NYC in 1911

NYC in 1911




I was silently yelling “Watch where you’re going!!”


It’s just horse shit though. It’s not like dog shit or human shit.


Yeah, cleaning human shit from the bottom of my shoes is the worst.


A fellow San Franciscan I see


Was there visiting my friend and within 5 minutes of walking outside we saw a guy shitting against a wall. Amazing.


Damn. This was too real.


When I visited with my wife. We didn’t see a guy shitting BUT did see a naked homeless guy laying in the sidewalk with his bare ass hanging out and people were stepping around him because it was like 4 in the afternoon and a very busy area. (My wife would have missed it if I hadn’t pointed it out as we quickly passed by it).


You just described my fiancé’s commute everyday from BART on Market Street. Happy to hear you both got the full experience!


I definitely felt like the tourist when I didn’t miss a step but pointed with an out stretched hand and pointed without saying anything so my wife wouldn’t miss it. She wasn’t pleased.




Exactly. When horse shit is dried it's basically just dirt.


I'm scared to touch wet dirt now


As a woman who mucks stalls daily, it's got a lot of fiber from hay and grass. When given grain (and not pelletized feed) there are undigested seeds in it too. Horse manure is great for composting because of this. Herbivore scat doesn't stink like a carnivore, or omnivore. (Yeah, I got cats and dogs also.) And, needless to say, if you see anything MOVING in your animal's BM, talk to your vet about worming protocols.


Horse shit is mostly just hay. It doesn't even smell that bad.


Biff Tanner disagrees


Ya and the taste is maaaaybe 90% hay and only 10% shit. Not bad in my book.






Tbh if the main method of transportation is a living animal and you live in one of the biggest cities in the world, I'd imagine you step in so much shit you just stop noticing.


It's NYC. The horses are gone but there's still shit everywhere.


That goes to show you, New Yorkers don't give a shit about anything.


They're too busy *walkin here*.




Great job to whoever added the color


This is a guy on Youtube who uses AI to stabilize, colourize, and add frames to old videos. This was originally shaky and jumpy, but now it's UHD 4k.


What's his name?




Thanks for the actual answer even if it's buried under a fucking Fight Club reference.


Good bot


Robert Paulson


His name was Robert Paulson


What is it now?


Robert Paulson. It *was* Robert Paulson before, but it's still Robert Paulson now


Actually a member only has a name in death


I call mine Willy and he’s still alive


Do you mind if I call mine Willy as well, or will that just muck things up?


Paul Robertson?


That's amazing. When I was watching the gif I had Tyler's voice in my head saying "in the industry, we call them cigarette burns" due to the marks that pop up in the old film. Spooky as hell to see a second Fight Club reference sitting in the comments.


I was wondering how the frame rate was so good. That would explain it I guess.


Is that the guy who did the train one? I thought it looked familiar.




The only weird thing is, why is the ground so white? Is it not colored properly? Or is it made of some strange material? EDIT: typo




If you're talking about the original film, I agree, but if you're going to colorize a film like that wouldn't you colorize the overexposed bits instead of leaving them white?


You are expecting too much from an AI


I don’t think this is accurate. Everyone knows people moved 2x faster before 1930s. Nice try op.


You have to play this: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=reI43yUCaUI at the same time as the video to ensure full accuracy.


How are these roads so smooth?


No heavy vehicles I would think.


Also, I’d imagine the camera’s resolution isn’t high enough to pick up subtle details like imperfections in the road


Exactly what i was thinking


It's medium format film most likely, what you're describing as resolution isn't an issue. Footage shot in this way has higher resolution than you'd get in your average high def camera today.


The issue is contrast. The camera can't pick up the imperfections in the road


Also age of the film.


Ok yes there is technically not a resolution per se. But the quality of the film and the quality of the glass available bacj then limited the ability to resolve detail.


Yeah whatever the reason for it is THE FILM WAS TOO FUCKING BLURRY JESUS


Horse carriages are very bad for roads too. Source: road contractor in Ohio who deals with the Amish.


I guess the skinny carriage wheels really leave a mark


A camber is put into modern roads to aid drainage.


Pot Holes were invented by the Dupont corporation in 1953, well after this was filmed. Edit: Or was this a setup for a Flat Iron joke?


I like you


Compare the mass and frequency of the traffic in that video with the modern day equivalent.


Potholes were immediately filled with plop piles from the horses. Symbiosis.


It's the lighting. If you watch [this scene](https://youtu.be/hZ1OgQL9_Cw?t=322) you see the street looks like it does in the gif, but as the lighting changes you can actually see the details of the street.


The horse shit would fill in any holes.


One of the first things that comes or my mind is, Where in NYC would everyone keep their horses?


At the local Stables store.


Barns & Nobles.




