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-   -   Check these amazing photos of street life before the automobile (http://www.bikeforums.net/living-car-free/926985-check-these-amazing-photos-street-life-before-automobile.html)

poormanbiking 01-14-14 05:24 AM

Did anybody else notice in the first pic a guy just left of the street car looks like he's on a cellphone. In the second pic noticed the sign" Women $3.50" ,it's for shoes but does make you wonder. The third pic has the center court yard display topped by a pyramid, I'm claiming it's a Mason symbol.

I think life was rougher back then but I believe people had better interpersonal bonds. Longer life's is a side affect of science and technology but doesn't mean we are becoming a better race, again my opinion. I see people get into fights over football games !

Darth Lefty 01-17-14 12:03 PM

This sound effects studio added sound to the movie.

[video=youtube;8Q5Nur642BU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q5Nur642BU[/video]

cooker 01-17-14 04:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty (Post 16419044)
This sound effects studio added sound to the movie.

[video=youtube;8Q5Nur642BU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q5Nur642BU[/video]

It's interesting how cars seem to be the most annoying and out of place vehicles on the road, and now they've crowded everybody else out.

Roody 01-17-14 05:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cooker (Post 16419796)
It's interesting how cars seem to be the most annoying and out of place vehicles on the road, and now they've crowded everybody else out.

Good footage to show how disruptive and dangerous cars were right from the start. There are still a lot of pedestrians crossing mid-block. The car lobby didn't push through jaywalking laws until the 1920s, so walkers still had the right to use the "public" streets.

loneviking61 01-21-14 01:05 AM

Amazing photos is right. I saw a fellow with a small, two wheeled cart with a trash can in the middle of the cart sweeping up horse apples. I can tell if the photo was on a warm day, as the old buildings had windows at the top to let out hot air and windows lower down to draw in cooler, fresh air. I saw horses with drapes on pulling a wedding carriage through China town. What's odd about the Chinatown picture is that I couldn't find any Asians in the crowd! It was hard to find anyone obese in these pictures. The market pictures were interesting as the variety was really good and shows how folks used to eat. You'd buy from the produce and meat markets and cook your own meals from scratch. The prices were interesting too---one sign I saw said 2.5 lbs of coffee for 50 cents!

I'm going to be a loooong time going through that treasure trove of pictures over on Shorpy.

Roody 01-21-14 01:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loneviking61 (Post 16427926)
... I saw horses with drapes on pulling a wedding carriage through China town....

I'm going to be a loooong time going through that treasure trove of pictures over on Shorpy.

I thought it was a hearse, not a wedding carriage... I guess i have some weird preoccupation with death!

loneviking61 01-21-14 03:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16427935)
I thought it was a hearse, not a wedding carriage... I guess i have some weird preoccupation with death!

Nope, not weird. Most folks think any of the elaborate carriages like that were hearses, but the hearses were black. The wedding carriages were white and not as long as a hearse (because you're sitting) and taller because you were sitting.

Roody 01-21-14 11:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loneviking61 (Post 16428004)
Nope, not weird. Most folks think any of the elaborate carriages like that were hearses, but the hearses were black. The wedding carriages were white and not as long as a hearse (because you're sitting) and taller because you were sitting.

I was also surprised by how few carriages there are in most of the pictures. Lots of wagons (analogous to trucks) but relatively few carriages (analogous to cars). Almost everybody seems to be walking or taking streetcars. What's up with that?

loneviking61 01-21-14 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16428802)
I was also surprised by how few carriages there are in most of the pictures. Lots of wagons (analogous to trucks) but relatively few carriages (analogous to cars). Almost everybody seems to be walking or taking streetcars. What's up with that?

Limited space and too expensive. Neighborhoods were small enough to be walkable with merchants that sold everything you needed right there in the neighborhood. Most of the homes were small or joined together as rowhouses like the New York brownstone. Where would you keep a thousand pound animal, his tack, his feed and a carriage? Carriages were made of wood and needed to be garaged when not in use to keep them in good condition. Only the wealthy with their larger homes and land could afford them. That's why the bicycle was so popular. You could cover as much ground as someone with a carriage for a fraction of the cost on a machine you could put inside your home. It was freedom for a lot of people!

