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Film, Video Sky scrapers of New York City, from the North River

digital viewing copy

About this Item


  • Sky scrapers of New York City, from the North River


  • Filmed from a moving boat, the film depicts the Hudson River (i.e., North River) shoreline and the piers of lower Manhattan beginning around Fulton Street and extending to Castle Garden and Battery Park. It begins at one of the American Line piers (Pier 14 or 15, opposite Fulton Street) where an American Line steamer, either the "New York" or "Paris," is seen docked [Frame: 0120]. The camera passes one of the Manhattan-to-New Jersey commuter ferries to Jersey City or Communipaw [0860]. Proceeding south, the distinct double towers of the Park Row, or Syndicate Building, erected in 1897-98, can be seen in the background [0866]. A coastal freighter is next [1560], then Trinity Church appears, to the left of which can be seen the Surety Building, as a tug with a "C" on the stack passes in foreground [2032]. Several small steamboats come into view [2136], and the B.T. Babbitt Soap factory at Pier 6 is seen [2300], followed by the Pennsylvania Railroad piers (#5 & #4), with a group of docked railroad car floats [2556], and the Lehigh Valley Railroad piers (#3 & #2), also with car floats [3030]. Next are the Bowling Green Building (rectangular, with facade to camera) [3208], the Whitehall Building (vertical, thin side to camera) [3388], followed by Pennsylvania Railroad Pier #1 [3630]. Pier A (with a clock tower) is seen with the New York Harbor Police steam boat "Patrol" at its end [4654]. The Bowling Green Offices and the Produce Exchange at Bowling Green are visible in the background. The breakwater (sheltered landing) and the New York City Fireboat House appears [5270] and the distinctive round structure, Castle Garden, once a fort and immigrant station, but at the time of filming the City Aquarium, comes into view [5438]. The camera then pans east along the Battery Park promenade: the Barge Office (with tower) is visible in the distance [5804], and further out the Brooklyn shoreline with the grain elevators at Atlantic Avenue can be seen [6088]. This view is continued, with only a minor break in continuity, in the film Panorama of Sky Scrapers and Brooklyn Bridge From the East River. Together they comprise a sweep around the southern tip of Manhattan, from Fulton Street on the Hudson to the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • "A beautiful panoramic view of lower New York from Barclay Street to Battery Park, showing a beautiful stereoscopic effect of the sky-scrapers in the business section of the city. Old Castle Garden, at which place hundreds of thousands of emigrants have landed from time to time, but now used as an Aquarium, is also seen in the picture. One of the finest panoramic pictures of New York ever taken"----Edison films catalog.


  • Smith, James Blair, camera.
  • Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
  • Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
  • Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)

Created / Published

  • United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1903.


  • -  Skyscrapers--New York (State)--New York
  • -  Waterfronts--New York (State)--New York
  • -  New York Harbor (N.Y. and N.J.)
  • -  Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)
  • -  New York (N.Y.)--Buildings, structures, etc


  • Actualities (Motion pictures)
  • Silent films
  • Short films
  • Nonfiction films


  • -  H32025 U.S. Copyright Office
  • -  Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 20May1903; H32025.
  • -  Camera, James Blair Smith.
  • -  Duration: 3:23 at 15 fps.
  • -  Master positives have not been viewed or compared for content.
  • -  Paper print shelf number (LC 2194) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
  • -  Photographed May 10, 1903 in New York, from the North River (i.e., Hudson River).
  • -  Available also through the Library of Congress Web site as digital files.
  • -  Early motion pictures : the Paper Print Collection in the Library of Congress / by Kemp R. Niver. Library of Congress. 1985.
  • -  Source used: Niver, K. Early motion pictures, p. 301.
  • -  Paper roll on this record is actually copy two; copy one is not on shelf as of April, 2013.


  • viewing print 1 film reel (ca. 85 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • viewing print 1 film reel of 1 (213 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel (ca. 85 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • dupe neg pic 1 film reel of 1 (213 ft.) : si., b&w ; 35 mm.
  • master pos pic 1 film reel (ca. 85 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • master pos pic (copy 2?) 1 film reel (ca. 85 ft.) : si., b&w ; 16 mm.
  • paper pos 1 roll of 1 (213 ft.) : b&w ; 35 mm.

Call Number/Physical Location

  • FLA 5208 (viewing print)
  • FEB 9366 (viewing print)
  • FRA 2131 (dupe neg pic)
  • FPE 5400 (dupe neg pic)
  • FRB 0759 (master pos pic)
  • FRB 2898 (master pos pic, copy 2?)
  • Box 5558D (paper pos)


  • Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA dcu

Digital Id

Library of Congress Control Number

  • 00694365

Online Format

  • image
  • video

Additional Metadata Formats

Rights & Access

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Credit Line: Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division.

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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Smith, James Blair, Camera, Inc Thomas A. Edison, Paper Print Collection, and Niver. Sky scrapers of New York City, from the North River. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1903. Video.

APA citation style:

Smith, J. B., Thomas A. Edison, I., Paper Print Collection & Niver. (1903) Sky scrapers of New York City, from the North River. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Smith, James Blair, Camera, et al. Sky scrapers of New York City, from the North River. United States: Thomas A. Edison, Inc, 1903. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.