Breathtaking Vintage Photos Of New York City Released By Municipal Archives Show Astounding Views of City

New York City Municipal Archives, NYC photos archive, New York City 1800s, NYC Historical Society, vintage photos New York City

The South Street Seaport circa 1875.

My hubby is a big James Cagney fan so our kids often find him watching one of Cagney’s movies. He’ll usually call one of them asking them to watch something that he finds funny. So while they might walk into the room somewhat reluctantly, more often than not, they are interested in how things looked way back in the 30s and 40s.

Just yesterday, I peered over my computer as  The Strawberry Blond was on and while I admit I got really into the romanticized portrayal of 1940s courting for a split second, what grabbed me most was what they wore, how the city (albeit a recreated NYC filmed in a Burbank studio) looked, and how incredibly different life was less than 100 years ago.

And I know I’m not alone. Last week, the New York City Municipal Archives vamped up their archives adding vintage photos of New York City. They currently have close to one million photos showing amazing views and classic shots of city workers, buildings and streets.

For any kid (or adult) interested in history, these archives are truly fascinating and a wonderful history lesson. (And wow, would this make an awesome history PowerPoint presentation!)

When the photos were first released to the pubic, the New York City Municipal Archives website hit all-time highs and couldn’t even handle the traffic going to it to view the photos. It is still extremely busy. You might want to try it on off hours.

But in the meantime, scroll through a handful of photos here:

nggallery id=’124085′

  • Grand Central Terminal 1 of 21
    Grand Central Terminal
    Breathtaking view of Grand Central Terminal bathed in sunlight circa 1935-1941
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • 42nd Street 2 of 21
    42nd Street
    A pair of girls walk east along 42nd Street in 1890.
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Brooklyn Bridge 3 of 21
    Brooklyn Bridge
    Painters are suspended from wires on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1914. Check out the suits (and the one guy on top who doesn't even have shoes on!)
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Flushing Race Track 4 of 21
    Flushing Race Track
    Markus Mercury Wheel Club in 1894
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Times Square 5 of 21
    Times Square
    Different yet the same...
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • George Washington Bridge 6 of 21
    George Washington Bridge
    The Hudson River from the New York tower of the George Washington Bridge in 1936.
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • New York CIty Fire Department Steam Pumper 7 of 21
    New York CIty Fire Department Steam Pumper
    Quite a difference from the firetrucks of today
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Aerial View 8 of 21
    Aerial View
    Sky view of New York City
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • View of Manhattan Bridge 9 of 21
    View of Manhattan Bridge
    The view of the Manhattan Bridge as it rises above Washington Street in 1908.
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Inside City Hall Subway 10 of 21
    Inside City Hall Subway
    Simply magnificent; IRT Lexington Avenue Line in 1904
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Outside City Hall Subway 11 of 21
    Outside City Hall Subway
    City Hall Subway Station in 1907
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Skyline 12 of 21
    Skyline
    Still an amazing view back in 1938
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • FDNY In Action 13 of 21
    FDNY In Action
    Firefighters try to resuscitate victim.
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Coney Island 14 of 21
    Coney Island
    View from Steeplechase Pier in 1922
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Manhattan Bridge Trolley 15 of 21
    Manhattan Bridge Trolley
    The Manhattan Bridge showing trolley tracks and carriage June 24, 1915
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Municipal Building 16 of 21
    Municipal Building
    View of Municipal Building from Centre Street in 1904
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Delancey Street 17 of 21
    Delancey Street
    Workers dig in the street along the sidewalk on the north side of Delancey Street in 1908.
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Washington Square Park 18 of 21
    Washington Square Park
    Washington Square Dance Party, June 26, 1924
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Street Cleaner 19 of 21
    Street Cleaner
    Horse drawn street cleaner
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Queensborough Bridge 20 of 21
    Queensborough Bridge
    Still under construction!
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives
  • Before Fairway 21 of 21
    Before Fairway
    Old school way to get your vegetables..at the neighborhood stand
    Photo Credit: New York City Municipal Archives

Image: New York City Municipal Archives

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