Then & Now

 

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo courtesy George Rogers Collection

Photo by Karen Zautyk

Photo by Karen Zautyk

 

This week’s ‘Then’ photo comes from a 1908 postcard, which unfortunately does not identify the photographer or the exact location, other than ‘Along the Passaic River, Arlington, N.J.’ Considering the curve in the distance, we surmised the view is from a spot south of Midland Ave. There appears to be a much narrower strip of land between the road and the river than there is now, but an online map from 1907 shows that Passaic Ave. was, indeed, that close to the riverbank. (Visit history-map.com for an incredible ‘bird’s-eye view’ of the region extending from Arlington through Harrison. How anyone who wasn’t a Wright brother got an aerial view in 1907 is a mystery. Balloon? Blimp? Sheer imagination?) The card was mailed at 3:30 p.m., March 6, 1908, from Newark and was sent by M. Wainman to Miss Mary Rodgers, 158 Kearny Ave. There is no message; just the address and signature. In those days, ‘snail mail’ was not so snailish, and people used it for quick communication. The card might well have reached Miss Rodgers by the very next morning. Interesting, too, that simple scenes from small towns were considered important enough to warrant their own postcards. – Karen Zautyk

The Observer Staff