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Mammoth Plate Photograph of the School Children's - - 1909. 
New York. 1909. Large albumen image on thick card. Image measuring 13.75" x 11" on 20" x 16" mount. Small chip and small, light dampstain in right margin not affecting the photo, image is perhaps a little faded, but clear and very near fine. Slightly faded handwritten caption in ink beneath the image: "Hudson-Fulton Celebration / School Children's Parade / October 2, 1909 / Head of Column - 16th District." [With Souvenir Program]: Historical Pageant. Hudson-Fulton Celebration. September 25 to October 9, 1909. New York: Redfield Brothers, 1909. Small quarto. 64pp., illustrated. Small chips at the edges of the yapped wrappers, very good.The image shows a dozen or so bowler and top-hatted men standing in front of a block long or longer row of children in marching order, many with small American flags. Probably taken from the side of the road, the warehouse walls in the background are neatly covered with huge posters for theatrical performances. Some distinctive buildings in the background lead us to believe that anyone with a reasonable knowledge of New York landmarks could identify the location with relative ease. There is some indication from signs on the buildings that this might be 14th Street.The Hudson-Fulton Celebration was a fortnight long, beyond-elaborate commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of Henry Hudson's discovery of the Hudson River, and the 100th Anniversary of Robert Fulton's first successful use of the paddle wheel steam boat, and was used as a showcase to display the importance of New York City in all its might and splendor. The parades showcased various periods in New York history, and were interspersed by large marching groups from ethnic social clubs: Irish, Italian, Dutch, Polish, etc. It also showcased various modes of transportation and featured Wilbur Wright flying up the Hudson River.The celebration was commemorated in many ways including a run of commemorative stamps, and innumerable postcards. However, this is a wonderful image of what would have to be one of the more prosaic of the groups, sandwiched we assume between the elaborate floats depicting historical events, and elaborately costumed clubs. An image of rank-upon-rank of school children in an unusually large format, and is thus very uncommon. .
[Bookseller: Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABA]
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