Fascinating Historical Photos Of Boston At The Beginning Of 20th Century

Boston is the most populous and capital of Massachusetts, founded in 1630 by English Puritans. Boston was the transportation hub for England with its network of railroads in the 1800s. By 1820 the population of Boston was about 43,000. The arrival of immigrants from Ireland during the Great Hunger and then from Italy, Germany, and Poland later in the century, fundamentally changed Boston’s human makeup and political leanings. By the 1840s, Boston had outgrown its physical size, and new land was added. The Great Boston Fire of 1872 destroyed 776 buildings across 65 acres of land, totaling $60 million in damage. In the late 19th century, Chinese immigrants came to Boston. In the early 20th century, Boston continued to thrive, but eventually entered a period of decline, as older factories were abandoned and people migrated away from the downtown. However, in the late 20th century, the economy boomed again and shifted to hi-tech industries and tourism.

Here below are some old photos of Boston capturing streets, cityscapes, and everyday life at the beginning of the 20th century. Vote your favorites, and don’t forget to share.

#1 Tremont Street looking south, Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1906

#2 April 30, 1908. The Charles River in Boston, April 1908

#6 Old South Meeting House & Old South Building, Boston, 1905

#12 Yard and tracks, South Terminal Station, Boston, 1904

#13 Old State House front from Court Street, Boston, 1906

#14 Old State House from Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 1906

#16 Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Boston, Massachusetts, 1905

#18 Looking east, Boston, showing Boston Harbor and, at lower left, historic Faneuil Hall, 1906

#19 Boston, Massachusetts, 1906. Back Bay from the State House dome.

#20 London honorables entering Trinity Church (Copley Square), Boston, 1903

#30 Truant hanging around boats in the harbor during school hours, Boston, 1909

#34 Old Corner Bookstore, first brick building in Boston, 1900

#35 Copley Square and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1906

#36 Mechanics Hall, Huntington Avenue, 1906. It was demolished in 1959 to make way for Prudential Center

#43 Lafayette Mall, Masonic Temple and Hotel Touraine, Boston, 1906

#47 Battleship U.S.S. Kearsarge from astern, Boston, 1906

#48 Hotel Vendome, Dartmouth Street and Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, 1900

#51 London Ancients and Honorables leaving Rowe’s wharf on steamer Nantasket for harbor trip, Boston, 1904

#54 Boston, Massachusetts, from East Boston across Inner Harbor, 1906

#61 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Rogers Building, Boston, 1901

#66 Boston Nationals (Braves) manager Fred Lake does it the hard way, April 21, 1910

#67 Boy selling fish from a basket in Boston street market, October 1909

#70 Sunday 5 a.m. Newsies starting out. Boston, Massachusetts, 1909

#74 Boston Yacht Club — Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1906

#77 Beacon Street at Bowdoin, Ward 6, Boston, Massachusetts, 1906

#80 Maverick Square and tunnel entrance, Boston, 1906

#84 Navy Yard docks and Charles River from Charlestown, Boston, 1906

#86 Women at work in an unidentified laundry, possibly in Boston, 1905

#87 Immigrant children learning to play on the roof garden of the Washington School in Boston, 1909

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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