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Cool Vintage Photos That Capture Everyday Life Of Cincinnati In the Late 1930s

We recently posted some cool historical photographs of Cincinnati in the early 1900s. And now we are sharing historical photos of Cincinnati from the late 1930s that document the everyday life of the city. Nelson Ronsheim captured these photographs. He was the youngest photographer to record history through his camera at the age of 18. Nelson was a student of history, and he captured 800 pictures of the city during the 1930s.

#1 A streetcar riding the Mt. Adams incline provides the backdrop for children on the steps up the hill, November 1938

#2 Construction of Columbia Parkway viaduct over Eggleston Avenue in January 1938

#3 Kilgour St. in Mt. Adams as seen from Fort Washington Way ramp, below Columbia Parkway, 1938

#5 Downtown Cincinnati from Immaculata Church in Mt. Adams, May 27th, 1939

#6 Laurel St. (now Ezzard Charles) looking west; Union Terminal looms in the distance, April 1939

#7 Looking across the Ohio River from Eden Park toward Bellevue, Kentucky, May 1939

#9 Ohio River and Eastern Ave. from Cliff Drive in Eden Park, October 12th, 1939

#12 Young man contemplates downtown Cincinnati’s skyline, Feb. 11th, 1938

#13 A Civil War era cannon on Mt. Adams overlooks Ida Street, March 1939

#14 A dairy farm in the city; Glenwood Avenue near Canyon Drive, September 19th, 1939

#15 A workman studies a massive drum farm at the Proctor and Gamble factory, July 15th, 1939

#17 Holly Cross Monastery as seen from Elsinore Pl, March 1939

#19 Mount Adams as seen from E. Liberty St. and Highland Ave. (Ida Street Bridge in the distance), May 1939

#20 Mount Adams from Bellevue, Kentucky, July 29th, 1939

#21 Construction of the Columbia Parkway Viaduct over Eggleston Avenue, looking north, January 1938

#22 Kenton St. overpass looking west down Florence Ave., 1 January, 1938

#24 Looking down Monastery St. toward downtown Cincinnati, December 30th, 1939

#25 Looking east down Hill Street in Mt. Adams, April 15th, 1939

#26 View of Hill St., Columbia Pkwy., Pearl St. and train yards on the river’s bank, December 30th, 1939

#27 Looking south from the lower deck of the Western Hills Viaduct (Union Terminal and the post office building are visible in the distance on the left), August 12th, 1939

#28 Mount Adams, Kilgour St., Oregon St. and Imaculata Church, April 1939

#29 Row boats at rest in Burnet Woods at 8.30 am, Cincinnati, Ohio September 19th, 1939

#31 The corner of E. Liberty Street (now known as Liberty Hill) and Highland Avenue, May 1939

#32 The once busy train yard sandwiched between Gilbert Ave. and Reading Rd. on downtown Cincinnati’s east side, April 1939

#33 Two children walk around the reflecting pool in Eden Park, June 10th, 1939

#34 Sisters on the stairway down from Jackson Hill Park to Mulberry Street, just west of Dorsey St., June 11th, 1939

#35 View from Elsinore near the intersection of Wareham, March 1939

#36 View inside the Mt. Adams incline upper station, March 1939

#37 View of downtown at night from Jackson Hill Park stairway, June 1939

#38 View of downtown from the George Hunt Pendleton House at 559 Liberty Hill in the Prospect Hill District, May 1939

#40 Wheelbarrows used in depression-era government work programs sit idle, February 1939

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28 Comments

    • The project was never completed. The project had originally been planned and a bond issued in the 1910’s, but World War 1 delayed construction and increased costs. By the end of the 1920s, the costs had ballooned and a little more than 2 miles of tunnels had been completed. The unfinished subway lines are still under the city today.

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