Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scenes From New York

I happened to have a few scans of New York City ready to go, so let's spend today's "Anything Goes Saturday" over there.

This first slide is undated, but certainly from the mid-1950's. This is a wonderful view of LaGuardia airport! Who knows what those airplanes are (there appears to be at least two different types)? Jet travel for the masses was not a thing yet. The various parked vehicles add color and fun to the scene. In the distance you can the see arched span of Hell Gate Bridge, which Wikipedia says was the inspiration for the famous (and 60 % larger) Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia. See what you learn at GDB?

This one is kind of dark, but is still a neat look at the vast interior of Grand Central Station from August 1956 (thanks for the correction, Nanook!). One feature that stands out is the backlit large color transparency on the east balcony, one of Kodak's famous "Colorama" prints. These were 18 feet high and 60 feet long, and were billed as  "The World's Largest Photographs". Another neat feature is the very cool display in the lower right, for Oldsmobile's "Rocket 88" automobiles. 

This one is undated (probably 1950's), but is an interesting study in contrasts. I believe that this was taken from the Jersey side of the Hudson River. In the foreground, a dirt lot and heaps of rubbish, along with a bunch of autos (all of them black?). Perhaps this was near a ferry landing. Across the river is fabulous Manhattan, with the Kong-less Empire State Building towering above everything else. Imagine how this view looked at night!

I hope you have enjoyed your trip to New York City!


Nanook said...


I'll let the experts weigh-in on details of those fine aircraft. But the Oldsmobile at grand Central is a 1956. So if the slide really is from August, 1958, I would assume they're displaying a "cavalcade of 'Rocket 88' automobiles", which would date back to 1949. Seems a bit odd to display "last years models" - but you never know.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I had to dig out the slide to find the hand-written date. What I thought was "1958" really does appear to actually be "1956" (it is pretty sloppy). Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I've just got to have the Dodge Power Wagon there on the right in the third picture. Please, can I have it? Pleeeease?

K. Martinez said...

Ah, the Hell Gate Bridge. I've got one sitting in my living room (Lionel Tinplate).

I don't know the various aircraft, but I do remember flying in a propeller passenger airplane when I was a small child.

The last image is my favorite. I love old photos of ports and industrial zones. Beautiful!

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Love the elegant couple directly to the left of the yellow convertible in the second picture. You know the lady in the snow-white hat and floral dress with shawl collar got an A+ in Posture and Deportment at finishing school. I can't see her white gloves, but I have no doubt that they're there.

Irene said...

According to my husband - the first photo the American Airlines plane facing sideways is a Convair 440 and the larger ones with 4 engines are DC-4's.

Chuck said...

That first one is a fun one, Major!

Irene - I think your husband is partially correct. That's definitely a DC-4 on the extreme right and a Convair 440 to its left (the wing and #2 engine of another CV-440 is visible in front of the DC-4).

The next two airplanes in American Airlines livery are probably DC-6's. The DC-4 and DC-6 are very similar in appearance (the initial DC-6 design was essentially a pressurized DC-4 with more powerful engines), but there are subtle differences between them. The DC-4 has round windows while the DC-6 has square windows. DC-6's generally have squared-off propeller tips while DC-4s have rounded ones (visible on the DC-4 in the foreground). The top of the rudder on the DC-6 is also generally flatter than the DC-4, and the length of these two airplanes suggests that they are probably DC-6B's, which were longer than either the DC-4 or the initial model of the DC-6.

The similar-looking airplane taxiing behind the DC-6's could be a DC-4, DC-6, or a DC-7 (which had 4-bladed props and a host of upgrades from the DC-6B). It's just too hard to tell at this resolution and angle.

As far as the other two airplanes parked in the background are concerned, the white one on the far right appears to be a DC-3, although at this resolution I'm not sure; it could also be a surplus C-46. I have no idea what the other plane to its left is. I'll just pretend it's mine.

Major Pepperidge said...

Anonymous, yes you may have the Power Wagon. The pink slip is in the mail!

K. Martinez, so weird, I feel like I already replied to your comment! Maybe it didn't publish. Anyway, I definitely remember flying in propeller-driven planes, maybe for smaller hops. Allegheny Airlines on the east coast still used those when I was a kid.

Melissa, I would be more impressed if the lady was balancing a book on her head. THEN I would know that she had good posture.

Irene, thanks!

Chuck, square windows, weren't those considered dangerous? Stress cracks and such? I love the look of these old planes, though I wouldn't trade in the speed and convenience of jets today. Thanks for all the info about the planes!