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Journey Back in Time with Astonishing Historic Photos of Brooklyn in the 1870s

The 1870s stand as a significant era in the history of Brooklyn, a decade that shaped its identity and laid the groundwork for its future. Just over a decade after the end of the Civil War, Brooklyn was rapidly emerging as a thriving urban landscape, distinct yet intrinsically connected to Manhattan. For those interested in delving into the history and development of this iconic borough, the 1870s offer a compelling lens.

The Post-War Economy and Industrial Prowess

Brooklyn in the 1870s was a hotbed of industrial and commercial activity. The war had spurred economic growth, particularly in the sectors of manufacturing and shipping. The Brooklyn Navy Yard continued to be an essential hub for shipbuilding, even in peacetime. Neighborhoods like Gowanus and Greenpoint became known for their factories, tanneries, and foundries, creating a boom in employment opportunities and drawing a diverse influx of immigrants.

The Elevated Railways

The decade witnessed an extraordinary development in public transportation. The introduction of elevated railways, colloquially known as “els,” revolutionized how Brooklynites moved about the borough and connected to Manhattan. The first elevated line began operation in 1878, stretching from Fulton Ferry to East New York. This development was a harbinger of Brooklyn’s subsequent transit expansion and set the stage for its consolidation with the greater New York City.

Cultural Landmarks and Social Institutions

Cultural landmarks also began to take root in the 1870s. In 1876, the inaugural game at the original Capitoline Grounds, a baseball park in Bedford-Stuyvesant, was played, marking Brooklyn’s burgeoning love affair with baseball. Meanwhile, institutions like the Brooklyn Museum were in their formative years, and the Brooklyn Public Library system was inaugurated in 1878, providing an invaluable resource for generations to come.

The decade was not without its challenges. As Brooklyn’s population swelled, issues related to urban poverty, housing, and sanitation came to the forefront. The 1870s saw the rise of community organizations aimed at social betterment and welfare, with the church playing a pivotal role as a social center.

Below are some fascinating historical photos of Brooklyn from the 1870s that will take you back in time.

#1 Tranquil Setting of Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, 1870

#3 Front Piazza of Grand Hotel, Saratoga, Not Brooklyn, 1875

#4 Brooklyn Bridge View from World Building, Brooklyn, 1873

#5 Towers of Brooklyn Bridge Over the East River, Brooklyn, 1874

#6 Scenic View of Atlantic Basin and Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, 1875

#8 Monument of Charlotte Canda at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, 1872

#9 Front View of New York Fire Department’s Monument, Brooklyn, 1873

#12 Bird’s-Eye View of Brooklyn Bridge and East River, Brooklyn, 1873

#13 Construction of Brooklyn Bridge Tower, Brooklyn, 1874

#15 Chestnut Hill at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, 1872

#16 Workers on Brooklyn Bridge Tower During Construction, Brooklyn, 1872

#17 Brooklyn Bridge Tower Under Construction, Brooklyn, 1873

#18 Cables Being Installed on Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn, 1874

#19 Shot and Shell Pyramids in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, 1875

#21 Receiving Ship at Brooklyn Navy Yard, Brooklyn, 1872

#22 East River Bridge Under Construction, Not Brooklyn, 1876

#24 River Queen and Island Home at Steamboat Wharf, Not Brooklyn, 1870s

#28 Aerial View of Fulton Street in Brooklyn, Brooklyn, 1867

#30 Rooftop View of Brooklyn in the 1870s, Brooklyn, 1870

#31 Skyline and Brooklyn Bridge in the 1890s, Brooklyn, 1890

Written by Henry Parker

Content writer, SEO analyst and Marketer. You cannot find me playing any outdoor sports, but I waste my precious time playing Video Games..

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