W. R. Harrison / Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Reconstruction
Survey Images - 1918-1920
W. R. Harrison / Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal
Reconstruction Survey Images
June 1, 1918 - July 8, 1919 &
The Back Story
In one of what I feel is the greatest finds of the history of
the BEDT, is the discovery of two sets of photographs concerning the
reconstruction of the Terminal commencing 1918. There is a little story that
stands behind this images which I feel bears retelling.
As you may or may not be aware, I am huge fan of the BEDT (after
all that is why we are here, correct?), as is Paul Strubeck and Joseph Roborecky.
We spend many an hour or so per day looking over eBay for interesting things
to procure and add to the site. In February 2015; we happened across a lot
of 8 undated images on eBay showing some reconstruction details of the Brooklyn
Eastern District Terminal. I won them at a very modest price: $99 or $12.37
per image. Not bad considering that one can purchase recently printed 8"
x 10" roster shots of locomotives for $10 each all day long at todays train
& railroadiana shows. These images are 10" x 12" with a 7" x 9" image
area and printed on period photo cardstock. They are a very nice find and
some of the earliest images found to date of the Brooklyn Eastern District
The images were taken by one William R. Harrison, a photographer
based at 279 Grove Street, Jersey City, NJ. Here matters kind of rested for
a few days until I receive the following email.
Joe Roborecky, in another of his very well calculated brainstorms,
decides to research W. R. Harrison. Back and forth we go on seeing what this
man photographed. Mostly architectural images, and not railroads in particular,
but just about everything. A few more days pass. Imagine my reaction
when Joe sends me a email message on 26 February with the text "Please don't
slit your wrists when you see this" and a link to an eBay item. It is an
eBay auction offering FORTY-FIVE of these 7" x 9" image area, (but these
are printed on 8" x 11½" photo cardstock of that era) in a post bound
album. Were they were possibly trimmed down from the 10" x 12"
cardstock for placement in album? They were also taken by W. R. Harrison
but most of them are marked with a date on the back. Even though the set
of eight I won were loose and not punched, and this set was punched and bound,
the sets appeared to be companions to one another.
Needless to say, I am astounded and enthralled and go immediately
to place an automated eSnipe bid on the lot, just in case I forget to bid,
which I have a tendency to do. eSnipe would not accept the bid. I try again.
No success. I'm like, "What the hell?" Upon closer examination of the lot,
it turned out I was looking at an auction that CLOSED about two weeks
prior! Adding insult to injury, the lot closed at $80 with only one bidder!
Are you !#$%&* kidding me? Now I know why Joe said, "Don't slit your
wrists!" <CharlieBrown> Aaughhhhhh! </CharlieBrown>
Forget what I would have paid for them (we'll get to
that later), had I been aware of this lot on eBay. I paid $99 for eight and
here is forty-five for $80. None of us even saw them! Three pairs of eyes
not including other friends who send me links from time to time. To say I
was extremely pissed would be an understatement. To say I was beyond the
point of depression would be putting it cheerfully. (Ok, maybe it's time
to increase my dosage). Distraught. Inconsolable. We're not talking shots
of a locomotive here. We're talking demolished history. Single 35mm slides
can go for a hundred or better (depending on the topic) and some BEDT locomotive
& marine shots have. But, I don't care what anyone says, I think large
negatives reproduce better and having a one off print (not a copy print)
is just as good, even better. I can scan them 1:1 and get the detail I need.
I basically threw up my hands and said "I quit" (working on
the site, research, what have you). Anything and all that has to do with
this website. I had a trip to Texas planned to see my fiance Deborah and
her parents, and come hell or high water, I was going to relax. I had in
mind to do some good old fashioned modern day railfanning. After packing,
getting dropped off at Albany-Rensselaer Train Station and getting through
the first half my journey on Amtrak's #49 "Lake Shore Limited". Yup, a railroad
buff then, now and always. A day later and I was aboard Amtrak's Texas Eagle
out of Chicago enroute to Dallas. I've had almost a week to calm down, and
I rethought the situation.
I asked Joe to contact the seller for me, explain the predicament
and our desire to contact the buyer, so would the seller pass along my contact
info. I did this despite knowing all too well that our request would in all
likelihood be rejected, as most sellers do not want to be involved in
re-negotiations, copies, or finding out their lot would have gone for
a lot more than it did, etc. It's all about making money, right? Well quite
surprisingly, the seller replied promptly and would forward my request to
the winning bidder, but that would be the extent of his involvement.
