The factories of Queens sparking to life in 1910

Born in Dublin and educated in Paris, Aloysius C. O’Kelly was a turn of the century painter whose body of work reflects time spent in Europe, Ireland, and England.

But he spent time in New York, too, where he captured the congestion and manufacturing happening on the Queens side of the new Queensboro Bridge in “Tugboats in the East River, New York.”

“The East River, circa 1910, stands apart as one of O’Kelly’s few industrial New York landscapes,” writes Heritage Auctions, where the painting is up for sale.

“Shaping the composition is the dramatic cantilever Queensboro Bridge connecting Manhattan and Long Island, considered an engineering marvel at its completion in 1909. Here, the viewer looks north from the East River toward Queens, with its dense cluster of factories and warehouses sparking to life in the early morning haze.”

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4 Responses to “The factories of Queens sparking to life in 1910”

  1. Erwin Schaub Says:

    Hello. Enjoying these posts. On this painting by O’Kelly of the Queensboro Br, is it possible that it is not of the Queens side? I believe it is of the Manhattan side, with the artist (viewer) essentially positioned on the west shore of Blackwells Island. I opine this as the two stacks that are behind the bridge work, appear to be the NY Steam Co. Plant Stacks, (one of which is still there) and also further to the right, in front of bridge on shore is a manufactured gas holder structure, which I know were in this area of Manhattan at the time.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I think you might be right; I agree about the gas holder. I was relying on the copy from the auction site!

  3. Bob Leddy Says:

    I can see the bridge from here. Wonderful photo. I worked in an ice cream factory in Queens, it may have been there with all the hundreds of other factories at that time.

  4. Antoinette Truglio Martin Says:

    Beautiful painting. I enjoy these posts.

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