Check Out The First Aerial Photograph of New York City Captured in 1906

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The lower end of Manhattan Island photographed from a height of about 800 feet. Battery Park with the elevated railroad winding through it occupies most of the lower portion of the picture' the small park slightly above it is Bowling Green with the new Custom House facing it. The little dark spot to the right is Corlears Hook Park. The blurs around the corners of the pictures are due to the action of the salt water when the plates fell into Long Island Sound

According to the New York Public Library, the first aerial photo of New York City is the image above, snapped by photographer James A. Hart in 1906 as part of a commercial stunt. Hart recounts his adventure:

The tops of the skyscrapers were a thousand feet below us. I could distinguish easily the individual ļ¬gures like so many pencil dots on the pavement. A group of dots directly beneath was the curb-brokers at their buying and selling.Not one sound of the hum and roar, of the clanging of electric cars or the whistling of the tugs, could I hear. New York was remote; it was a picture rather than an organism.

Though the photograph is a bit murky, its littered with landmarks that remain today such as Battery Park and Castle Clinton, as well as the western docks that were replaced by the World Trade Center and Battery Park City. Be sure to check out the full article for a detailed account of the backstory of this photograph.

Joshua Mu

Joshua Mu

Contributing Writer

When he is not attempting to hustle the hustlers of Central Park, Joshua enjoys exploring the depths of what New York has to offer. He one day hopes to pilot a drone without immediately crashing it.

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