Author Topic: New York City film - 1911  (Read 1809 times)

Roger Cole

  • Switchman
  • **
  • Posts: 88
    • View Profile
New York City film - 1911
« on: December 13, 2018, 06:46:34 PM »
An interesting "slice of life" in the better part of New York City taken in 1911.  Featuring transportation modes of the day - horse-drawn vehicles, early automobiles, streetcars, electric commuter trains & steam-powered ferries.  Note how everyone seems to be dressed up and slim compared to today.

https://www.facebook.com/thevintagenews/videos/1946985898931342/UzpfSTE5MzMzMDA3MTI3ODoxMDE1NjA5Nzc3NDQzMTI3OQ/

Philip Marshall

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2018, 07:08:05 PM »
Here is a longer version of the same film that begins on a Brooklyn-Manhattan ferry boat crossing the East River:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aohXOpKtns0

It was taken by the Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern on a visit to the US and is now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in NY.

Wayne Laepple

  • Museum Member
  • Supervisor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,606
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2018, 07:34:38 PM »
Here's some film of the original West Side freight line in New York City, prior to the building of the so-called High Line. Check out the brakemen on the roof of high cars! And notice the enclosed locomotive, either a Climax or a Shay "dummy", shrouded so as not to scare the horses! At one time, a man on horseback carrying a red flag was required by regulation to precede each train in the street.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4o3TmAMvHo

Philip Marshall

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2018, 07:50:37 PM »
That's a great video, Wayne. I especially love the engineer hamming it up for the camera at 4:28. (Also, note the two whistle blasts at 4:54. The sound in the second half of the video is original, not dubbed!) It also makes it clear why the City of New York insisted the New York Central elevate the line, as a matter of public safety.

John Stone

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 337
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2018, 11:46:00 PM »
Fascinating stuff! Did you notice the brakemen on the cartops, passing signals for kicking cars! Takes some real sea legs for that!

Bill Baskerville

  • Museum Member
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 771
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2018, 03:35:47 AM »
Great videos.  I noticed that the street cars had three types of locomotion.  Underground cable, overhead electric and third rail electric.  It looked like the third rail lines were for longer trains and distances.  Interesting.
Wascally Wabbit & Gofer

Steve Smith

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 578
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2018, 04:26:03 AM »
Great to see that walking beam on what was probably a ferry boat. At least one of the Hudson River Dayline ships plying the Hudson River between New York City and destinations such as Bear Mountain, Poughkeepsie and Albany also had a walking beam. Another had a three-cylinder compound engine with the cylinder axes horizontal and their connecting rods directly driving the horizontal paddlewheel shaft. I have fond memories of the Dayline trips made by my high school junior and senior classes in 1945 and 1946. Would somebody on the Forum know when the Hudson River Dayline quit using steam power? 

Philip Marshall

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2018, 05:02:53 AM »
The last Hudson River Day Line steamboat, the Alexander Hamilton, was in service until 1971.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PS_Alexander_Hamilton

A nice history of the company can be found here: https://newyorkhistoryblog.org/2017/02/a-short-history-of-the-hudson-river-day-line/
« Last Edit: December 14, 2018, 05:09:03 AM by Philip Marshall »

Stephen Piwowarski

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 05:49:18 AM »
There is an effort afoot to restore Day Line-type service under a heritage organization using one of the steamboats that once served Boblo Island amusement park in Michigan.

Carl G. Soderstrom

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 342
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2018, 06:35:21 AM »
MFIL dressed up to go into town just to get parts - into the 1980s

The center rail pickup on the trolley used a J shoe with the hot rail covered on top -
I know I was a curious kid. Broadway above 181st St anyway.

Brooklyn had electric buses till at least late 50s - 2 wire overhead trolley pick up.

The Staten Island Ferry was always a Nickle - it was in their charter.

Took a Day Line class trip to Bear Mtn. in '53 or '54 - 5th or 6th grade. Even then the
engine was more interesting than "outside". That was a walking beam side wheeler though I
do not remember her name.

The "boxcab" may have had Winton engine, not steam - or did I miss that?

Poor Traffic Cop breathing lead all day. Not to say trusting the cars behind him not to hit him.

Thanks for posting :-)

James Patten

  • Global Moderator
  • Superintendent
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,179
  • Loco for 6
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2018, 12:19:40 PM »
Some of the trucks look pretty interesting (ie, unique).

Bill Baskerville

  • Museum Member
  • Conductor
  • *****
  • Posts: 771
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2018, 02:45:22 PM »
I also noticed that the roads around the rails were pretty rough.  Lots of bouncing around in the vehicles and with the loads.
Wascally Wabbit & Gofer

Keith Taylor

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 588
  • Life Member
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2018, 03:26:22 PM »


The "boxcab" may have had Winton engine, not steam - or did I miss that?



The “Box Cab” is a Shay steam locomotive. The New York Central had several Shay specifically for use in New York City,
Keith

Philip Marshall

  • Museum Member
  • Engineer
  • ****
  • Posts: 560
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2018, 03:49:34 PM »
The dummy locomotive at the beginning of Wayne's video and then again at 2:12 looks like a Shay, but I think the one at 3:40 may be a rod engine, perhaps an 0-4-0T. (Does anyone have a NYC roster handy to verify the identity of engine No. 1904?)

Gordon Cook

  • Museum Member
  • Fireman
  • ****
  • Posts: 345
  • Board Member 2009-2015
    • View Profile
Re: New York City film - 1911
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2018, 05:55:28 PM »
I was immediately struck by the lack of autos in the 1911 film and prevalence of horse drawn vehicles. The 1929 film shows traffic that's more like we know today. The combination of horse droppings and car exhaust must have been a real treat.  :-X
It's a good illustration of the transition in transportation technology that was happening 100 years ago and led to the demise of the Maine two-footers among many, many other changes.
Gawdon