Steampunk vid of New York

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Came across this film, “The Old New World,” of New York and bits of Boston and Washington, D.C. (the Capitol), in about 1931, on the Kuriositas website. It is the Old New World Project run by Alexey Zakharoff. It is pretty amazing, and I really haven’t the foggiest idea how they do it, even though it is vaguely explained below:

Take a trip to times past in a steampunk time machine.  This amazing animation has been created with camera projection based on photos.  The result is something wonderful – if eerie – as the past comes to life in front of your eyes. A number of the large cities of the New World are included here, including New York, Washington and Boston.  Just wonderful!

The gizmo gears that unfold to expose the pictures are in the Steampunk style, a sort of takeoff on industrial design when industry was allowed to be beautiful (before the so-called “form follows function” era). You may think I have stolen the thunder because of all the pictures I’ve screenshotted from the project. But keep in mind that the pictures move. They are, as the squib above puts it, just wonderful! I regret only that it continues for merely 3:46 minutes, and that includes an end segment that seems to give some hints as to how it was all put together – but I would not stake my steak on it, if I had one before me.

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About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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2 Responses to Steampunk vid of New York

  1. Thanks for this updated list. Waiting for more sites,


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