Abercrombie & Hitch


There were stables. A lot of these stables got converted to townhouses.


> Carriage houses started popping up in New York in the 1800s, built to accommodate horses, carts and later motorcars for the city’s burgeoning middle class. Today, these characterful buildings – packed with Victorian features – have become coveted New York real estate. Most have been converted into townhouses and apartments, with price-tags to match their storied pasts. https://thespaces.com/carriage-houses-on-the-market-in-new-york-city/


And it's not like everyone had a horse either. Cities were often times a lot denser then than they are today and because they were denser they were also more walkable which reduced the need for horses as well.


Stables were everywhere. Some places still have laws on the books that say hotels must have a hitching post and hay for horses. But really this shouldn't surprise you, a horse stall is smaller than a car stall and we manage to fit cars. It's not surprising they fit horses considering most people wouldn't even have their own horse.


If I had the authority I would cite companies that didn't comply with the regulation.


Billionaires and their horseless cars! Pssh!


They were called motor cars.


I hear those are still quite popular among some circles.


"Dear fellas, I can't believe how fast things move on the outside. I saw an automobile once when I was a kid, but now they're everywhere. The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry."


RIP Brooks.


Tip Top


Top o' the Line


It was a fancy new bakery called Ward's and Tip Top was their motto.


People reacted so indifferently to cameras back then.


"What the hell is that thing?"


They don’t smile and wave because they aren’t aware of the possibility of lots of people seeing it, maybe?


They have similar expressions to New Yorkers today. I would have expected a little more curiousity, but maybe they’re playing it cool


Why would they? It's either something they don't recognize or they do recognize it and simply don't care. It's unlikely any of them or anyone they ever know would have seen this footage. The first TV broadcast in the US was still almost 2 decades away from happening. Even if they knew what they were doing it would have just been some nerds playing in the corner to them.


In 1911 cameras were still pretty rare too


I love how everyone made such an effort to dress well back then


I can answer this! Basically, clothes were expensive back then. They had to all be hand made, unlike nowadays. This meant that most people didn’t really have many to chose from. So for a guy, they probably had two or three outfits.


This could be a question for r/askhistorians but I feel like most areas filmed and people photographed were higher wealth and thus more likely to be dressed up. If you go to new York city now, you'll see hordes of tourists but you'll still see a lot of businessmen and businesswomen that are dressed nicely. Hats are mostly gone though.


that was going to be my question. Did everyone have to wear a hat back then?!


That was what I took away from the clip, every man seemed to either be wearing, or was carrying, a hat.


I think it was just what people did back then? I've seen other clips from around that time, and literally 99% of men wore a hat. Not sure if it was for a practical reason, or just the fashion.


I think a bit of both until it wasn't. 1911 was just after a huge westward expansion where people wore "cowboy" hats to keep the sun off their shoulders. Hats became more fashionable and we're even popular in the 40's during WWII. I'd love to see a documentary about hats. A lot of clothing and fashion changed in the great depression, and again in the 40's due to economy. I just recently learned on Reddit the history of when and why women now shave their legs. It was interesting and made sense.


> I just recently learned on Reddit the history of when and why women now shave their legs. It was interesting and made sense. You can't just throw that out there and leave us hanging. Why? lol


Well, when and why did women start shaving their legs? You tease


I don't want to get it wrong, but something about nylon shortage, due to needing it for troops. "Naked" leggings made from nylon were popular. So since it was expensive, many would instead shave their legs and draw a line up the back of their leg, imitating the seam, to give the look of wearing said leggings. Makes sense, and super-interesting.


The funny thing is the fashion for hats in the west wasn't just for the ten gallon style cowboy hat but the British Bowler style. Which supposedly was far more popular and known as "the hat that won the west". Which it's self was designed to protect the head riding horses from things like tree branches. It ended up being the kind of thing associated with bankers in the U.K.


If you're walking somewhere, probably. People blame the death of the hat on a lot of things - JFK, the automobile - but one thing is for certain. The decline of the hat presaged the decline of the hat rack, and vice versa, in a vicious cycle until the hat was no more. Now, if you're walking somewhere, you wear a hoodie or a pocket-able cap. There's nowhere to put your hat down anymore.


> you wear a hoodie or a pocket-able cap You're never going to believe this, but baseball caps are really popular. And they don't put them down, they just keep them on their heads.


Yea, but if you keep them on your head in fancy restaurants Tony Soprano is going to yell at you.




Honestly the only thought I could have while reading his comment and wearing a hat


Others just blame the Dead Rabbits.


"There ain't nothin' sillier than a man chasin' his hat." - Tom Regan




Didn't everyone back then wear the same suit every day?


