January 5, 2009
When Jersey Was Beautiful

I struck the mother load today! Both date and place for a photo missing those captions!

Suffrage hikers on way to Wash. (LOC)

The short:
This is February 12, 1913, around 10:30am. The photo is taken in Newark, New Jersey on Broad Street, just north of West Kinney.

The long:
My comments on the photo were really long. This will be more concise.

Zyrcster's parade thread in the Commons discussion group lead me to this photo, which seemed to have too much character to be unidentifiable.

A quick web search taught me about the hike from New York to Washington for the suffrage parade the day before Wilson's inauguration. A school database search of Washington Post and New York Times told me that this is *probably* day one because of the cleanliness and number of people.

The paper search also gave me a name for one automobile's driver. The LOC high res image yielded a New York license plate. Comparison to a web image search proved the other two to be New Jersey plates. Gotta be Jersey, right??

I know nothing about Newark (or New Jersey). So I started with transportation, those history guys love details and photos. I learned about the "tube" station they started from - it would be Park Place Station - and what streetcar company serviced it on what roads - Public Service Railway on Broad Street. I looked at a map and found their lunch stop at Elizabeth. Having done some long urban hikes, I guessed they'll walk in a straight line and confirmed it with street names in the NYTimes.

Then I started getting creative with web searches. Finally I ended up at street photos from the Old Newark Web Group. They had postcards with addresses that match two buildings in the photo. The web map sites all choke on the address, so I needed to find another way to find location. I found names for said buildings. I found flickr photos for said building and building, and one had a geotag. Then I scrolled to a bird's eye map and streeview map of "now".

With location confirmed, I get the date as a bonus since we know their itinerary. And a review of the next day's New York Times gives a good time frame - after their 9amish departure from Fulton Street, before their soon-after-noon arrival in Elizabeth, NJ.

Extremely satisfying.

Except, why has Newark absolutely ruined this beautiful street?

(This is also in the Flickr Commons research thread.)

Written by Rob Ketcherside at January 5, 2009 11:16 PM
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