Timeless New York Street Scenes Photographs In The 1950s, Found In A Home’s Attic After Nearly 50 Years

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These vintage photographs capture a timeless energy and diversity that is characteristic of the sleepless streets of New York City. The recently discovered antique portraits showcase the city in the midst of the 1950’s, as seen through the Rolleiflex lens of the undiscovered photographer Frank Larson. While digging through his aunt’s attic, where Larson stowed away his images in 1964, the photographer’s grandson found this remarkable collection of street scenes that give a candid glimpse into the history of the big city.

In the 1950’s, Larson worked as an auditor in Queens and had a great knack for capturing beautiful moments in everyday life. Known as the “family shutterbug,” photography was a creative outlet that provided relief from the stresses of his 9 to 5 banking job. On the weekends, he would leave home early in the morning on expeditions to explore the city and photograph the life he saw, from Chinatown to Central Park. Throughout his lifetime, his talent was hardly recognized other than at a few local amateur competitions. After Larson passed away, due to a stroke, his images laid dormant, lost for nearly 50 years. Now having resurfaced, Larson’s extensive collection of thousands of black and white pieces are in the care of the Queens Museum of Art and are receiving the recognition they deserve.

Three young ladies prepare to have their pictures taken in Manhattan photo booths in April 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A rainy day across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A rainy evening in New York’s Times Square under the neon lights of the “Black Widow” marquee.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A group of businessmen huddle together at the window of the Associated Press office at Rockefeller Center to read the latest news, 1955.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

The Chrysler Building is reflected in a sidewalk puddle on 42nd St. in April 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Two men chat in a coffee shop window near Times Square in April 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A Ballantine beer truck stops to make a delivery in front of the NBC Television Theatre.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A street performer promotes the film “Johnny Guitar” on the sidewalks of Times Square in Spring, 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A woman suns herself outside the entrance to the New York Public Library in 1955.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A group poses for a picture at Pier 86, on 46th Street.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Professional skaters make a gutsy move in this shot, taken at the Rockefeller Center rink.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Two parade officials watch New York’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade pass by on Fifth Avenue as one of them sneaks a cigarette break.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

The view from the top of a Rockefeller Center escalator looks out onto Fifth Avenue.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A candid moment of school girls in 1953.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Cops, delivery men, construction workers, cooks, cobblers and kids, just going about their business.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A man works on New York City souvenirs with his sewing machine in November 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

A woman peers out from a ticket booth of a movie theater in New York’s Times Square in 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Pigeons gather in Times Square on a rainy day in 1954.

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Frank Oscar Larson Photography / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art. h/t: vintag.es, mymodernmet, today

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