03 July 2018

Back in the Day : 1911

It's sometimes difficult to imagine what the world looked like for previous generations of our ancestors.

I recently found a great video on YouTube showing New York City in 1911. I though it would be great to share that here, since my family "homeland" (Elizabeth, New Jersey) was just across the river, and no doubt my ancestors travelled to that bustling metropolis on occasion. In fact, my grandfather had a portrait made there in 1912 at the studio of E. Jennings & Co. at 22 Front Street. That neighborhood is quite close to where the Staten Island Ferry docks today.

The city of Elizabeth, on a much smaller scale of course, would have had some similarities at the time. Street cars, horse-drawn delivery wagons, and of course the people would have been dressed like their counterparts in New York.

Here are a few post card views of Elizabeth from the same era.

Viewed from Staten Island, this post card view of the waterfront of the city of Elizabeth, New Jersey shows a sailing ship, rail cars, and the distincitve spires of St. Patrick's Church. Postmarked 1909, sent by Louise Scheerer to Mina Krieger.
This shows the Elizabeth waterfront, with the spires of St. Patrick's just right of center. This scene would have been familiar to my Dixon oystermen earlier in the decade. By 1911 is seems like they had gone on to other, more landlocked,  jobs.
This postcard was postmarked in Elizabeth on June 28, 1909, and again in San Bernardino, CA on July 3.
Six days coast-to-coast. Not bad!
[If you're kin to Louise Scheerer, who sent the card, or Mina Krieger, who recieved it, drop me a note.]

Street scene on First Street, Elizabeth, NJ. Children wait on the corners as a streetcar approaches. Oppenhimer's Fancy Goods store is also seen. The publisher, Elizabeth Novelty Co. was in exisitance between 1904 and 1916.
Aside from the fact that the streets seem to be populated entirely by children, this is how First Street in Elizabeth
would have looked around 1911. Note the trolley, similar to those in New York City. Maybe some of the passengers
were heading for Oppenhimer's Fancy Goods store the on the left.
This card was printed by the Elizabeth Novelty Co., which was in existance between 1904 and 1916.

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