Updated: Jan 3, 2019
The early 1900s were a period of rapid change for New York City.
The city's population was ballooning as an influx of immigrants passed through Ellis Island. Massive skyscrapers began popping up seemingly overnight, many of them among the tallest in the world at the time. And new technology such as automobiles and elevated trains made the city more accessible than ever.
In 1911, Swedish company Svenska Biografteatern produced a nine-minute film showing everyday life in Manhattan. The remarkably clear footage, released by the Museum of Modern Art last year, includes recognizable modern-day landmarks like the Flatiron Building and the Statue of Liberty, as well as buildings that no longer exist, such as the New York Herald Building.
"Produced only three years before the outbreak of World War I, the everyday life of the city recorded here — street traffic, people going about their business — has a casual, almost pastoral quality," the museum wrote.
Back in 1911, the Swedish film production company Svenska Biografteatern visited New York City during a trip to America and shot footage of various street scenes. The film has survived through the years in mint condition, and YouTuber Guy Jones created this fascinating 8-minute edit after slowing down the footage to a natural rate and adding in ambient sounds.
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