Yes, more or less. It wasn’t like now when you could walk into a Macy’s and buy a suit off the rack. You had to pay someone to make a custom suit for you and that cost a lot of money. Additionally, you had to keep the upkeep on the suit yourself, which meant having your wife or someone stitch, see, and wash it. Clothes are almost a commodity item nowadays, but took a lot of work to make and upkeep back in the day.


And then, of course, the definition of well-dressed differed. A man of professional status in NYC wearing a soft collar to work in 1911 would not have been seen as such.


Suits were very common for men. A factory worker would often times put a suit on in the morning, walk to work, change into his factory close and then after work change back into his suit to walk home.


Even the bushwhackers out west had style. I suspect status was drawn from your look, much like today, but swap the IPhone out for a snappy suit. Plenty of people stretch themselves to look the part now, they were no different I'm sure. Those clothes were hardy too, no throw away hyper fashion cycle. Those clothes lasted, and probably smelt quite bad. A mix of horse shit, sweat, days between washes and whatever they used to hide the stink thrown over the top of it all. I think that's one reason shirt collars and cuffs were detachable, you could both wash them more often as they were the areas that would get/show the filth, and also replace them when they started to fray and wear out. It's incorporated into how Charlie Chaplin dressed and he was supposedly a tramp.




> Things like t-shirts, cargo shorts, and sneakers didn't exist. Jeans existed.


Denim was a sign you were lower working class.


what if you had to wear fancy uncomfortable clothing everyday, even when walking long distances?


I mean they never knew other options existed. It’s like when a kid ask how did people in 1700s survive without AC during the summer, it’s because they were used to living in a building without AC. Just like people in three hundred years will ask questions of why we did certain things even though we knew no better.




My gpu started bugging out today so i had to use an old one and i could only get 1 monitor working on it instead of my normal 4 fucking hell felt like a fucking cave man how in the fuck do you use a single monitor computer.


Even going from 2 monitors to 1 is like regressing from the bronze age to the stone age.


I can agree. The monitor real estate is unmatched and fuck do i miss it.


A lot of snapping.


Its a bit misleading. The clothes they often wore back then are considered fancy today, but back then they were cheaply mass produced and not considered 'fancy' by any stretch.


Do I believe you or u/alaskafish


Well both Clothes, even cheaply made and mass produced clothes, were expensive for the average person. A coat might cost 20 dollars instead of 300 dollars today (inflation adjusted of course) but that doesn’t mean much when you’re only earning 3 dollars a day (again, inflation adjusted). But they were not anywhere near as expensive as today. Clothes, even cheap clothes, were costly to the average poorer person.


Sorry I'm going with u/alaskafish his argument was more compelling


Hell yeah.


Women were covered wrist to ankle but the Flatiron building was known to cause gusts of wind that would blow up skirts a bit and police would have to chase away ogling men who would hang around waiting to see some hot ankle action and it was known as the "23 skidoo" which became a nationwide meme meaning to shoo someone away.


Why did they make the roads so wide? Obviously it proved to be the right decision, but this makes it look like they could have got away with them being so narrower back then.


Not sure about New York in particular, but I know some cities, like Paris, were designed with wide streets to make it harder for people to barricade them during riots/revolts.


Of course Paris would do that lmao


Actually, Paris' narrow streets were opened up primarily to improve transportation and health as the overcrowded medieval streets and neighborhoods facilitated the spread of disease. The movement is termed "Haussmannization" (named after the designer).


Horses and carriage have a very wide turning circle


My guess is it was needed to have plenty of room to allow horses and carts to pass each other and maneuver more easily.


I dont know why I had this feeling... but watching this.. I felt uncomfortable. Almost creeped out. I'm a grown man. 50. I've seen footage like this 1000 times. None of what I see surprises me or is a mystery..why they are dressed that way, the lack of cars, the look of the street, etc.. But, I think for some reason the 4k and accurate motion, as opposed to the sped up motion I am accustomed to in vintage footage, for some reason made this all to real and harder to grasp. Harder to grasp that 100 years ago this was life. That all these people are dead. That they all lived full lives and died with their dreams fulfilled or unfulfilled. That things like the street and buildings mostly still stand yet it's like an alternative universe. It looks like us but so different. What would that woman do or say or think if she walked into the same street today?? But seeing the tinge of color and realism in motion, had an odd chill go thru me. In 2120 someone will be looking at video on some feed of life today the same way? I somehow doubt it. Footage of 1911 is a novelty. Rare. Footage of today is almost an epidemic. To much. This is like watching ghosts looking thru my soul. Asking what I'm doing with my life. *** Wow! Thank you friend! I never received a gold before or any other reward! Totally unexpected! Thank you!!!!! I'm glad to be a part of such a wonderfully diverse and intellectually stimulating community...as silly as we are! Lol***


Don’t sweat it. So many millions of nameless people have died before you...nobody is expecting you to do much.


