Collection Items

  • Article
    The Actuality Film The earliest popular venues for motion pictures were nickelodeons -- peep show parlors where machines played short film loops, or films on flip cards called mutoscopes, for individual viewers on demand. By the turn of the century, films were being shown in store-front theaters and traveling carnivals. Significantly, movies also began to be projected in vaudeville and burlesque theaters, sharing the bill with a...
    • Date: 1898
  • Article
    America at the Turn of the Century: A Look at the Historical Context The National Setting By 1900 the American nation had established itself as a world power. The West was won. The frontier -- the great fact of 300 years of American history -- was no more. The continent was settled from coast to coast. Apache war chief Geronimo had surrendered in 1886. Defeat of the Sioux at the battle of Wounded Knee in 1891 had...
    • Date: 1898
  • Film, Video
    Arrival of emigrants [i.e. immigrants], Ellis Island
    Arrival of immigrants, Ellis Island | Arrival of emigrants, Ellis Island
    Depicts scenes at the Immigration Depot and a nearby dock on Ellis Island. Appears to show, first, a group of immigrants lined up to board a vessel leaving the island, then another group arriving at the island and being directed off of the dock and into the Depot by a uniformed official.
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1906
  • Film, Video
    At the foot of the Flatiron
    Windy day at the Flatiron
    This street level view is of the Broadway side of the Flatiron, or Fuller Building, near the narrow north corner. Filmed on a very windy day, pedestrians of various descriptions are seen passing by the camera, clutching hats and skirts against the wind. According to some New York City historians, this corner was known as the windiest corner of the city, and in the...
    • Contributor: Weed, A. E. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Automobile parade
    Parade of automobiles
    This may be the first annual automobile parade, held on November 4, 1899 in downtown Manhattan. At least ten different makes and models are seen, including electric and steam powered machines. Only three years earlier, in 1896, Henry Ford, Charles Brady King, Alexander Winton and Ransom Eli Olds had each introduced their gasoline cars. In 1900, the first National Auto Show was held at...
    • Contributor: Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Paley, William Daly
    • Date: 1900
  • Film, Video
    Bargain day, 14th Street, New York
    Bargain day, Fourteenth Street, New York | Bargain day on Fourteenth St., New York | Bargain day on 14th St., New York
    The film shows hundreds of tightly packed people crowding into the front door of the Rothschild Co. 5 and 10 cent store. They are so closely packed it is difficult to tell one from another. The view is from across the street, looking down from the 2nd floor.
    • Contributor: Armitage, F. S. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Beginning of a skyscraper
    Starting a skyscraper
    The scene is an excavation site in New York City. A large group of workmen with picks and shovels are digging. Carts drawn by pairs of horses can be seen emerging from the smoke in the background. From a contemporary American Mutoscope and Biograph Company catalog: Starting a Skyscraper--New York--26 feet. Taken in the immense excavation for the foundation of the new Macy Building...
    • Contributor: Bonine, R. (Robert K.) - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1902
  • Film, Video
    Broadway & Union Square, New York
    Broadway and Union Square, New York | Scene on Broadway
    A horse-drawn street car with a sign for Broadway pulls away from the camera with a full compliment of passengers. Another approaches the camera position and they pass. The first car stops to pick up and drop off passengers. Pedestrians walk pass on both sides of the street.
    • Contributor: Marvin, Arthur W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Buffalo Bill's wild west parade
    Parade of Buffalo Bill's Wild West
    The film shows a parade down Fifth Avenue, New York. In the foreground many children, both black and white, can be seen following alongside the parade. The participants in the parade include cowboys, Indians, and soldiers in the uniform of the United States Cavalry on horseback and riding horse-drawn coaches. Buffalo Bill can be seen on horseback, lifting his hat to the crowd [Frame:...
    • Contributor: Armitage, F. S. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1902
  • Film, Video
    Delivering newspapers
    Distributing a war extra | Delivering a war extra on Union Square | World news wagon
    The film shows a group of about fifty pre-adolescent boys running and crowding around a one-horse paneled newspaper van that pulls up in the foreground of the picture. On the side of the van is a sign reading "New York World." As they gather around the rear of the vehicle, a fight breaks out between two of the boys. The film ends as the...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - Marvin, Arthur W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Departure of Peary [and the] "Roosevelt" from New York
    Departure of Peary [and] Roosevelt from New York
    The camera pans to show the schooner "Roosevelt" docked at a covered pier on the Hudson River on Manhattan's west side. Then, from a camera position on board, men in straw hats and fashionably dressed ladies are seen boarding the ship. Next, the famous polar explorer Robert Peary appears on the gangway in a dark jacket, mustache and straw hat [Frame: 4552]. He tips...
    • Contributor: Peary, Robert E. (Robert Edwin) - Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Elevated railroad, New York
    Around the big curves | Elevated R.R. 110 St. curve, New York City | Around the big curves on the Manhattan Elevated R.R.
    The film was photographed from the front platform of a train traveling over elevated tracks in New York City. Although many of the buildings alongside the tracks can be seen, it is difficult to determine the exact location of the scene.
    • Contributor: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - American Mutoscope Company - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Emigrants [i.e. immigrants] landing at Ellis Island
    Immigrants landing at Ellis Island | Emigrants landing at Ellis Island
    From a contemporary Edison film company catalog: EMIGRANTS LANDING AT ELLIS ISLAND. Shows a large open barge loaded with people of every nationality, who have just arrived from Europe, disembarking at Ellis Island, N.Y. A most interesting and typical scene. Length 140 feet. Class B. $16.80. The film opens with a view of the steam ferryboat "William Myers," laden with passengers, approaching a dock...
    • Contributor: Abadie, Alfred C. (Alfred Camille) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Excavating for a New York foundation
    Lifting a wagon from a New York foundation
    The scene is an excavation pit at an unidentified New York City construction site. A crew of six men can be seen shoveling dirt into a four-wheeled wooden cart. Then a full cart is slowly lifted out of the pit to street level by a steam-powered crane. These carts are similar in design to those shown dumping rubble at the end of the film...
    • Contributor: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Weed, A. E. - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Fireboat "New Yorker" in action
    Fireboat "New Yorker" in action--excerpts
    A demonstration by the famous fireboat "New Yorker." The picture shows the fireboat with all its nozzles spurting water as it goes back and forth in front of the camera. Put in service on February 1, 1891 as Engine Company 57, the "New Yorker" was stationed at the Battery near Castle Garden, where her crew lived aboard. She was 125 feet long, 25 feet...
    • Contributor: Smith, James Blair - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Funeral of Hiram Cronk The film shows a city thoroughfare lined with crowds of people watching a military parade. The first group to come into view is a marching band [Frame: 0120], then a large formation of soldiers in the uniform of Rough Riders [0720]. Following them is a hearse drawn by four black horses, escorted by veterans of the Civil War [2742], and horse-drawn open carriages. The...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Film, Video
    Interior N.Y. subway, 14th St. to 42nd St.
    Interior New York subway, Fourteenth Street to Forty-second Street | Interborough Subway 8 from 14th St. to 42nd St. | Interborough subway from 14th St. to 42nd St. | New York subway | In the N.Y. subway | Interboro subway
    The camera platform was on the front of a New York subway train following another train on the same track. Lighting is provided by a specially constructed work car on a parallel track. At the time of filming, the subway was only seven months old, having opened on October 27, 1904. The ride begins at 14th Street (Union Square) following the route of today's...
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1905
  • Collection
    The Life of a City: Early Films of New York, 1898-1906 This collection contains forty-five films of New York dating from 1898 to 1906 from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress. Of these, twenty-five were made by the American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, while the remaining twenty are Edison Company productions.
    • Contributor: Library of Congress. Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Kleine (George) Collection (Library of Congress) - Theodore Roosevelt Association Collection (Library of Congress) - Afi/Post (George) Collection (Library of Congress) - Afi/Staples (Robert) & Charles (Barbara) Collection (Library of Congress) - Library of Congress. National Digital Library Program
    • Date: 1897

