New York City in Color in 1939

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New York City in Color in 1939

New York City in color in 1939 courtesy of Romano Archives. A wonderful amateur film shot by French visitor Jean Vivier has recently been discovered. Vivier rode down Fifth Avenue on a doubledecker bus, visited Chinatown, 30 Rock, Harlem, Washington Square, and a lot of places I hope native New Yorkers will point out in the comments. I love when something like this is discovered that helps genealogists see what a certain place and time looked like.

According to HuffPo:

Remember when you could sip on a glass of coconut champagne at an open-air sidewalk bar in New York City — and it only cost 5 cents?

Neither do we, but we bet it was epic.

Thanks to a rare color film reportedly shot in New York in the summer of 1939, you can get a glimpse of life in the Big Apple during the end of the Great Depression.

The recently released footage, which was shot on 16mm Kodachrome film according to Italian archivist Vincent Romano, shows men hanging their arms out the open windows of elevated trains, street vendors hawking potatoes in wooden crates for 2 cents per pound and women relaxing in lounge chairs on the deck of Rockefeller Center.

In an email to The Huffington Post, Romano said the footage is part of a longer film shot by Jean Vivier, a French tourist who sailed from Marseille to New York on the SS Normandie.

The song used is “2 Minutes 38 Seconds To Kiss” by Russian DJ Kirill Sergeew.

Abut Vincent Romano and the Romano Archives:

Musician, writer, historian, researcher, Italian pioneer of the digitalization of historical multimedial [sic] material, Vincent “Enzo” Romano assembles, from 1990 up to today, the most complete Italian private digital archive related to the American History, from the end of XIX Century to 1970, and other “different” Collections regarding European historical events.

In October 2005, through the Project “ROMANO-ARCHIVES Special Collections Department”, Vincent Romano keeps distributing on line for the first time digital copies of historical documents belonging to some important Collections, taking the challenge to make even the most hidden and controversial documents regarding the Contemporary History easily findable and available, in a way capable to rise a wide range of interest and curiosity in the international public of the Web.

Does New York City in color in 1939 remind you of your relatives?

 

 

By |1 Jun 2013|Family Photos & Records|Comments Off on New York City in Color in 1939

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine’s “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”