20 Vintage Photos of Brooklyn

Getty Images
Getty Images / Getty Images

In 1898, Brooklyn became an official borough of New York. Before that, it was its own independent city, and it was a hectic, diverse metropolis in its own right. If you think Brooklyn has gone through a lot of changes in the past ten years, check out these photos to see what life was like long ago in New York's most populous borough.

The Brooklyn Bridge

1877: A group of men pose on one of the cables on the Brooklyn Birdge mid-construction. 5,000 strands of steel wire make up the massive cables of the bridge. It took 14 years to complete construction.

1883: People walk on the bridge, while a policeman stands guard. The bridge is 5989 feet long and connects Manhattan and Brooklyn.

1926: Four men who wish to be hired to paint the Brooklyn Bridge balance on its beams as a test to see if they can handle the heights.

Library of Congress

1898: Curve at Brooklyn Terminal, New York & Brooklyn Bridge / Geo. P. Hall & Son, photographers, New York.

Library of Congress

1905: A young boy stands on the bridge, out of focus.

Coney Island

1890: People flock to the beautifully ornate entrance to Luna Park in Coney Island.

1890: Luna Park lit up and running.

1890: A crowd watches a not-at-all terrifying parade outside of Luna Park.

1927: Film director King Vidor (far right horse) and cast members of the movie The Crowd—James Murray, Eleanor Boardman and Estelle Clark—enjoy the rides.

Library of Congress

The "Razzle Dazzle" ride at Coney Island (date unknown).

Library of Congress

1901: The log flume ride makes a big splash.

Library of Congress

1900: A ground level view of the ride.

Library of Congress

1903: The Loop the Loop at Coney Island. Looks terrifying!

People of Brooklyn

1925: Herman Frics was once an owner of a saloon but then made some changes. In this picture, he had become an evangelist and principal supporter of the Hand Of God Mission of Brooklyn, New York. Behind him is his church on wheels, which transports him to less fortunate areas to preach.

1933: Baseball players Hack Wilson of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Dazzy Vance of the St. Louis Cardinals hang out at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn.

1938: An airplane flies over downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. The plane is taking Howard Hughes (1905-1976) and his crew around the world in four days.

Brooklyn Museum

Library of Congress

1905: The dome gallery, featuring some very stylish light fixtures.

Library of Congress

1905: Exterior of the Brooklyn Museum.

Library of Congress

1905: The Brooklyn Museum's gallery of natural history.  

Library of Congress

1905: The ceramics gallery.


All images courtesy of Getty Images unless otherwise stated.