Old New York Winter Slideshow

This is my old slideshow from nearly 10 years ago. I’d felt like collecting snowy images and putting them together. The Youtube quality back then was so low, unfortunately the video is grainy. But still enjoyable with the music. The music is called “Love is blue” by Paul Muriat.

I’m trying anything to keep cool in this stuffy place with no A/C!

Here’s a one minute video of a 2 ft. New York Blizzard from 2010.

Brooklyn Visual Heritage

Brooklyn Visual Heritage partners with the Brooklyn Historical Society, The Brooklyn Public library, and the Brooklyn Museum to celebrate Brooklyn’s rich history through fantastic pictures from the 19th and 20th century. It’s in blog format and the photos are available with watermarks. Prints can be ordered and as much background information as possible is provided for each image.

Happy viewing!

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A Brooklyn neighborhood’s coal hole covers

Ephemeral New York has taken some gorgeous pictures of 19th Century Coal holes found along Fort Greene and Clinton Hill and other places. They certainly add historic character to the neighborhood!

Ephemeral New York

Coal holes are bunkers beneath the sidewalk in front of a house that originally used coal for heat: Delivery companies would drop a shipment down the hatch, and the coal could go right into the basement and wouldn’t dirty up the home.

You still see them dotting sidewalks all over the city, especially in neighborhoods with lots of beautiful brownstones built in the 19th century.

No surprise, then, that pretty sidewalks of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill are filled with decorative examples.

This one was made by Empire Foundry. A Brooklyn Daily Eagle ad from 1854 says they’re located “one block from the Fulton Ferry.”

The John Brooks foundry made this cover on Navy Street, right in the middle of where the Ingersoll Houses are today.

This lid was probably a lot prettier and more colorful back in the day. The address says 5 Worth Street; I wonder if…

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Witty Ads #3–1900

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I can’t tell if this ad is for men or women. It’s for coloring and dressing human hair. But if they are referring to a ‘little knot of hair’ in the back of the head, I’m assuming they mean those prim little buns some women wore. The Nineteenth century was all about long, curly, wavy unkempt messy buns on women!

But ladies and gentlemen, would you seriously put this solution on your head? Perhaps I shouldn’t be asking that when half the ingredients in a simple bottle of modern day shampoo can’t even be pronounced.

Ayer’s hair tonic (Please, whatever you do, do not smoke or light a match around my luxurious mane!):

(1) Dissolve 9 pounds of lead acetate in water; (2) add 9 pounds of cream of tartar, dissolved in water (as little water as will take it up); (3) wash this precipitate in water twice; (4) dissolve the precipitate in 30 pounds of solution of caustic soda (specific gravity 1.07); (5) add sufficient water to bring quantity to 13 pounds; (6) add 6 1/2 gallons of glycerine.

Seek and ye shall find almost anything on the internet. Go to this website to learn more about Ayers Hair Vigor and other hair tonics sold in the 19th century. Hair Raising Stories.

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Fulton Street Trading Cards from the 19th & Early 20th Century

Just as it is a diverse hub of activity today, Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn was once home to a score of lively businesses and factories. Long before that time, it was an Indian Path that lead to Hempstead Plains in Long Island. Fulton Street, like many other places in America, was named after the American Inventor and Engineer, Robert Fulton.

The proof of this active commercialism can be seen in a colorful and fine collection of advertisements, commonly known as Trading Cards. They were the grandaddy of the modern-day business cards. In my opinion these lovely cards have a lot more heart and appeal than their modern counterparts. Frankly, anything that is painstakingly designed, hand-drawn and crafted without the use of modern technology, tends to be. Like most advertisements in the past, companies relied heavily on dramatic and sweet art work, elegant fonts, and background embellishments to sell their products.

Half the time these masterpieces had little to do with the actual product. For example, in the trading card above, what does cute, chubby children and a terrier on a beach have to do with furniture, bedding, and stoves? Perhaps the advertisers were sending a subconscious message to consumers: Make sure your home is well furnished for when they come home after a long day of frolicking in the sand!

Either way, the trading cards were often pleasing to look at, and the mind-set and sensibilities of people in the 19th century were far different than ours.

Check out the full 245 card collection that has been digitally restored and showcased in the Brooklyn Public Library Databases.

The Fulton Street Trade Card Collection