Welcome back to the Roaring ’20s, New York! Now that the new decade has officially dawned, we’re turning the clock back 100 years to see what the city was like the last time the calendar struck 20. If you’re looking for a little inspiration for your next Great Gatsby-themed bash, ahead find 20 fantastic photos of New York during the Jazz Age, depicting everything from old Ebbets Field to the height of Prohibition.
Baseball ruled in Brooklyn and the Bronx
A crowd at the Polo Grounds for the first game of the 1922 World Series, via Library of Congress
Hot Dogs outside Ebbets Field, October 1920, via Library of Congress.
Jacob Ruppert and Waren Harding at Yankee Stadium, 1923, via the Library of Congress.
New York Yankees baseball team posed. New York, 1926. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Booze was dumped down sewers
Interior of a crowded bar moments before midnight, June 30, 1919, when wartime prohibition went into effect New York City; Retrieved from the Library of CongressNew York City Deputy Police Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into sewer following a raid during the height of prohibition. 1921. Via the Library of Congress
Broadway thrived with the arrival of theaters in Times Square
Broadway north from 38th Street, New York City, showing Winter Garden, Maxine Elliot’s, Casino, and Knickerbocker Theatres (1920) Retrieved from the Library of Congress.
Interior of Hammerstein Theater, New York City. New York, ca. 1928. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Palace Theatre, New York City. , ca. 1920. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Iconic infrastructure almost unrecognizable today
Penn. Station, New York City. , ca. 1920. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Herald Square, New York City. , ca. 1920. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Columbus Circle, New York City, looking south (1921); Retrieved from the Library of Congress
The development of city parks and public spaces flourished after WWI
Group of people watching gardener at work in garden project in New York City; “City experiment in gardening, New York City” [ca. 1922] Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Lanzar Motor Co., “Greenwich Village Girls,” 1923, via Library of Congress
Edward J. Riegelmann, Brooklyn Borough President, opening the boardwalk between West 5th and West 17th Streets in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York City on 24 December 1922; Public domain on Wikimedia, via NYC Municipal Archives
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1907 – 1920). Grant’s Tomb, Riverside Drive, New York
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. (1918 – 1925). Entrance to Central park at 5th Avenue and 59th Street, New York City
And like today, New Yorkers found interesting ways to pass the time
“Circus broadcasted by radio for the first time,” 1925. This photo shows Dolly, a two-year-old elephant, rehearsing her “song” before the microphone in Madison Square Garden for the broadcasting of the Big Circus (Ringling Brothers & Barnum & Bailey). Via the Library of Congress
Tony, a twelve-year-old bootblack at his station in Bowling Green, New York City. He says he makes from $2. to $3. a day regularly. July 25, 1924. Location: New York, New York; Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine; Retrieved from the Library of Congress
Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library. The Traveling Library, Staten Island