The Brownie box camera, named after Palmer Cox's cartoon characters, was first introduced by Kodak in 1900 and cost $1.00 to buy
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Manhattan Frozen in Time!

historyinphotos focuses on photographs of New York City taken by Joseph H. Sachs, between the years of 1925 and 1931. Joe was born in 1901 on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at a time when New York City was still in its industrial infancy. In the early part of the 20th century, the city's public infrastructure began to develop. Elevated subways that would connect the outer boroughs to Manhattan were being constructed. It was not long after, that Joe's grandparents, who settled here in the late 1880s, took a trip to visit an area that the whole Lower East Side was talking about - The Bronx.

Newly developed buildings were rising all over the southern part of this borough. Around 1915, the family moved to the South Bronx and settled on Charlotte Street, which contained a whole new line of tenement buildings. But these buildings were new, clean and had a new convenience, steam heat that was very appealing to potential new tenants. The streets were less crowded than the lower east side; however, the closest school, Morris High, was a good mile away. Since school buses were a vision of the future, Joe and his two brothers, Sam and Max would make the daily mile long trek along Boston Post Road to Morris High School and return at the end of the day. There were no complaints.

In the 1920s, Joe took up photography and became the president of a camera club. Besides the hundreds of photographs of family and friends that Joe took at that time and later, Joe would take the subway downtown to Manhattan and photograph the new buildings that were making their mark on the expanding Manhattan skyline. Structures that reflect the famous art deco style were changing the face of New York and most every photograph depicted on this website is a reflection of that change.

Old Cameras Joe used a simple Brownie box camera that didn't contain any fancy aperture or shutter speed features. No auto focus or auto film rewind and the camera's mechanics and optics of then could be found in a one of today's toys; yet, with this simple technology, Joe's photos leaves an impact - a snapshot of a city from decades past. contains numerous features, such as Time Zone, a fascinating look of the transition between early New York and New York of the 1990s. Amazingly, some changes are trivial between these years, but what makes Time Zone most unique is that the same man - Joseph Sachs, took these pictures some 70 years apart!

Tune in on the people, the cars and the buildings and you may feel a transition into the past. Whether you love photography, architecture, history or New York City, we are sure you will enjoy this gallery of old New York as seen by the eyes of a devoted New Yorker, American and experienced photographer.

Now, Joe Sach's son, Steve is a professional photographer, who travels the United States and abroad with his digital SLR cameras. (See Photos for the Families of Long Island). He is a partnered photographer with Brown Photography Studios, located in Queens, New York and is a member of the The Professional Photographers Society of Greater New York.