Not a few hours later, I get a call on my cell phone on the
train. As it would turn out, the winning bidder was none other than Brian
Merlis of brooklynpix.com. I have been a happy customer of and contributor
to Brian's for many years. Brian purchases these historic old images, scans
the originals for his website and make copies for sale. You can view the
pics with a digital watermark on his site, and buy an unwatermarked copy
if you so desire. Why, I'd be happy with copies! Short of taking the images
ourselves, isn't most of what we see a "copy" in some form or another?
Well, brief hope turns to hopelessness when Brian tells me he
was bidding agent for a general Brooklyn topic collector (but not specifically
railroad or even BEDT) who is a high end customer of his, and the album is
already in the buyer's hands. I am on an emotional roller coaster! Lost,
found and gone again. So I explained to Brian my immense discouragement in
not seeing the pics, and even asking why he didn't think of me when it came
to BEDT? He apologetically admitted he overlooked me, but after discussing
it at length, Brian confided in me his high bid for his customer was $600,
and knowing what my budget was: $300, I would not have been successful in
winning the lot none the less. But he would try to make it up to me and work
something out. He would contact the buyer on my behalf. I made it clear,
I wanted those pictures.
The next day Brian sends me an email, saying the other collector
really does not want to part with the images, but Brian explained the situation
and my obsession with BEDT. The seller agreed to sell the pics. Yippee! Brian
went on to say the seller wanted an even thousand dollars to part with the
set. It was like I got hit by a train. From $80 to $1000: that's a
hell of a mark up. But after some consideration, it is not so bad if you
average out the cost per pic: $1000 divided by 45 images = $22.22 per image.
Not great, by not terrible. But there was a surprise: There weren't 45 images.
There were 54 images! The seller accidentally transposed his numerals in
the auction title. That brings the per image cost down to $18.51. Now if
you add the 8 images I already owned and purchased at $99, that brought the
per image cost down to 17.74 per. A touch more bearable. And these were original
prints, from what I figure was either taken by a large format camera using
film or possibly glass plate negatives, and printed in a darkroom and mounted.
Brian explained to the buyer I was not wealthy and my research
and this website is historical, non-commercial and not for profit, and my
funding quite limited. The buyer said he would give me time to raise funds.
After my head stopped reeling, I told Brian give me time to get finances
together and I'd get back to him. So I immediately start beating the trees
for those friends that owed me a few bucks here and there, what I had immediately
available in the bank account, what I had I could sell to generate some capital,
etc. Despite all this, I can only raise about half the required amount. I
had no choice but to call the one person I was sure I had sufficient credit
that I could borrow from, and of whom would be more than understanding of
the value of this set of images.
I compose and leave an email for Tom Flagg and explain the
situation. Not 30 minutes later, a reply comes back, and he can and will
help for the partial or full amount; on the condition he views the images
first prior to purchase, to deem whether they are worthy of the amount or
not. Fair enough, and I knew he would not be disappointed. So I arrange a
meeting with Brian at his house after I return home from Texas, and I call
Tom to make sure the time and date was good with him, and we were all set
for the following weekend. Meanwhile, the seller Express Mails the album
As Tom and his wife were spending time at their house in the
Taconic Mountains the weekend of the meet and as Tom was already providing
the loan, I felt it was my obligation to provide transportation to and from
his house. So I set out from early in the morning from my house in the Catskill's
to pick him up at his house (about two hours northeast of me), then we head
south five hours to Long Island. We arrived at Brian's early afternoon and
after introducing Tom to Brian; we got down to the nitty gritty.
Out came the BEDT images. Out came our loupes. The earth trembled
and the angels wept. Tom looked them over at length and after he finished,
he looked at me and nodded. He would cover the full amount. And quite
enthusiastically. He agreed they "had to go to a good home". I would buy
us a nice dinner. Phew! - they were mine at last! They really were. Keep
in mind, this would not be my most significant purchase of railroad memorabilia
as I have paid $1600 for a marked Delaware & Northern Railway lantern
with etched globe some years prior, but this pretty damn close.
