1899: 9th Avenue and W. 104th Street
Take a wild, throwback ride on the El trains of yore! Looking at old videos made by the Thomas A. Edison, Inc. (yes, that Edison was a pioneer filmmaker, too), I came upon this vintage footage produced by James Henry White in the Spring 1899 showing the W. 104th Street S-curve in the 9th Avenue Elevated Railway. It's wonderful in that the cameraman gets into the train and rides the rails. For more details about the film, see the Library of Congress catalog listing here. I'm including a second video which is a newsreel. At the beginning, there's a wonderful shot of St. John the Divine, but it is a long video so you may not want to get into the weeds of it. Delectable for the train lovers out there.
Our friends at the Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Group posted a great piece a few years ago about how the El train got to our neck of the woods in 1879.
A Library of Congress map of the El train system dating to 1881 is below.
So, does anything look familiar at all when you take these virtual rides?
Note: If you are receiving this directly to your email, click on the blog post title to go to the webpage and view the video. The emails don't code videos properly so it won't appear. Worth clicking through!
Also, if you like this blog, share it with a friend in the block association's neighborhood. There are loads of local treasures to come. Just not enough time to stoke the fires of this blog. Enjoy!