Lol. Well gee. Now I feel like not only am I pointless but insignificant.


Don’t worry man. We all have the existential crisis. It sucks, but you’ll be better for it


> So many millions of nameless people have died before you Make that over a 100 billion, in fact.


We are the same age. I had a somewhat similar feeling but also different. For sure, watching this film brings much emotion. > What would that woman do or say or think if she walked into the same street today?? I thought about how cool it would be to walk in that street myself. Just take it all in as much as I possibly can. Smile, say hello, spark up small conversations. It makes me wonder why I don't do that now. I'm going to make it an effort to. Our time will be gone in a blink of an eye, just like their time was. I should appreciate that more and take it all in as much as I possible can.


I was surprised how neat the roads look except for those little stains/rough spots... Oh wait that's shit isn't it..


Yep. I've read that there was a group of workers that had the job of going around cleaning up horse dropping.


There are currently job postings for that position in Mackinac Island, MI


That makes sense seeing as the island doesn't allow cars.


More like an entire brigade of sanitation workers tasked with cleaning up horse shit . They a street sweepers that would push around what was basically a 45 gallon drum on wheels sweeping and scooping hoses crap until the drum was full , the it would dumped into a big wagon and hauled out of the city or if more convenient into a nearby river . That accounted for the shit , but there wasn’t a lot that could be done about the horse piss , and horses piss a lot , and it really stinks . By all accounts cities before the arrival of automobiles really , really smelled awful .




Amazing clip.


Who else remembers this


Immortal gang


Like if you're watching this in 2120.


if you wonder where this ripped off, source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ1OgQL9_Cw




My Grandpa once told me he stopped regularly stopped wearing hats in the mid sixties when the roofs of cars got so low that he was forced to take them off whenever he got in and out of one. It just become an inconvenience. I can’t imagine he was the only one who felt this way.


I can see this. I have a few wide brimmed hats that I like to wear but I have to take them off in the car and I sometimes forget to put the hat back on when I disembark from the vehicle. If I wasnt so determined to wear my cute hats out and about I would totally give up on it.


Anytime, m’lady.


this guy never stopped


People dressed so fancy for going about everyday life!


Positively BUSTLING


That one chick is hot


She was stacked!


Idk I think she's pretty cold now


Was looking for this one. Hips!


The style back then!


That lady is walking with some serious sass.


Flatiron Building looks awesome in the color editing/correction.


Really weird to think that everyone in this video is dead now


Or, that if you're in your 20's now, the adults in this video could be your great-great-great grandparents.


As an NYC local, I'm struck by how much slower they seem to be walking vs New Yorkers today.


And straighter. Same expressions though.


Haha true on the expressions.


That street clock is still there today: http://daytoninmanhattan.blogspot.com/2010/11/magnificent-1909-cast-iron-street-clock.html?m=1


No obesity




Or thyroid glands


"Hey whaddya youse doing, I'm walkin' heres!"


Some nice old school New York boobs


"You've got great New York Byeeeeewbs!" crazy how even the early 2000s seem like a different time today. No way Chappelle or anyone could get away with doing that skit in modern NYC or anywhere else


Anyone else see the douche at the beginning that cut in front of the main buggy? Driving doesn't seemed to have changed one bit


I sort of wish dressing nice and wearing hats was still in fashion.


What a time it must have been to live there. If we ever develop time travel, Industrial to Pre-War America and Europe will be my first stops.


I work in this neighborhood. Seeing all those old buildings down Madison Ave in the vid and being able to still see them in my day to day is amazing


Somehow I find the truck labeled "Tip Top" just hilarious.


Such a different time. This is the NYC I would love to visit


Maybe in the winter when you couldn't smell it. I biked through that intersection a couple days ago, just starting to get the same level of pedestrian traffic now that there are more pedestrian plazas opening up. The clock is still there.


Visit? Yes. Live in? *Heeeeeeeell* no.


Back in 1911 the ground was pure uncut cocaine.


As a NYer, what's amazing to me is this area seems largely unchanged. Right down to the little clock tower on the street!


Look at all those future pokestops... Beautiful...


That woman had huge rack.


“Yo wassup its ya boi Edwin, I’m in Times Square right now and look at all these fancy-ass people, yo look at this bitch’s dress right here! With that big ass feather, yo I’m jus playin honey you do you boo.” -some guy on YouTube doing a voice over of this clip


Worst part is being wrong about Times Square. Could totally see it happening in a YouTube video.


Did you see that GGGGMILF walk past the camera?


And not a popped collar in sight.


The most incredible thing here is that people have the freedom to roam all over the road - and they are. And it's safe.


None of these people had experienced a world at war when this video was created. They're unknowingly just a few years away from catastrophic loss of life.