New York in Motion: Incredible Photographs of The City That Never Sleeps (1880s)

When not working as a chemist and at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science's departments of Mineralogy and Astronomy, Wallace G. Levison was taking photographs. Advances in technology allowed Levison to capture his native New York in motion.

When not working as a chemist and at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Science’s departments of Mineralogy and Astronomy, Wallace G. Levison was taking photographs. Advances in technology allowed Levison to capture his native New York in motion. His street photography takes us around the city that never sleeps. The joint is jumping:

 

May 28, 1886 J.M. Cornell jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street.

May 28, 1886
J.M. Cornell jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street.

 

 

Wallace’s photographs introduce us to a few people: Zelma Levison, J.M. Cornell, Ethel Merritt, Mr Stokes and Jamie Swan. We found news of one of his subjects: Mildred Grimwood (1879 – 1948). She’s buried at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn. Mildred was related to Josephine ‘Jo’ Levison Grimwood (her mother possibly), which provides us with a link between her and the aforesaid Zelma, who can be seen in one photo playing ball with her aunt Jo Grimwood (died October 1941). Jo is also buried at Greenwood Cemetery. The Levison family features larger, then, in Mr Levison’s photos. But what of the rest? What about their lives?

 

May 15, 1887 Edith Poey jumps off a wooden pole onto the sand at Coney Island.

May 15, 1887
Edith Poey jumps off a wooden pole onto the sand at Coney Island.

June 24, 1887 Edgar J. Taylor jumps off a barrel.

June 24, 1887
Edgar J. Taylor jumps off a barrel.

April 15, 1900 Dr. Ernest Palmer and wife join hands to make a bar so that their dog can jump over it.

April 15, 1900
Dr. Ernest Palmer and wife join hands to make a bar so that their dog can jump over it.

Sept. 8, 1897 A man in a barrel does a push up at the beach.

Sept. 8, 1897
A man in a barrel does a push up at the beach.

Sept. 8, 1897 A woman swims at the beach.

Sept. 8, 1897
A woman swims at the beach.

Sept. 8, 1897 Gertrude Hubbell, Ruth Peters, and Mildred Grimwood play near the water at Arverne, Queens.

Sept. 8, 1897
Gertrude Hubbell, Ruth Peters, and Mildred Grimwood play near the water at Arverne, Queens.

June 26, 1886 Jamie Swan jumps off a short stone wall at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn.

June 26, 1886
Jamie Swan jumps off a short stone wall at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn.

Nov. 6, 1884 Crowds of men outside the New York Tribune building in lower Manhattan.

Nov. 6, 1884
Crowds of men outside the New York Tribune building in lower Manhattan.

1886 Uniformed officers in riding boots walk down a street.

1886
Uniformed officers in riding boots walk down a street.

Oct. 14, 1886 Mr. Stokes jumps off a wall in Fort Greene Park.

Oct. 14, 1886
Mr. Stokes jumps off a wall in Fort Greene Park.

May 10, 1886 Nathan Abbott and a young girl walk through Copps Hill Cemetery.

May 10, 1886
Nathan Abbott and a young girl walk through Copps Hill Cemetery.

May 22, 1886 Girls jump off a stone wall in Fort Greene.

May 22, 1886
Girls jump off a stone wall in Fort Greene.

June 1, 1891 An elephant from the Barnes Circus walks down Atlantic Street in Brooklyn.

June 1, 1891
An elephant from the Barnes Circus walks down Atlantic Street in Brooklyn.

May 22, 1886 Isabel Harter rides a tricycle while her sister Nellie rolls a hoop in Fort Greene.

May 22, 1886
Isabel Harter rides a tricycle while her sister Nellie rolls a hoop in Fort Greene.

May 28, 1886 J.M. Cornell jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street.

May 28, 1886
J.M. Cornell jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street.

June 19, 1886 Zelma Levison jumps in the backyard of her home at 314 Livingston Street.

June 19, 1886
Zelma Levison jumps in the backyard of her home at 314 Livingston Street.

June 20, 1886 Mildred Grimwood jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street as brother Victor Grimwood and pal Zelma Levison look on.

June 20, 1886
Mildred Grimwood jumps in the backyard at 314 Livingston Street as brother Victor Grimwood and pal Zelma Levison look on.

June 27, 1886 Five men compete in a walking race.

June 27, 1886
Five men compete in a walking race.

June 11, 1886 Ethel Merritt jumps in the air at Coney Island.

June 11, 1886
Ethel Merritt jumps in the air at Coney Island.

July 20, 1886 Zelma Levison and her aunt Jo Grimwood throw a ball back and forth on a lawn in Prospect Park.

July 20, 1886
Zelma Levison and her aunt Jo Grimwood throw a ball back and forth on a lawn in Prospect Park.

Aug. 23, 1886 A group of young male bathers walk single file along the beach.

Aug. 23, 1886
A group of young male bathers walk single file along the beach.

Aug. 24, 1886 An actor talks with bathers on the beach.

Aug. 24, 1886
An actor talks with bathers on the beach.

 

Via: mashable