Picturing the City: Photographs in Digital Archive-Shopping in New York

Jeremiah Jack Linehan-112472588

Shopping in New York city in the 19th and 20th century

Shopping became a big part of life in New York city in the 19th century. Shopping began with the introduction of the rise of exhibitions, which for the first time in the world gave common people the chance to browse at the latest innovations in the world. The exhibitions then led to the development of the department store in the late 19th century and early 20th and have flourished ever since. They are still going strong to this day. This was a major advancement at the time and it broke down many social barriers which are highlighted in the Domosh article on New York. Even in the heart of the middle-class space on Broadway and Fifth Avenue, classes mingled with different “races” and fashionably paraded. At the same time gender roles could be reversed.

New York City: Broadway


This image shows what Domosh was talking about and how Broadway in New York was advancing at the time.


The second image then goes on to represent how people acted on Fifth Avenue in New York city in the 19th century.Social rules were put in place that everyone could obey and still go about their business. It was the beginning of the tearing down of a class structure in America ,and it began with shopping in places like 5th Avenue. This was all as a result of the development of department stores that went from images such as..

Wholesale Meat market, New York Street


the image shown above is of the department stores prior to development during the 20th century. These kinds only looked after the upper class and discouraged browsing.


The image above shows what shopping in New York became during the 20th century it made major advances. Shopping really took over the city of New York in the 20th century encouraging people to live there and with advancements in transport to visit and shop in New York ,causing the city to grow larger than ever illustrated by the photo below.



  1. Mona Domosh, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 88, No. 2 (Jun., 1998), pp.
    209-226,  Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers
  2. http://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0050566.html
  3. http://www.archives.gov/research/american-cities/images/american-cities-065.jpg
  4. http://www.leodis.net/display.aspx?resourceIdentifier=2002527_52915591&DISPLAY=FULL
  5. http://www.europeana.eu/portal/record/92064/D8B93FEAFA72CAF5E178EE948A9CB524E436E440.html?start=2&query=what%3Anew+york+shopping+20th+century&startPage=1&rows=24
  6. http://www.archives.gov/research/american-cities/images/american-cities-053a.jpg
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