Follow Roosevelt Islander On:




Friday, March 13, 2015

Oldest NYC Video Footage From 1896 - 1905 Shows Roosevelt (Formerly Blackwell's) Island Seen From A Passing East River Boat And Construction Of Queensboro Bridge Over Blackwell's Island

The oldest available video footage of NYC, taken between 1896 and 1905, contains shots of Roosevelt (then Blackwell's) Island seen from a passing East River boat

and the construction of the Queensboro Bridge over Roosevelt (Blackwell's) Island.

Take a look. Wow.

Oldest footage of New York City Ever from Luis Chaluisan WEPAwebTV on Vimeo.

The East River boat passing Blackwell's Island footage

was filmed by none other than Thomas Edison. According to the Library Of Congress:
Panorama of Blackwell's Island, N.Y. /
This film was photographed from a boat heading south along the eastern shore of Blackwell's Island (known today as Roosevelt Island). The island lies in the East River, between Manhattan (which can be seen in the background) and Long Island City, Queens. It is approximately one and three-quarters of a mile long, extending from 51st Street to 88th, and at the time of the filming was the location for a number of New York City's charitable and penal institutions. The film opens showing the lighthouse at the north end of the island (Hallet's Cove) [Frame: 0186]. As the boat enters the east channel of the river, the stacks of a large brewery on Manhattan are visible in the distance [0542]. The camera pans along the island's granite seawall (built by inmates of the Penitentiary and Workhouse) and the following buildings, in order of appearance, are shown: the New York City Lunatic Asylum [0956]; the Workhouse [1274]; the Almshouse [1524]; piers for the Queensborough (or 59th Street) Bridge, which upon completion in 1908 will span 135 feet above the island [2388]; the Almshouse Keeper's House (originally the home of the Blackwell family, who had once owned the island) [2730]; the Penitentiary [3646]; Charity Hospital [4140]. The film ends before reaching the southern tip of the island.
Created / Published
United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1903.