Friday, February 23, 2007
Roosevelt Island, 1903
Thomas A. Edison Inc. footage of Roosevelt Island, formerly Blackwell's Island, on May 20th 1903.
This film was photographed from a boat ... all » heading south along the eastern shore of Blackwell's Island (known today as Roosevelt Island). The island lies in the East River, between Manhattan (which can be seen in the background) and Long Island City, Queens. It is approximately one and three-quarters of a mile long, extending from 51st Street to 88th, and at the time of the filming was the location for a number of New York City's charitable and penal institutions. The film opens showing the lighthouse at the north end of the island (Hallet's Cove) [Frame: 0186].
As the boat enters the east channel of the river, the stacks of a large brewery on Manhattan are visible in the distance . The camera pans along the island's granite seawall (built by inmates of the Penitentiary and Workhouse) and the following buildings, in order of appearance, are shown: the New York City Lunatic Asylum ; the Workhouse ; the Almshouse ; piers for the Queensborough (or 59th Street) Bridge, which upon completion in 1908 will span 135 feet above the island ; the Almshouse Keeper's House (originally the home of the Blackwell family, who had once owned the island) ; the Penitentiary ; Charity Hospital . The film ends before reaching the southern tip of the island.
Other rare films can be seen at the Library Of Congress