We hit you up about the New York Public Library's crazy amazing interactive map of vintage New York City photos. If you haven't checked it out yet, you should. It's incredible. 

We were so into that, we're going to come at you with more vintage.

This video isn't just vintage, either, and its not just OG. 

It combines the brilliance of film with a crazy nostalgic look backward into NYC's past: it's the first film taken in NYC, ever.

How do we know it was the first film to be shot in NYC? 

"The first film shot on location that was made to be projected on a screen was probably 'Herald Square,'" Michael Pollak reported in his column "FYI" in The New York Times

"Herald Square" was shot in the city in 1896, by Thomas Edison's assistant William Heise. Heise shot the film with a new camera designed by Edison for shooting outdoor scenes.

Pollak admitted that there were Kinetoscopes introduced in Manhattan in 1894, but they weren't quite films.

"[Kinetoscopes] ran on a loop, were enclosed in a wooden cabinet, and viewed only through an eyepiece," Pollak wrote.

For context, the first-ever projected motion pictures were shown near Herald Square just three weeks before "Herald Square" was recorded.


The documentary films taken at this time were only a minute or two long. They were referred to as actualities because they had no plots, stories, or characters. They were soon replaced by films with stories.

Watching "Herald Square" is cool, not just because it offers us a foothold into cinematic history. It's also cool because it shows us old-timey NYC in all its moving and shifting vibrance. Check it out below.

Check out The First-Ever New Year's Eve Celebration in Times Square Way Back in 1904

[via The New York Times]