Mittwoch, November 03, 2010

Central Park 1898 and 1902

December 16, 1898. Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Location: West Side Drive, Central Park

In the nineteenth century, handsome rigs and turnouts were a regular part of the urban winter scene in all of the parks in New York and elsewhere. In the same way most people today know something about cars, most people then knew something about horses. Along with bare knuckle boxing, and baseball, horse racing was a major American pastime. In New York City, it was still possible to get your milk, ice, and some perishables delivered by horse drawn vehicles as late as the 1930s. It is still possible to find 19th century carriage houses scattered throughout the city serving as parking garages and other businesses. Many still have there brick or terra cotta emblems of horse heads and horse shoes one or two stories above the sidewalks. In a few neighborhoods outside of Manhattan, it's still possible to find carriage steps in front of old houses.

''During the two brief months of spring and the three longer ones of autumn, when Central Park, from a social world's point-of-view, is formally "at home," the average attendance of horses within its gates is roughly estimated at from eight to ten thousand a day.''
- Park Driving, James H. Tuckerman [Outing Magazine] June 1905

Ice skating in Central Park in 1902, New York City. Vintage Edison short

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