Listen to the Sound of the City, Circa 1929 [VIDEO]

Posted on: February 8th, 2018 at 5:07 am by

It’s rather common to see old black-and-white photos and footage of New York City from the early 20th Century. The quality of this old media tends to convey a nostalgic quaintness about a time vastly different from the present. So much so, that it seems crazy to think that life happened in color during these years.

But that’s focusing on the visual. What about the audio aspect? Sound paired with moving image from that time period is not the norm. Which is why the following clip provides a fascinating cacaphony of sound from the city in 1929. The unearthed segments, all shot with Movietone sound cameras (proprietary “sound-on-film” recording technology owned by Fox Films), were stitched together for a single 14-minute experience that illuminates the classic hustle-bustle.

What the recordings show is, even then, the city was a loud clusterfuck. If not more so. And that people embraced jaywalking.

Other highlights include a lively scene outside of “Zero’s Tub” on St. Mark’s Place; a lively rally of local socialists; trolley cars galore; old New York City accents; and the Local 60 union workers doing plaster work on the then-in-progress Chrysler Building.

[h/t Manhattan Before 1990]

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