Times Square, 1947

by jordanjlloydhq

Colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd, based on an original negative by William P. Gottlieb

Taken July 1947, New York, United States (Library of Congress)

Decades before AC/DC filmed their video, It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ’n’ Roll) on top of a flatbed truck through the streets of Melbourne, legendary jazz pianist Art Hodes and his River Boat Jazz Band promoted their cancer benefit show through the streets of New York, on a horse-drawn cart no less. Gottlieb’s image captures the energy of a post-war America, the epicentre of which was, and still is, Times Square in New York City.

This image took over a week, all in. About two dozen reference images were found of the square itself, as well as individual signage, imparting a great deal of historical authenticity; given that the only internationally recognisable elements of this image that still exist today are the statue of Father Duffy and Pepsi Cola. The whisky brand Kinsey went out of business in the mid-1980s, whilst the Four Roses bourbon (the sign, top and back) is still in business, produced by Japanese beverage giant Kirin. Ruppert Beer went out of business at the end of 1965, after mismanagement by the owners' heirs. The Warner Bros. Strand theatre was knocked down in 1987 and is now the site of the Morgan Stanley building.

Howard Hughes’ The Outlaw starring Jane Russell was originally filmed in 1943, but did not see general release for several years owing to a dispute of the prominence of the leading actress’ bust. It was (unsurprisingly) a hit with the American public.

Original caption reads,

"[Portrait of Art Hodes, Kaiser Marshall, Henry (Clay) Goodwin, Sandy Williams, and Cecil (Xavier) Scott, Times Square, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1947]"