Lifestyle

Depression-Era New York Looked, Well, Pretty Depressing

Published On 10/09/2015 Published On 10/09/2015
All photos courtesy of the Library of Congress

If your vision of the Great Depression is limited to dust-covered farmland and suicidal stock brokers... well, they're definitely a part of it, but you're kinda missing vital elements of what life was like for everyday folk in the big city -- and really, what city's bigger than New York? 

Fortunately, the Library of Congress has an archive of nearly 170,000 photos from back in those heady days, and Yale's digitized them all into an easy-to-navigate online collection. We've cherry-picked our favorite slice-of-life shots of the Big Apple, ranging from newspaper stands and workers on strike to dudes selling peanuts and children playing in the filthy street.

Library of Congress

Children playing in the gutter on 139th Street, just east of St. Anne's Avenue (Bronx, NY)

Library of Congress

West 125th Street and 7th Avenue

Library of Congress

Farmer's Market, Address Unknown

Library of Congress

"Social Justice," sold on important street corners and intersections

Library of Congress

Peanut wagon on Lenox Avenue and 133rd Street

Library of Congress

Address Unknown

Library of Congress

Street hawker selling Consumer's Bureau Guide on â€‹42nd Street and Madison Avenue

Library of Congress

49th Street near Sixth Avenue

Library of Congress

 Newspapers for Sale on 61st Street, between 1st and 3rd Avenues

Library of Congress

Waiting for an uptown bus on Fifth Avenue, at Saint Patrick's Cathedral

Library of Congress

Two men in conversation, 7th Avenue near 38th Street

Library of Congress

Tenant moving on a horse-drawn wagon on 61st Street, between 1st and 3rd Avenues

Library of Congress

Sign offering apartments for rent on 61st Street, between 1st and 3rd Avenues

Library of Congress

Men on Strike on 42nd Street, East of 5th Avenue

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Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and old photos always creep him out. Follow his black & white tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to news@thrillist.com

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