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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Some New York El Drawings from the 1930's

   The el system that developed in Manhattan from the middle of the 19th Century was quite useful in transporting cheaply and efficiently passengers for many years.  Els also developed elsewhere in New York City as well, particularly in Brooklyn and Queens and as extensions to Manhattan els into the Bronx.  Other cities, such as Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago and perhaps Kansas City as well had their el lines as well, with Chicago perhaps being more famous for having els more  than Manhattan.  With the development of subways, the pressure to get rid of els increased because they were considered eyesores as well.  In an very interesting blog called "Ephemeral New York", some of the topics covered here, such as gas tanks, old buildings and els are discussed in detail.  I came across some interesting drawings made in the 1930's on one of our favorite subjects, the els of Manhattan.  These drawing are posted in their blog.

In the drawing below, by Francis Criss is a 1933 drawing titled "Third Avenue El".
This somewhat abstract drawing also contains a "Bishop Crook" streetlamp.

The next drawing is etching by Martin Lewis (1931) and shows the el station at 6th Avenue and 23rd Street in a winter storm.

  You really get the feeling of being in Manhattan on a snowy day  I know how it feels.  What a wonderful drawing showing the period clothes and the postures of the people on the street.  Under the staircase is a small news booth.

Our last drawing was drawn in 1934 by Charles L. Goeller and is titled "Third Avenue".

 This drawing is in a different style than the two above.  Notice the space rocket like famous New York skyscraper and of course, a few of my Bishop Crook streetlamps. 

More discussion will hopefully follow in the future.

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