Roody 01-21-14 11:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loneviking61 (Post 16430268)
Limited space and too expensive. Neighborhoods were small enough to be walkable with merchants that sold everything you needed right there in the neighborhood. Most of the homes were small or joined together as rowhouses like the New York brownstone. Where would you keep a thousand pound animal, his tack, his feed and a carriage? Carriages were made of wood and needed to be garaged when not in use to keep them in good condition. Only the wealthy with their larger homes and land could afford them. That's why the bicycle was so popular. You could cover as much ground as someone with a carriage for a fraction of the cost on a machine you could put inside your home. It was freedom for a lot of people!

That makes a lot of sense. Now, can you explain why there aren't all that many bikes in these pictures? Somebody was saying that bicycling's golden age was already over by the early 1900s, even though cars weren't a factor yet. Is that true, and if so, why?

loneviking61 01-22-14 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16430737)
That makes a lot of sense. Now, can you explain why there aren't all that many bikes in these pictures? Somebody was saying that bicycling's golden age was already over by the early 1900s, even though cars weren't a factor yet. Is that true, and if so, why?

That I don't know. Some of the pictures were taken on streets so crowded you'd have a very hard time riding a bike. Other pictures seem to have been taken during the hottest time of day. The bikes are there, but not in the numbers I would expect either.

phoebeisis 01-22-14 08:00 AM

Earlier the "why so few bikes in the pictures" was addressed.
Crowded-you would arrive at work rumpled-and bikes were kinda expensive.
Found some sight-said they were $15-$20-or more.
Guessing that was a week's pay-maybe more.
Plus-HOW DO YOU SECURE A BIKE?
Cost you a weeks pay-are you goiung to have to haul a huge chain and lock-lock it to what.
So other than cost-same reason biking to work isn't popular now-arrive rumpled-sweating-dangerous-walking or public transportation or car is just BETTER.
A bike around all those horses-wagons-dangerous
Plus-flats-HUGE problem back then-how are you going to fix your flat.
Biking has a better chance now-easier to lock them up-safer-flats probably 10x less common and actually fixable on the fly-and much cheaper to buy a bike-maybe just 6 hours of labor.
But public transportation is still "better" in many bike cities-theft still a HUGE problem-still more dangerous than alternatives-still requires some athletic skills and youth.
Biking for transportation was NEVER common in USA- except maybe during the war-but doubt it was common even then

Roody 01-22-14 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by phoebeisis (Post 16431147)
Earlier the "why so few bikes in the pictures" was addressed.
Crowded-you would arrive at work rumpled-and bikes were kinda expensive.
Found some sight-said they were $15-$20-or more.
Guessing that was a week's pay-maybe more.
Plus-HOW DO YOU SECURE A BIKE?
Cost you a weeks pay-are you goiung to have to haul a huge chain and lock-lock it to what.
So other than cost-same reason biking to work isn't popular now-arrive rumpled-sweating-dangerous-walking or public transportation or car is just BETTER.
A bike around all those horses-wagons-dangerous
Plus-flats-HUGE problem back then-how are you going to fix your flat.
Biking has a better chance now-easier to lock them up-safer-flats probably 10x less common and actually fixable on the fly-and much cheaper to buy a bike-maybe just 6 hours of labor.
But public transportation is still "better" in many bike cities-theft still a HUGE problem-still more dangerous than alternatives-still requires some athletic skills and youth.
Biking for transportation was NEVER common in USA- except maybe during the war-but doubt it was common even then

I don't want to get off topic, but I have to mention that there are a lot of myths and inaccuracies in this message. I mean wow....

phoebeisis 01-22-14 08:37 AM

Roody-this whole thread is about BIKES- and WHY no bikes in the pictures-most OBVIOUS thing in the pictures-so few BIKES??
How are my points WRONG?
1)Bikes were relatively more expensive- week or more pay
2)Biking was/is MUCH more dangerous per mile than public transportation-or a car-10x more dangerous?
3)Bike theft is/was a problem?
4)Flats are MUCH less of a problem now?
5) Older folks less likely to transportation ride-now and then?
6)Transportation biking-never common in USA-hell just look at the picture-WW2 would have been about it-bikes were "cheap" and fuel and tires were dear-so that should have been the heyday of bike transportation

Just look at China -when folks become affluent enough to not HAVE to bike to work-they DUMP their bikes by the MILLIONS.Your answer will be "they are tricked by advertisers" into buying scooters motorcycles cars" like YOU know better what they want need than they do.


