals, only the wealthy were seen walk­ing the streets while every­day peo­ple exist­ed in a liv­ing hell of ser­vatude.

    Fun­ny how peo­ple like to speak of processed foods as if food was bet­ter then.

    Food back then was so salt­ed it would give you a stroke etc…

    We can thank our lucky stars that peo­ple treat each oth­er with more respect un todays world.

    It’s entire­ly like­ly that only the strong in this peri­od would sur­vive today, very few of them are seen un this video.

    It is super cool to see this peri­od in motion though, look at the filth they were breath­ing, the air is chock full of poi­sons and par­tic­u­lates„ traces can still be found in the crevaces on the roof tops of those old build­ings.

  • Dean says:

    Truth, the Japan­ese have only recent­ly aquired a habit of eat­ing cows.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.