Posts Tagged ‘Lower manhattan in the 19th century’

Lower Manhattan criss-crossed by wires

December 12, 2009

As this 1880s postcard reveals, New York streets in the late 19th century held messes of wires—telephone and telegraph wires like these as well as power lines.

The streets are much more attractive—not to mention safer—now that all the wires have to be buried underground. It’s a result of the Blizzard of 1888. That March storm dumped so much snow on the city, exposed wires and polls all over New York snapped like twigs, knocking out power and communication and paralyzing the city.