Amazing Vintage Photos of Postwar New York From 1945 to 1948

3rd Avenue from 42nd Street El Station, 1945

These stunning pictures of postwar New York were taken by Todd Webb, an American photographer notable for documenting everyday life and architecture in large cities as well as from the American west. He did various jobs before the war and began taking a serious interest in photography after attending a ten-day workshop with Ansel Adams as his teacher in 1940. During World War II, Webb was a photographer for the United States Navy and was deployed to the South Pacific theater of operations.

h/t: vintag.es

“Welcome Home” signs on 3rd Avenue, 1945

After Webb was discharged in 1945, he moved to New York City and began his career as a professional photographer. He made key friendships with Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Beaumont Newhall, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, and Minor White.

The Battery, 1945

Webb began a remarkable project of walking the streets of New York City with his heavy camera and tripod and photographing people and buildings he encountered. Even though these photos were often of familiar views, their “straightforward, descriptive clarity” helped set them apart and reflected Webb’s sense of discovery.

125th Street, Harlem, 1946

125th Street and Broadway, Harlem, 1946

A Park Avenue storefront church in Harlem, 1946

3rd Avenue, 1946

3rd Avenue and Bowery, 1946

Maise, Queen of the Bowery, 1946

La Salle Street and Amsterdam Avenue, Harlem, 1946

Whisk broom salesman, 125th Street, Harlem, 1946

A soldier getting a shoe shine on 125th Street, 1946

Greenwich Village, 1946

Fulton Fish Market wharf, 1946

Near Fulton Fish Market, 1946

Suffolk and Hester Streets, 1946

Orchard Street, 1946

East 7th Street, 1946

Tenements and Graveyard from Chatham Square El Station, 1946

104th Street, 1946

37th Street, 1946

6th Avenue, 1946

Watching Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1946

Mr. Perkins’ Pierce Arrow, Harlem, 1946

Amsterdam Avenue near 125th Street, 1946

Amsterdam Avenue near 125th Street, 1946

Times Square sign painter, 1946

Looking southeast from Empire State Building, 1946

3rd Avenue El looking south from Fulton Street Station, 1948

Mott Street, 1948

6th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, 1948

6th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, 1948

6th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, 1948

6th Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, 1948

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