Vintage Colored Photos Show What New York City Looked Like in the Early 1940s

1940s | October 8, 2016

Amateur photographer Charles W. Cushman traveled extensively in the US and abroad from 1938 to 1969, capturing beautiful snapshots of everyday life.

This New York City photos were taken by Cushman in 1941 and 1942.

The collection gives a glimpse into what everyday life in Chinatown, the Financial District, and Midtown was like more than 70 years ago.

The old Fulton Market in Manhattan's Lower East Side wasn't quite so bustling on this Saturday afternoon in 1941.

There were traffic jams on South Street along the East River even in 1941.

Here, a view of the East River and the majestic Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's a closer view of the South Street Manhattan tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. The tower, which weighs 90,000 tons, helps support over 14,000 miles of wire.

Three men sit on a bench in Battery Park during lunch hour.

Lower Manhattan from across the water in Jersey City.

A view of skyscrapers from Wall Street in the Financial District.

Cushman took this from onboard a ferry that was approaching Liberty Street in September 1941.

Up in Harlem, just north of George Washington Bridge, Cushman captured a shot of Riverside Drive.

Residents socialize on Clinton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side on a Saturday afternoon.

Children and adults gather outside various storefronts near the corner of Broome Street and Baruch Place on the Lower East Side.

This horse-drawn carriage waits for passengers in Bowling Green.

The men pictured here are collecting wartime salvage left outside on the streets of the Lower East Side.

Hot-dog cart. Here, a vendor waits for business in Bowling Green.

McSorley's Old Ale House is the city's oldest Irish pub. Located on East 7th Street between Second and Third Avenues, it's been open since the 1800s.

The Red Cross station on the Lower East Side offers locals various free items during salvage collection.

Here's a view of the Empire State Building from 28th Street in 1942, 11 years after it was completed.

This Italian bakery was open for business at 58 Mulberry Street, south of Canal Street.

Three girls talk outside a candy shop in Lower Manhattan.

This scene from the Lower East Side looks straight out of a movie.

"Sunday afternoon gossip."

The northeast corner of First Street and Bowery.

Here's a view of the other side of the street, at the southeast corner of the intersection. The pictured barbershop is now a boutique clothing store.

Cooper Union, pictured here on the right, opened in 1859.

New Yorkers hurry along an undisclosed block between Avenues A and B in 1942.

You can see an advertisement for Horton's Ice Cream on this corner of Canal Street. Back in the early 19th century, Horton's supplied over half of New York City's ice cream.

A statue of Abraham de Peyster, who was mayor of New York City from 1691 to 1694, is seen in Bowling Green.

This woman enjoys her Sunday newspaper on a stoop in the Lower East Side.

This is a corner on Pearl Street, which runs south through what is now Manhattan's Financial District.

H/T Charles W. Cushman Photograph Collection / Indiana University Archives

Tags: new york city in 1940s | vintage new York

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