After Loretta's recent post on the proper way to walk along a Parisian street, I thought I'd offer video proof of how stylish New Yorkers strolled the streets of Manhattan c 1910. (The YouTube caption says 1900, but from the clothes, I'm guessing closer to the years directly prior to Word War I. Take note, Downton Abbey fans!) At this time, Fifth Avenue was still the grandest street in New York, the address of choice for Vanderbilts and Astors. There's a glimpse of city traffic – a confusing mix of trolley cars, bicycles, and horse-drawn carriages – followed by scores of beautifully dressed men and women strolling along the sidewalk in the sunshine in their Sunday best.
Not only are the women wearing spectacular hats, but the men, too, all sport a variety of top-hats and bowlers. True, this is an affluent neighborhood, but I'm still impressed by how everyone, young and old, is dressed with an elegant formality that's impossible to imagine in our modern t-shirts-jeans-and-sweats world.
This is a very short film clip, and completely silent, so please feel free to imagine whatever music you please.
Above: New York City Street Scene Easter 1900 Clip posted to YouTube by historycomestolife.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.