    View 54 Items

  • Film, Video
    Lower Broadway
    Street scene on Lower Broadway, NY City | Street scene on Lower Broadway, N.Y. City | Scene on Lower Broadway
    The film shows a view which appears to be looking north on Broadway at the intersection of Wall Street, in front of Trinity Church. The sidewalk along Broadway is crowded with people, and the traffic in both streets is very heavy. A horse-drawn streetcar passes in front of the camera [Frame: 2814], with a sign giving its destination as the "Courtland and Fulton Street...
    • Contributor: Bonine, R. (Robert K.) - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    Move on Filmed in New York's Lower East Side, the scene is a street where several pushcart vendors have gathered to sell their goods. In the foreground are fruit and vegetable carts. An elevated railroad track crosses over the street in the background. As the film progresses, two policemen can be seen heading up the street toward the camera and ordering all of the vendors to...
    • Contributor: Abadie, Alfred C. (Alfred Camille) - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    N.Y. Fire Department returning
    New York Fire Department returning | Return of the fire departmant | Return of N.Y. Fire Dept.
    Shot at an unidentified location in New York City, the film shows several pieces of horse-drawn fire vehicles in motion: two hook-and-ladders [Frame: 0114, 0905]; two steam pumpers [0373, 1111]; a rescue wagon [0549]. Note the kids hanging on the back of some of the vehicles [0195, 0970].
    • Contributor: Bitzer, G. W. - American Mutoscope and Biograph Company - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) - Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Film, Video
    New York City "ghetto" fish market The view, photographed from an elevated camera position, looks down on a very crowded New York City street market. Rows of pushcarts and street vendors' vehicles can be seen. The precise location is difficult to ascertain, but it is certainly on the Lower East Side, probably on or near Hester Street, which at the turn of the century was the center of commerce for...
    • Contributor: Smith, James Blair - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903
  • Article
    New York City at the Turn of the Century At the turn of the century, New York was the preeminent American city; it represented the "new metropolis." The great waves of European immigrants coming to New York, the consolidation of the five boroughs into one vast city, the development of the city's infrastructure, and the incredible construction boom of the next thirty years all contributed to the city's prominence. In many of the...
    • Date: 1898
  • Film, Video
    New York City dumping wharf The film shows a wharf where a barge is being loaded with trash from two-wheeled, horse-drawn wagons. The trash is dumped off the edge of the pier onto the barge, where men with shovels are spreading the piles of debris. The camera pans left to the next barge, where four-wheeled carts are shown dumping excavation rubble. Probably filmed on the East River, this is...
    • Contributor: Smith, James Blair - Thomas A. Edison, Inc - Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
    • Date: 1903