1898 Photo by Byron Company, “Street Vendors Orchard Street 1898 at Hester Street, Looking South.” via the Collections of the Museum of the City of New York
Welcome to a new feature within our Vintage Photography column, the Then & Now series brought to you by Vestiges of New York, a photography project documenting how the New York City streets have changed. This image is just a teaser–drag the cursor left and right on the photograph to compare Orchard Street (viewed from Hester Street) between 1898 and today. Although much of the architecture remains the same, only a few traces of the pushcart peddlers exist now. Well-known Lower East Side establishments like Russ & Daughters, MOSCOT, and Cohen’s Fashion Optical, all founded by enterprising street peddlers, connect us to that long-gone world in bits and pieces.