History Up Close: The Buffalo Harbor

Our work never ceases to amaze us. One of the truly remarkable things about the research and restoration we devote so much of our energy to is the ability it gives us to visually explore the minutia of daily life so long ago.

The time and detail we put into our restoration process means that these photos can go big. And because we’re working digital, not only can we print these photographs in a large format, we can also easily zoom in and get to the details of the scene.

When combined, these 2 images of the waterfront in Buffalo, New York give a panoramic picture of what the bustle of industry looked like in the growing port city at the turn of the century.




It was in the mid-1800’s — after the 1825 establishment of the Erie Canal that directly connected the small village to the East Coast — that Buffalo became an industrial powerhouse. With it’s strategic position on the eastern shore of Lake Erie, Buffalo became the primary transportation hub for points West, spreading industry and the growth of cities across the Great Lakes.

Buffalo’s harbor was a constant buzz of activity in those golden days, evidenced here by the lumber yards, grain elevators, railroad tracks and Great Lakes freighters. Their presence, just as their historical impact on American cities, is huge here. But if you look close enough, you can get a glimpse at the small, yet powerful, people who made it all work.


Zoomed in image of men working in the boatyard.

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