New Jersey August 04, 2017
Here Are The Oldest Photos Ever Taken In New Jersey And They’re Incredible
New Jersey has a rich history that has been captured in writing for centuries. You’ll also find iconic drawings and paintings of our great Garden State dating back to well before 1700. While all of these are interesting, I’m always fascinated by old photos. Cameras, in some form, have been around since the 1820s but it took a while for them to catch on.
Taken in either 1826 or 1827, this is the earliest surviving camera photograph.
It was taken in Bourgogne, France and this single shot required eight hours of exposure time. Photography was first introduced to the general public in the 1830s via newsprint publications. Still, photography was tedious and impractical.
By the 1850s, photo quality had greatly improved.
Especially for those who could afford the highest quality cameras. This photo, snapped in 1854, features the wife of Horace Poinier, the mayor of Newark at the time.
The first publicly available photograph of New Jersey was published in 1870.
This photo is entitled, "View of Centre Market, Newark." Though it is difficult to make out the text on the shops, we do know that one of these buildings is a pharmacy and another is Atwater & Carter Teas & Wines. It's hard to imagine horses in the middle of Newark, but you'll notice them in the center, along with several wagons and grass for grazing.
This photo of Newark was taken 20 years later, in 1890 (approximately).
Rail was a major mode of transportation at the time. This shows tracks along Roseville Avenue, shortly before rail lines in the area were depressed.
This photo shows fisherman unloading a boat.
It was taken in Sea Bright back in 1873. While our wardrobes have certainly changed (especially since this shot appears to have been taken in warmer weather), one thing has not - you can still enjoy fresh, delicious seafood along the Jersey Shore.
This photo was snapped in Hoboken in 1893.
As you can see from the caption, it is a shot of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Depot. It was originally published in a British guide to New York City.
While Hoboken was a center of industry, other Hudson River towns were a bit more laid back.
There were resorts all along the water, in towns including Edgewater and Fort Lee. This particular shot is of The Latourette House in the Bergen Point section of Bayonne. It was once touted as " The Most Fashionable Resort in the Suburban District of New York."
Of course, shore resorts were also popular at the time.
The Jersey Shore has always been a beloved travel destination. America's first boardwalk was built in Atlantic City in 1870; at one point, it spanned seven miles. So many flocked to the city each summer between 1870 and 1960 that additional rail lines needed to be built to accommodate the demand. Unfortunately, the city saw a downturn in the 1960s. Its heyday was during Prohibition, and this shot was snapped in 1897.
Photos are a wonderful way of stepping back in time, and these shots give us a unique peek into New Jersey’s past. If you love vintage photography as much as I do, check out these photos of New Jersey from the
1910s, during the Great Depression, during WWII, and during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.