We spent a few more hours at Brian's going through his memorabilia
of vintage street signs, store signs, advertising and repository of images.
Possibly out of remorse, Brian gave us both "goody bags" full of images we
wanted out of his collection at no charge. So, I drove Tom home and after
I got the images to my home, I had to decompress from all the driving and
placed the album in my fire resistant safe.
The next day I commence scanning the images both as .tif files
as well as .jpg files. To ensure their longevity, I made a set of scans for
Paul, Joe and Tom, as well as myself on flash drives, with my set also saved
on redundant hard drives and with me keeping the original prints in the safe.
After the flash drives were mailed out a received by their respective parties,
Joe Roborecky and I began the arduous task of looking over each photo and
cataloging the details for reference.
Understanding the Images
As you will see; there maybe multiple images of a particular
location. They are not duplicates, but comparison photos showing progress
of demolition and construction. Since I have posted the images here in
chronological order, you may see the same location twice (but not in sequence),
but the date in which the pictures were taken and of which order they were
in the album before I separated the images for scanning. If demand warrants,
I will collate the images by location to show progress for that particular
Be prepared. You will see things, such as buildings and trackwork
we have never seen before. Structures became obsolete and were torn down
and forgotten. Cement mixing the old way. We will see old fashioned and expedient
ways of doing things, such as temporary trackage and construction to keep
the terminal in service and freight operation unhindered, even while demolition
and construction was taking place not 20 feet away. Float bridges relocated
by floating the inshore end and tied up like a boat. All this, was lost through
the progression of time. These are not "railfan pictures". Out of the 62
images, there are approximately three to five photos of equipment, marine
or locomotive, and of that most of it operating in the background. But what
we will see, is the wooden second enginehouse never before seen and before
the multi-stall brick enginehouse we came to know was built at North 8th
Street. These images tell us the locomotives did not have their "steam
dummy" shells mounted on them in 1918 even though horses were still prevalent.
We will see people working in all manner of trades: terminal employees,
contractors, masons, surveyors, day labor, guards, wagons, horses, even a
few primitive trucks, one of which being delivered or sent on a flat car!
These are images of things seldomly photographed even by todays standards,
and then only by the hardcore railroad modeller or industrial archeologist..
Think about it. None of the workers from that era is probably
still alive. Why, even the reconstruction doesn't even exist anymore. Not
to sound like a cliche, but these images are our only link to that past.
So, without any further delay, I present to you the W. R. Harrison
- Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal Reconstruction Survey photographs.
The following series of fifty-four images are
printed on 8" x 11½" photo cardstock, are punched and bound in
a post mount album.
They have a 7" x 9" image area. They were scanned in the same order as they
were placed in the album, with #1 being on top.
#1 - June 1, 1918 - North 6th to North 5th Streets
Brooklyn Cooperage, New York Central & Hudson River, West Shore, New
York Ontario & Western, Erie Railroads
added 18 January 2016
#2 - June 1, 2016 - North 5th and North 6th "A" Yard
Note fencing along Kent Avenue.
#3 - June 1, 1918 - North 6th Street
6 A Yard - Note locomotive on right of photo on pier trackage, and North
5th Street enginehouse left center.
Also note: Pennsylvania RR North 4th Street Terminal and large American flag
at half mast on left side of image.
Taken from the second story of the Erie Freighthouse on Kent Avenue.
#4 - June 1, 1918 - North 6th Street & Kent Avenue
Note track within curb line on right for Brooklyn Cooperage, and street sign
"blocks" built into corner of H&E building
and note West Shore RR Freighthouse of south side of street.
#5 - June 1, 1918 - Back Alley between North 6th and North 7th Streets
Rear of Brooklyn Cooperage at rear alley with a very serious watchman.
Looking north toward North 7th Street
Note the pile of excavation debris and gantry behind the B&O boxcar.
This is for the excavation of the BMT Canarsie Line ("LL") Subway vent shaft
for the 14th Street Tunnel.
#6- July 16, 1918 - North 6th Street
Removal of sheathing of the West Shore RR Freighthouse and 6 'A' Yard. Note
the three way turnout in bottom foreground.
#7 - July 16, 1918 - Between North 5 and North 6th Streets and Kent
Looking west at fence of 6 'A' Yard, West Shore RR freighthouse on right
edge of image.
