3. Industrial Map of NYC

Map at the Museum of the City of New York, gift of McKim, Mead & White

One map is featured in two exhibits at Museum of the City of New York now. This industrial map of New York City was created by the Merchants’ Association of New York in 1922 utilizing 1919 Census data shows the diversity of manufacturing industries in New York City in the Roaring ’20s. In Mastering the Metropolis, the map is shown in its original form while in New York at Its Core, it’s converted into a digital, interactive display that highlights key takeaways.

As Sarah Henry, Deputy Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of the City of New York told us about this time period in the city:

There’s massive amount of production going on. It’s hidden in plain sight in New York City, but unlike cities that are famous for manufacturing, but were much smaller like Detroit or Pittsburgh, those places were dominated by a single industry and they were producing things in very large factories. In New York, there were many many different industries and the factories tended to be small so even though they employed many more people and produced much more product, you couldn’t necessarily see it.”

Women’s clothing brought in over $866 million a year, producing over 71% of the country’s production in that category. Men’s clothing $531.5 million a year, but was a smaller percentage of overall national production at 42%. These categories do not include other clothing categories like fur, millinery and lace goods, hats, shirts, buttons and more. New York City produced almost 96% of the country’s paper patterns (for construction clothing), almost 81% of the country’s tobacco pipes, and 90% of the country’s lapidary work (stone engraving).