Single photo: 1908 New York, 5th Ave at 51st St

KorbenDallas

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This is New York 1908. Just wanted to hear your opinion about this photograph.

Taken from the middle of the intersection Fifth Avenue and 51st street in New York City, the photograph above shows the streets of New York in 1908 with Central Park visible in the background.

1908 New York, 5th Ave at 51st St.jpg
 

Hardy

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It doesn't fit our expectations for this time, at least not mine. I find
even in a subliminal way quite disturbing.
We have this very elaborate architecture with this magical touch.
The road is 100 percent clean and of good construction quality.
People seem to have a high quality of life.
Not least this incredible quality of the photo itself but there are also questions about the energy supply of the buildings.
I see smoke from a kind of whistle and escape from the top of the tower.
I guess KD has some more Points .
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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The cleanliness was the first thing.

I was surprised to see no hanging wires present on the most photos of the time including much later ones.

Quality of everything including concrete pavement.

People, or I should rather say their life... feels like we don’t know anything about this stage of history.

And of course the buildings. Where did all those construction skills go? And why would they need that complexity back then. Mostly the same things.
 

BStankman

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So many questions.
This is 100 years ago. My grandfather's father might have been alive, and yet how can our history be so wrong on something so recent?
It is empty. Where are all the people that built this place? Are they buried underground like Paris? Were the subways originally catacombs?
Was it even people that built this place? Or a race of amphibian troglodytes. Because it seems they constructed their first floors to catch water runoff.
Paved roads for horse and buggy? The Amish do that today, but it is not very practical. Very little horse poop or "cultural layer".

I can't make out the flags, or or determine if the church cross has a islam moon at the bottom. But one of the weather-vanes is half a double headed eagle.
 

dreamtime

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Just looking at other images from that time the situation doesn't appear to be much out of the ordinary.


Except for the quality of the architectural style. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the buildings in the photo were hundreds of years old at that time, originiating from the global unified culture. A building such that on the right can be a couple of hundred years old technically, if the facade is taken care of, without much signs of aging. There are 500 year old churches that look similar.

The photo seems to be showing a part of the city were richer people live, and it is not surprising that they chose to live in the old classical buildings, just like the rich are doing today in the big cities. They had enough money to pay for the roads to be cleaned, renovation of buildings, and just like today you usually see less people in the city parts where the rich live. In the above video you can see poorer parts of the city, without the sophisticated architecture.

This makes me think that the culture back then was already in decline for longer times, and the elite still lived off the achievements, architecture and knowledge of the past, without adding much new value to society.

The construction skills disappeared with the first world wars basically. Due to growing economic pressure, growing population numbers and the destruction of knowledge during the wars, buildings became more primitive after the wars. With the exception of North Korea and a couple of Eastern European countries, the whole world decided to abandon the classical style shortly after WW1.
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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Interesting summary. I, personally, do not see how building skills can disappear, wars or not. If it was an established school covering our entire planet, and existing for hundreds of years, it would not go away.

Similar bizarre thing happened to the "Ancient Romans". They built things with concrete all over the ancient world, and then we allegedly forgot how to build with concrete for a very long time.

Below is another example of the 1900s New York. What happened there?

1CD957AE-1D4B-4F88-B547-22E550AC6951.jpeg
 

aceofarms

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If you zoom into these pictures why do you always feel like this semi penciled in? And the way the photo degrades seems very planned. I've done photo reconstruction before where you can get stock images of people and buildings etc. Feels like people are just planted in a candid manner.
 

whitewave

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The flag behind that weather vane looks to be a double-headed eagle as well. Wonder how long that ivy's been growing up the church wall? Anyone know how long it takes for ivy to grow that high? The stone designs on the lower right (by the dapper man with his hands in his pockets) almost looks like some sort of writing. May just be ornamentation but whatever it is, it's lovely.
Interesting summary. I, personally, do not see how building skills can disappear, wars or not. If it was an established school covering our entire planet, and existing for hundreds of years, it would not go away.

Similar bizarre thing happened to the "Ancient Romans". They built things with concrete all over the ancient world, and then we allegedly forgot how to build with concrete for a very long time.
Same thing happened with making trips to the moon. Arguably the greatest achievement of mankind (if it even happened) and we FORGOT how to do it? Dang that Alzheimers!
 

ISeenItFirst

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Aw geez. OK. Without getting too specific or into any of the well covered overall themes...
Screenshot_20180730-003532.png
He got the big ass lectric buggy.
Screenshot_20180730-003604.png
Whats up with these zamboni style contraptions. Is this the street vacuum team that used to roll 24/7.
Has he got his feet on a big ass seat?

Screenshot_20180730-003057.png
Who dat? Holding fife or book?
Wild hardware on top, atmo energy? Or keeping giant ass birds from perching?
Screenshot_20180730-003153.png
Who dat? What kind of demon beast he standing on? Who dem bitches getting looked down on.
Screenshot_20180730-003212.png
Birds? Dragans? That dam tenna again.

Screenshot_20180730-003319.png
Far away crosses antenna?
Screenshot_20180730-003017.png
OMG IT'S FIREGUY!!
Screenshot_20180730-003640.png
I know I seen this bitch in a video game. Looks like same guy above.


There is also a lot of the same type of, is it carved? is it cast? Masonry work. Super impressive buildings. All of the usual stuff.

That crazy looking fireguy. I can't place it, but it looks so familiar to me. The fireguy building had many of these panels, but the upper ones looked randomized, or something, not damaged. Everything else being perfect, you have to assume these were intentional. Reminded me of QR codes. Could those have been some other kind of information panel?

Some mythological figures on the roof? I'm not up on those, hopefully they ring a bell for someone here. Yeah, the guy/girl on top of the fishdragon thing looking down at those dogs is just wild.
The flags look like normal birds but the metal ones on the other building look kind of dragonlike.

I can't get over how much all that stuff on the roof peaks looks like giant bird deterrent.

Oh, and crazy vehicles. One electric, the others with horses. I don't see the purpose of the two vehicles on the right. Why so high up? The electric almost looks official with the writing on the back. And what is up with that horse on the left.

There is so much more could be said, this is a crazy picture. I like it.
 

BStankman

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I think that is an electric buggy. It has a license plate.

I just noticed what was missing. The iconic super advanced whiskey barrel technology still in use today.
Thank you Spiderman!
rosenwach-water-tanks-1.jpg
 

ISeenItFirst

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Yeah, license plate, but also writing on back of chair. He looks like he has different dress as well, perhaps a uniform? MP?
 
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KorbenDallas

KorbenDallas

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I would really like to know what those were. Why do you think that those were cameras?
 

jd755

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That 'pair of cameras is likely one of these. A H shaped chimney cowl. Not as tall as this one and made of terracotta most likely or cast stone just as likely.

H-style_cap.jpg
Or asbestos cement like this french version

old-asbestos-cement-chimney-pot-france-BY7H1A.jpg
 

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