#8 - July 16, 1918
Pouring foundation for North 5th Street Freighthouse. Note concrete mixing
drum at bottom of lifting derrick and pouring chute.
#9 - July 16, 1918 - North 5th Street & Kent Avenue
Concrete mixing "plant" with pouring chutes for foundation of North 5th Street
Kent Avenue crossing guard with shanty with partial demolition of West Shore
Freighthouse and Brooklyn Cooperage in background.
#10 - July 16, 1918
Looking south at excavation for foundation forms for North 5th Street
Freighthouse. Sunbeam Foods (to be Austin Nichols Building in background).
PRR North 4th Street Freight Station barely visible above rightmost
#11 - August 8, 1918 - 5 'A' and 6 'A' Yards and PRR North 4th Yard
In what has to be one of the best early era images of the Pennsylvania Railroad
North 4th Street Freight Station.
Note the locomotive on float bridge lead track, Howe Truss float bridge.
Piersheds for both Union and Empire Lines. PRR steam tug at end of pier.
Enclosed wagon being loaded/unloaded on team tracks from Canadian Government
Coal being offloaded from gondola into horsedrawn carts on adjacent track
with scale on and weighmaster.
Note top of BEDT locomotive (square saddletank) almost dead center of image
behind freight car.
#12 - August 8, 1918 - 5 'A' Temporary Trackage
Looking east south east from bulkhead.
Temporary trackage (no tie plates) around construction of North 5th Street
Note saddletank and locomotive center right of image.
#13 - August 8, 1918 - 5 'B' Yard
Storage of rail, temporary ties and joiner bars in 5 'B' Yard. Note single
point turnout in street.
#14 - August 8, 1918 - Former 6'A' Yard
Note foundation and post pedestals poured for North 5th Street Freighthouse.
Tell tale warning for Kent Avenue trolley wire between crossing guard and
watchman shanties. Cement mixer waiting to be relocated. Also note the single
slip switches midpoint in yard.
Former West Shore RR Freighthouse being renovated with exterior sheathing
raised and opened for multiple trackside door openings.
#15 - August 8, 1918 Foot of on North 6th Street
Former West Shore RR Freighthouse being extended west.
#16 - August 8, 1918 - Bulkhead between North 6th and North 5th Streets
Taken from roof of deckhouse on contractors barge tied up at bulkhead between
North 5th Street and North 6th Street floatbridges.
Former West Shore Freighthouse renovation & extension.
#17 - September 17, 1918 - Cul de Sac trackage
Newly installed Tracks 5A11, 5A10, 5A9 and 5A8 between the mostly renovated
former West Shore Freighthouse on left and North 5th Street freighthouse
#18 - September 17, 1918 - 5 'B' Yard
Looking east at temporary (I hope!) trackage in 5 'B' Yard
#19 - September 17, 1918 - 5 and 6 Lead Tracks
Looking at North 6th Street Floatbridge and construction of floatbridge lead
tracks as well as connections to trackage along bulkhead running behind Brooklyn
to North 7th Street and northern part of property.
Note the 0-4-0T BEDT steam locomotive. Number is obscured, but this
is one of the older locomotives, so number has to be #1, #2, #3, #4, #5,
or #6 and
note: no steam dummy shell.
#20 - September 17, 1918 - Former 6 'A' Yard
Taken from an upper floor of the "J. W. Bottles" building on the corner of
North 5th Street and Kent Avenue. Erecting the framing of North 5th Street
and roof being repaired on crossing guard shanty. Tell tale for Kent
Avenue trolley wire is removed.
#21 - November 1, 1918 - Bulkhead between North 9th and North 8th Streets
Looking south along bulkhead between North 9th and North 7th Streets from
elevated trestle of Scranton & Lehigh Coal Dock.
A float bridge tied up to the bulkhead. It is not 6 Bridge as 6 Bridge which
can be in another image dated same day and with 5 Bridge also in place,
and as 6 Bridge has a several dents in the first diagonal deck to side
bracing where this bridge does not.
As we will see in later images, it does not match up to 9 Bridge of this
era. Never the less, this float bridge is double pontooned and tied
up on bulkhead.
Barely visible in background center is gantry for BMT Canarsie Line 14th
For reference, we are located almost above where the diamond was behind the
the brick enginehouse in the later era of the Terminal.
