Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

When horses powered New York

May 23, 2008

The American Museum of Natural History just launched its horse exhibit, which makes this a good time to consider the equine era in New York City. It’s only been 100 years or so since cars and trucks began to replace horses as a major mode of transit above ground. This photo is from 1888; check out the horses pulling streetcars (to Harlem!) at Bowery and Canal. 

Reminders of horse power abound, like this equine water fountain under the 59th Street Bridge. It was built in 1919 for use in the open-air market that existed there at the time, a market likely packed with horse carts, which were still a common sight in the 1940s and even the 1950s.

I only know of two other horse drinking fountains in the city. One is on Central Park South just inside the park off Sixth Avenue; the other sits at the Southeast corner of the park. Both were presented to the ASPCA in the early 1900s. And they both still work!