Vintage: Aerial Boston (1920s)

Vintage: Aerial Boston (1920s)


The American Revolution erupted in Boston, as the British retaliated harshly for the Boston Tea Party and the patriots fought back. They besieged the British in the city, with a famous battle at Bunker Hill in Charlestown on June 17, 1775 (which was lost by the colonists, but inflicted great damage against the British) and won the Siege of Boston, forcing the British to evacuate the city on March 17, 1776. However, the combination of American and British blockades of the town and port during the conflict seriously damaged the economy, and the population fell by two thirds in the 1770s.

The city recovered after 1800, re-establishing its role as the transportation hub for the New England region with its network of railroads, and even more important, the intellectual, educational and medical center of the nation. Along with New York, Boston was the financial center of the United States in the 19th century, and was especially important in funding railroads nationwide. In the Civil War era, it was the base for many anti-slavery activities. In the 19th century the city was dominated by an elite known as the Boston Brahmins. They faced the political challenge coming from Catholic immigrants. The Irish Catholics, typified by the Kennedy Family, took political control of the city by 1900. Photos from Boston Public Library.

Boston Elevated Railroad

Boston Elevated Railroad. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Boston from South Terminal Station

Boston from South Terminal Station. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Business district in Boston

Business district in Boston. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Back Bay and West End, Boston

Back Bay and West End, Boston. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Back Bay, looking west from Public Garden, Boston

Back Bay, looking west from Public Garden, Boston. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Fenway, Beacon and Commonwealth, Boston

Fenway, Beacon and Commonwealth, Boston. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Beacon Hill and North End, Boston

Beacon Hill and North End, Boston. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Beacon Hill and West End

Beacon Hill and West End. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library

Boston and Albany freight yards

Boston and Albany freight yards. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library


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