VIDEO: Driving Around NYC in the 1920s Was a Dangerous Task

June 1, 2015

Say, you crazy nut — where did you learn to drive?

I didn’t. It’s a gift.

Next time you’re holding on for dear life in the back of a taxi, watch a few seconds of this video and you’ll likely feel a bit better about your fate. In this 1928 parody of what bad drivers New Yorkers are (some things never change), actor Harold Lloyd, famous for his silent comedy films, assumes the role of a city cab driver who takes passengers on a bumpy ride, dodging street-level trains and weaving in and out of traffic. We then see that the alternative modes of transportation, horse and carriage or bus, are just as dangerous.

In addition to the comedic aspect of this silent short, we get to see some great historic footage of NYC in 1928 like cars driving through Washington Square Park, trains that ran on the street (and caused 11th Avenue to get the nickname “Death Avenue”), the elevated trains, and some fun old storefronts.


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More: History

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