7/27/16

A CELL-PHONE FREE ZONE: NEW YORK, 1900



Were you refreshed by yesterday's views of the cell-free zone that was New York in the 1960s? Well, it only gets better. Moving backward to 1900, we see the then-famous (infamous?) Tammany Hall Politician Dick Croker leaving Tammany Hall, at 14th Street and Irving Place, and taking a walk. The portly politician stops for a moment to chat with his companion. A girl wearing a flowered hat walks by with her mother and is a little perplexed by what's going on--is it the camera she's giving that sidelong glance at? (If alive, she would now be 126 years old). The thrillingly suspenseful action concludes with Croker and friend moving on. A fellow walks behind them, looks to the side and doffs his hat. The End. This has been a Thomas Edison Production. Ta-Da.

Who was Dick Croker? The internet is strangely, peevishly silent on his career though he seems to turn up a lot in a very curious looking book called 'Thirty Years Of New York Politics Up To Date', by Matthew Patrick Breen, published in 1899 'by the author'. (So they had self-publishing back then. Why not?) The book is marvelously obscure and appears to have been rephotographed in an effort to preserve it.

Take a moment to watch the above video and enjoy a cold February day at the beginning of the last cell-phone free century...

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