English sea explorer Henry Hudson was the first who claimed the area, which is now Albany, in 1609. In 1797, Albany became the official capital of New York State. In the 19th century, Albay became a transportation center with the advent of railroads and highways. Albany’s main exports at the time were beer, lumber, published works, and ironworks. Albany has been a center for higher education since the founding of the Albany Law School in 1851. During the 19th century, the city’s population continued to expand with a variety of ethnic groups from Europe, the majority of which were Irish, German, and Jewish. After World War One, African Americans migrated to the city, and the second wave arrived after World War Two. In 1908 Albany opened one of the first commercial airports in the world, which is now Albany International Airport.
Here are some historical vintage photos that show Albany, New York, at the beginning of the 20th century.