May 1; 1903: Friday morning. The view; photographed from an elevated camera position; looks down on a very crowded New York City street market. Rows of pushcarts and street vendors' vehicles can be seen. The precise location is difficult to ascertain; but it is certainly on the Lower East Side; probably on or near Hester Street; which at the turn of the century was the center of commerce for New York's Jewish ghetto. Located south of Houston Street and east of the Bowery; the ghetto population was predominantly Russian; but included immigrants from Austria; Germany; Rumania and Turkey. According to a description in a 1901 newspaper; an estimated 1;500 pushcart peddlers were licensed to sell wares (primarily fish) in the vicinity of Hester Street. At one point the film seems to follow three official looking men (one in a uniform) as they walk among the crowd. They may be New York City health inspectors; who apparently monitored the fish vendors closely.
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