#22 - November 1, 1918 - 5 Lead
Looking east at the west and north facing walls of the North 5th Street
Freighthouse. 5A10, 5A9 and 5A8 to left of image with lead track on
#23 - November 1, 1918
Looking west (from what appears to be the roof of a boxcar on 5A10) at new
trackage and turnouts connecting North 6th Street floatbridge,
lead track and 5A11, 5A10, 5A9 and 5A8, with former West Shore Freighthouse
on right edge of image.
Locomotive being scrapped behind the gondolas with saddletank on adjacent
track. Another locomotive on carfloat attached to 6 Bridge.
Carfloat in bridge and center of picture look like wood hull and the one
at the left of image appears to be steel hull.
#24 - November 1, 1918
The facade of the North 5th Street Freighthouse and a
I doubt the older gent by the corner of the building is the streetsweeper
as this man is using a cane and his coat is too clean.
#25 - November 1, 1918 - 5 'A' and 6 'A' Yard
Here we see the North 5th Street Enginehouse on left edge with 5 Bridge to
the right of it, and apparently out of service while trackwork is undertaken.
If one looks carefully at center right of photo, you will see a saddletank
on a track dolly and 0-4-0T locomotive being scrapped
while trackmen adjust the points of a new turnout.
#26 - November 1, 1918 - 7 'A' Yard
Hand derrick and loading / unloading platform in 7 'A' Yard with scalehouse.
The chimney and building behind the derrick belongs to the
Eugene Dougherty Rubber Works.
Not certain of it, but the gent in overcoat and hat looks like one of the
Havemeyer family. I've seen his face somewhere.
He is at least upper management, because those shoes are too polished for
#27 - December 12, 1918 - Interior of the North 5th Street Freighthouse
#28 - December 12, 1918 - North 6th Street & Kent Avenue
Note the alarm bell affixed to the corner of the building.
#29 - December 12, 1918 - 7 'A' Yard
New team trackage laid, loading platforms removed from derrick.
#30 - December 12, 1918 - Foot of North 8th Street
Looking east-northeast at Scranton & Lehigh Coal Company.
The ramshackle structure under the trestle is the livestock pen.
#31 - December 12, 1918 - 8 'A' Yard
Can't picture it? Lapse forward a few years and their will be a new multi-stall
enginehouse at the end of this block!
Looking west at 8 'A' Yard Team Tracks with scalehouse along curbline. Note
depressed tracks to right: Repair In Place track.
Someone wanna get out there and fix that boxcar door??
#32 - December 12, 1918 - Bulkhead between North 9th and North 8th
Looking south. Livestock pen on left edge. We are almost exactly behind where
the modern enginehouse will be.
Nice curved switch on left, and check out how they off centered the frog
along the bulkhead track to keep the track in service without tearing it
out. No need to straight rail!
#33 - no date - North 9th Street & Kent Avenue
Looking west. Here we have the Scranton & Lehigh Coal Pockets to the
left with Office and scales behind the flatcar. Someone sell a flatbed
Already has a license plate on it (appears to be 1503). Manufacturer might
be an Oneida, solid tires all the way around (dual rear too!) and chain drive.
To the right of it is lowboy heavy duty trailer of the era with something
built on the deck.
On the right edge of the image is the service tracks to the now demolished
Lehigh Valley RR Freight Shed.
#34 - no date - 8 'A' Yard
New 8 'A' Yard trackage.
What I'd like to know is why there is a Santa Fe boxcar on the coal
#35 - no date - 7 'A' Yard
It has to be cold out. Everyone has coats and the horses have blankets. Those
are some decent sized draft horses too. Steel beams being off loaded via
Wagon is marked: Abe Uris Iron & Steel. 38-52 S 8 St. & 423431 Kent
#36 - no date - 8 'A' Yard
Riveted tank cars. Look closely at the end of the yard - there's an 0-6-0T
working a cut of tankcars too.
#37 - no date - North 5th Street & Kent Avenue
North 5th Street Freighthouse is mostly completed. A few minor details and
paint "BROOKLYN EASTERN DISTRICT TERMINAL" on the facade!
Blurry locomotive working the yard tracks in the background.
#38 - no date - 7 'A' Yard
Without Abe Uris' wagon and horses in the way, we can now easily see the
yard derrick got a spiffy new platform!
