Esther Crain

The drama, expansion, and wealth of New York City's transformative era, from 1870 to 1910, captured in a magnificently illustrated hardcover.

"This unique volume includes stereoscopic photographs from the era and 3-D viewing lenses, offering a fresh way to see the classic images of tenement life—the teeming street markets, the elevated trains rattling along the avenues, the horse manure piled in pyramids."  
—New York Times, 2015

Mark Twain coined the term the 'Gilded Age' for this period of growth and extravagance, experienced most dramatically in New York City from the 1870s to 1910. More than half of America's millionaires lived in the city. Previously unimaginable sums of money were made and spent, while poor immigrants toiled away in tenements. Author Esther Crain writes, 'There was an incredible energy, a sense of greatness and destiny. Things were literally going up-skyscrapers, elevated train tracks, new neighborhoods and parks. Accompanying all of that was an equal amount of greed and lust. Crime, vice, political scandals-the Gilded Age produced an abundance of depravity.' The Gilded Age in New York City covers daily life for the rich, poor, and the burgeoning middle class; the influx of immigrants which caused the city's population to quadruple in 40 years; how new-found leisure time was spent in places such as Coney Island and Central Park; crimes that shocked the city and altered the police force; the rise of social services; and the city's physical growth both skyward and outward toward the five boroughs. Through words and amazing, rarely seen images, Crain captures between covers the metamorphic story of city at the center of the world.

Esther Crain, a native New Yorker, wrote New-York Historical Society's New York City in 3D in the Gilded Age. In 2008, she launched Ephemeral New York, a website that chronicles the city's past, which was been profiled in numerous publications, including the New York Times, New York Daily News, and New York Post.


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