Oh-RAIN SNOW SMOG occasionally in some SW cities- TOO HOT

The way to increase bike transportation is to have $10 gas-or a depression- po folks ride because they HAVE TO.
In the south-cities-black adult men commonly rode bikes for transportation-because they were/are poor.They are the forgotten transportation cyclist-and they NEVER ride in the drops-
Actual "from necessity" transportation cyclists-NEVER use drop bars-look at 1975 China-NO drop bars-
Roody-this whole thread is ABOUT WHY?? Why no bikes?
So have at me.
Crude guess-bikes are perhaps a tiny bit more common now- especially in those big cities-NYNY Boston NOLA- they are MUCH cheaper and anti theft devices are more effective-more available-but bike theft still a HUGE problem in most cities-it is why I don't ride to the store.PITA to haul HUGE lock-heavy cable chain-bike racks not ideal

Dahon.Steve 01-22-14 10:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16351422)
Actually, it surprised me that there weren't many horse carriages for personal travel in the pictures either, and no horseback riding whatsoever. (Most of the horses shown were hooked up to wagons for delivering goods, not carriages for personal transportation.) I guess that in the urban areas, the streetcars had mostly superseded horses. This was clearly the Era of the Streetcar. 1900 was the peak of non-automotive transportation. The technology was more advanced than anything before or since.

The reason you didn't see horse carriages is due to the fact you needed a person to stay with the cart at all times. It wasn't like an automobile where one could just lock the door. In movies, you see buggys being left unattended on the street all the time but that's not how it was in real life. Also, the price of a buggy in 1860 was $150.00 dollars. Doesn't seem too much but the average labor wage was 10 cents a hour.

Dahon.Steve 01-22-14 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Roody (Post 16430737)
That makes a lot of sense. Now, can you explain why there aren't all that many bikes in these pictures? Somebody was saying that bicycling's golden age was already over by the early 1900s, even though cars weren't a factor yet. Is that true, and if so, why?

An ordinary bicycle in the 1890's would cost between 100-150 dollars or about 6 months pay. That was alot of money at the time and it was less expensive to ride the trolleys costing 5 cents. Traction lines started in 1887 and cities couldn't build them fast enough. In my town, there was a 5 minute wait during rush hour for a trolley and then 10 - 15 minutes after that! Trolleys ran all night long 24/7 even during the weekends and holidays.

The reason there weren't many bikes in the picture is due to the fact they were either on foot or using the trolley.

wahoonc 01-25-14 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve (Post 16433463)
The reason you didn't see horse carriages is due to the fact you needed a person to stay with the cart at all times. It wasn't like an automobile where one could just lock the door. In movies, you see buggys being left unattended on the street all the time but that's not how it was in real life. Also, the price of a buggy in 1860 was $150.00 dollars. Doesn't seem too much but the average labor wage was 10 cents a hour.

I don't buy that about the horses.... in Lancaster, PA it is not unusual to see a horse and buggy tied up for several hours. Many of the larger businesses actually have open sheds where they can be tied up out of the worst of the weather.

Aaron :)

Roody 01-26-14 01:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wahoonc (Post 16440743)
I don't buy that about the horses.... in Lancaster, PA it is not unusual to see a horse and buggy tied up for several hours. Many of the larger businesses actually have open sheds where they can be tied up out of the worst of the weather.

Aaron :)

True, the Amish around here often leave their horse & buggy tied up while they shop at Walmart or eat at McDonalds. Maybe it would be different in a big city?


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