Last Updated on 04/14/2018 by Mark Beckenbach
Take a trip down memory lane through Ray Simone’s wonderful archive of vintage New York City photos
Through the years, we’ve been sharing some of the most fascinating snaps of New York City (and beyond) from the bygone years — from the hard life of the 1880s and 1890s, to snow-covered streets, all the way to candid scenes of the 1960s. We’re glad to report that there are tons more for all us to get nostalgic with. Lifelong Brooklyn resident Ray Simone has recently shared with us his impressive collection of photos of old New York City, giving present and future generations a chance to picture the rich history and culture of the Big Apple.
Alongside his freelance photography career, Ray spent a great portion of his life scouring flea markets, street fairs, and estate sales across New York City to buy all the old negatives that he could find. Now, he has amassed an archive of stunning photos that will delight every history buff, photography fan, and lovers of all things NYC. Vintage city scenes, transport system, fashion and glamour scenes, sports, TV icons, music icons, and interiors — all of the slices of life you can possibly think of, he’s got them in this collection.
“I’d search the city far and wide for them. 6th ave between 14 & 34th streets was a treasure trove before the 1990’s came along,” says Ray about building his collection of classic photography. “There were many empty parking lots on weekends where people would be selling everything you can imagine, but to me, my eye was focused on negatives.”
Most of the photos in his collection are classic black and white snaps from the 1920s, but there are also some glass plate negatives that date as far back as 1890s. The color photographs of Hollywood stars and music icons may be few, but they too are dripping with nostalgia and vintage hues. As some of us can imagine, a lot of the negatives may not be in the best condition, so Ray also painstakingly retouches each photo following digitizing.
Want to see more or even get a fine art print of the photos? Go ahead and check out Ray Simone’s archive at www.photogallerynyc.com.
All images used with permission.