Note the turnout in foreground had no swtichstand installed yet.
#39 - no date - 5 Bridge leads
Here's a shot it took me some time to pinpoint. Photographer is standing
on the bulkhead directly in front of North 5th Street Floatbridge.
The North 5th Street enginehouse and carpenters shop it to the right. The
new North 5th Street Freighthouse is in center left partially blocked by
Water tank is on the southeast corner of the Brooklyn Cooperage
#40 - no date - North 5th Street Freighthouse
Nice new building. Nice new trackage.
Cut of cars coming down from 5 'B' yard with brakeman on top of car.
#41 - no date - North 5th Street Enginehouse
I wasn't kidding you when I said BEDT had multiple enginehouses. Here we
can barely make out the backhead of one of their iron horses in the North
enginehouse. Also looks like the tide is really low. Look at the downward
slope on the floatbridge!
#42 - no date - 8 'A 'Yard
By the way, that track bumper will become the end of the outdoor "garden
track" outside the "new" enginehouse after it's built in a few years.
You know, where the Bunker C tank cars were stored and where Locomotives
#11 and #10 would get cut up.
#43 - May 5, 1919 - 9 Bridge and 9 'A' Yard
From left to right: Here is the North 9th Street Enginehouse, Carpenter's
Shop, North 9th Street Floatbridge, 9 Pier Tracks.
The loading platform and freightshed on extreme right with Chicago Milwaukee
& St Paul boxcar occupying the platform is built upon the footprint of
Union Sulphur Works which burnt down a few years prior and Brooklyn Elevator
& Milling (which has been demolished by this date)
would be just out of the photo to the right. Also note the use of
a spring switch on the track in left foreground.
#43b - May 5, 1919 - Zoom & Crop of above image.
The engineer is well dressed: work bibs over a suitvest! While a little hard
to discern, locomotive is #8 as it is 0-6-0T. (#6 was an 0-4-0T). Also it
has a steel cab.
Gent in suit & hat with arms behind back looks like the same person in
#44 - May 5, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
From left to right: Scranton & Lehigh Coal Company, string of hoppers
& gondolas, North 9th Street with the first stage of the elevated trestle
ramp in the distance;
North 9th Street Enginehouse & Carpenters Shop barely visible directly
in background, surveyors, driveway for team track to left of boxcars
and L. M. Palmer's Hay Shed on right.
#45 - May 5, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
Looking west. Similar to but slightly elevated shot to #44.
The surveyors must have moved on. This shot also shows the ground being excavated
in preparation for the foundation for the North 9th Street Freighthouse
From left to right: Scranton & Lehigh Coal Company, string of hoppers
& gondolas, North 9th Street with the first stage of the elevated trestle
ramp in the distance;
North 9th Street Enginehouse & Carpenters Shop barely visible directly
in background, driveway for team track to left of boxcars and L. M. Palmer's
Hay Shed on right.
#46 - May 5, 1919 - North 9th Street Pier Tracks & 'A' Yard
L. M. Palmer's Hay Shed on left, North 9th Street, 9 Bridge, Carpenters Shop
#47 - May 15, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
Ok, now here is a great shot! Taken from the second stage of the Scranton
& Lehigh Coal Company trestle (the straight track with turnout below
leads to first stage
of the switchback), with the Bulkhead Lead to North 8th, North 7th Streets
& the southern portion of the property curving across the trestle lead.
Note there are still gondolas and hoppers in the shed.
After the coal pockets were demolished several weeks later and after this
image was taken, and directly below where the photographer is standing,
would be the diamond that many railfans loved to get their shots at.
The building in the background flying the American Flag is 88-90 Kent Avenue
- the main office of the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal.
Notice the smoking prohibited sign on the Hay Storage building. The last
thing the Havemeyer's needed was another fire! And trust me, they already
had a few.
A tree grows in Brooklyn. Hint: keep an eye on that sapling in front of the
#47 - May 15, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
A lower & slightly more northern shot from the previous image.
Nice pre-fabricated curved diamond all ready and waiting to be
#49 - May 15, 1919
Compare this image to the one (#45) taken 10 days earlier. Temporary tracks
being laid and gauged.
