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Guide to the William F. Reeves Elevated Railroads Photograph Collection
(bulk dates 1878-1906)
 PR 154

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Emily Wolff and Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 14, 2015
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The William F. Reeves Elevated Railroad Photograph Collection spans the period from ca. 1868 to 1933 and contains photographic prints of elevated railroads in New York City collected by William F. Reeves. The collection contains 235 photographs including albumen prints, cyanotypes, gelatin silver prints (mostly original early-twentieth century prints with some later copy prints,) and printing-out paper prints. In most cases the photographers have not been identified. The Estate of William F. Reeves donated these images to the New-York Historical Society in 1937 as part of a gift of approximately 300 photographs. The original donation was dispersed into various Print Room collections. The images in this collection were formerly included in the Geographic File (PR 020) and the Subject File (PR 068). The collection is arranged into six series by railroad line: Second Avenue Line; Third Avenue Line; Sixth Avenue Line; Ninth Avenue Line; Bronx Lines; and Miscellaneous Photographs. Although each Manhattan line is designated by the name of a numbered avenue, that avenue was not the only thoroughfare along which it traveled. Miscellaneous photographs include aerial photographs taken from a power plant and coal hoist on 74th Street near the East River.

Photographers represented throughout the collection include: James A. Bostick, N. L. Coe, Herman Cos, George P. Hall & Son, Instantaneous Photo Co., and J. Reid.


Photographs are arranged from south to north on the train route.

The collection is arranged into six series by railroad line:

  1. Series I. Second Avenue Line ([1899]-1906)
  2. Series II. Third Avenue Line (1876-1904)
  3. Series III. Sixth Avenue Line ([1876]-1933)
  4. Series IV. Ninth Avenue Line (1868-1905)
  5. Series V. Bronx Lines (1883-1906)
  6. Series VI. Miscellaneous Photographs (1924, undated)