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]

Recent Stories

Is ‘Moishe’s Bake Shop’ on 2nd Avenue Cooked?

It might be time to sound the alarm for Moishe’s Bake Shop. The Real Deal reported yesterday that investor Jay Schwimmer recently signed a 21-year lease on the entire building at 115 Second Avenue. For all three floors, in fact, including Moishe’s Bake Shop. Occupancy could begin as soon as March, the lease start date. […]

Losers Lounge Celebrates 25th Anniversary

When it comes to music, we all have our guilty pleasures. Some satiate this within the safe confines of headphones, while others sing unabashedly with the windows down at a stoplight. There’s yet another component when you’re an actual musician and you have songs you like to belt out with reckless abandon. That being said, […]

WeWork Founder Brings ‘Selina’ Hotel Project to the Bowery

Finally complete after years of construction, 138 Bowery is ready for the big-time, and with an identity to boot. Backed by WeWork founder Adam Neumann, Selina is a multipurpose hospitality endeavor that marries co-working options with hotel rooms, retail, and food offerings. The lodge features 90 keys designed in collaboration with local artists and designers, […]

The Tower at MOSCOT’s Old Orchard Street HQ is Now Above Ground

Six years after MOSCOT moved across the street, the multimillion-dollar cause of its ousting is slowly ascending. We’re talking, of course, about the twelve-story tower currently under construction at the northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets. Foundation and underpinning work recently wrapped, and the superstructure skeleton is now poking above the plywood. Sitting at […]

Community Board Application Process Now Underway

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – Manhattan Community Board membership applications are now open for submission! The oft-polarizing (volunteer) political machine for the proverbial people of New York is looking for “passionate and engaged New Yorkers who are dedicated to making a difference in their neighborhoods.” Go get ’em. To be considered […]