Restored Video Powerfully Captures New York City in 1911

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The Price of Business show and its media partners (including USADC) are doing several stories on the city of New York.

A friend of our media shared this great video, as well as an excellent article from Open Culture on it:

“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.

The Price of Business and its media partners have done a series of articles celebrating New York.  For background on the series and to get links to the articles click here. 

“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.. (read more)

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