Zoom in and check out the small square saddletank on the locomotive! Wood
cab too. Most likely #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6.
#50 - May 15, 1919
Compare to image #46: pier track mostly torn up with a single temporary track
laid for access to the Hay Storage building.
#51 - May 15th, 1919
Uh yeah. You are allowed to drool.
Back up the Coal Trestle and looking south. Check out that spreadwinged eagle
on the pilothouse of the Intrepid!
There is that spare floatbridge again. Note the pontoon on the inshore end.
It has to be a spare, perhaps from Warren Street? All the other float
bridges are accounted for
in other photos. It's not new, as it has subtle dents that do not match up
to any other of the active bridges in service.
Note the tank cars. Those will be the enginehouse tracks. And the BMT is
still excavating the 14th Street Tunnel.
#52 - July 8, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
A tree is still growing at Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal!
There is the sapling from Image #47, but the shed's gone though, and the
curved diamond from image #48 is installed.
More importantly, look how the Scranton & Lehigh Coal pockets and building
are being disassembled.
Are you wondering why they disassembling the coal pockets? Wait for it (see
#53 - July 8, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
Modern concrete bumping blocks. Neat trackwork. These guys do good work.
Wood siding is being removed from the coal shed.
#54 - July 8, 1919 - 9 'A' Yard
I mean really? Double slip switches in an Offline Terminal yard? I'll say
this, they spared no expense on their trackage.
And the photographer really likes to take his images from the top of a
The next series of eight images: #55-#62; are
not punched or bound, nor were they dated and are on somewhat larger cardstock:
10" x 12" , but they have the same image area (7" x 9") as the images above
and they are from the same photographer,
W. R. Harrison.
#55 - no date - 88 Kent Avenue / North 9th Street and Kent Avenue
The Main Offices of the Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal.
Chas. Schaefer & Son Hay & Grain next door and faded above the door
is Scranton & Lehigh Coal Co.
#56 - no date - Looking east.
Taken from the second floor of the Carpenters Shop at the bulkhead on North
Some poor locomotive has met its fate. Interesting that they went as far
as to remove the tires from it.
Even more interesting is the kerosene switch markers. Never saw any in the
BEDT yards before.
Will the driver of a Mack Truck, license plate 804-950 please move your vehicle?
By the way, that gantry didn't exist in July 1919, so this image must be
#57 - no date - North 5th Street & Berry Street
Now you know why they tore down the Scranton and Lehigh Coal trestle &
pockets. S&L went out and bought themselves a brand new concrete silohouse
Joe Roborecky remembers walking past this office as a child. He also
remembers seeing a balance scale (maybe in the side window) to weigh the
The scale was at the entrance next to the office.
#58 - no date - North 4th Street & Kent Avenue
Sunbeam Pure Foods, soon to become Austin Nichols. Look at that dapper crowd
outside the crossing guard shanty: bowlers & top hats!
Big thing back then to see a guy with a camera. Even bigger if you got
in the picture.
#59 - no date - North 5th Street & Kent Avenue
Facade is all painted, and windows have awnings!?!? Truck traffic, a horse
It's safe to say the BEDT Inbound Freighthouse is open for business.
Note the steam locomotive coming around the bend in the background and the
crossing guard with flags waiting.
#60 - no date - 4 'B' Yard
It appears the 4 B Yard has been removed but with access to an unknown rail
customer in the B Yard and Scherer Brothers Paper in the C Yard
(located behind the photographer) via the tracks through the Austin Nichols
Building. This block with remain moderately undeveloped but a track leading
the photographer will service Greenberg Brothers.
#61 - no date - North 10th Street & Kent Avenue
Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal
- Warehouse #1 -
The Fairbanks Company
Scales, Trucks, Engines, Machinery, Pumps, Valves, Barrows, Power
Mine Mill & Railway Supplies, Automobile & Service Station
Here is a structure I have never seen an image before much less attributed
to the Terminal properties. Fairbank Co. even has a delivery truck marked
(seen backed up to the building) with New York, Newark & Bridgeport and
all principal cities listed on the sideboards.
#62 - no date - North 5th Street & Kent Avenue
Wait a second. This image was in the same batch with the above. But no awnings
on the Freighthouse!
But that retaining wall separating the driveway from the tracks appears freshly
By the way. ExLax cleans like chocolate tornado.