Parked in this University of South Carolina online video database is a treasure trove of home videos dating all the way back to the 1920s. It's just our luck that there are tons of spellbinding videos capturing many aspects of NYC life—the skyline, construction of the Chrysler Building, and scenes from the 1929 Mayoral elections as witnessed on Broadway, among several others.
The video of the skyline was captured in 1929 from the top of the Chanin Building (which had just been completed at the time) on East 42nd Street. Some of the great scenes in the video include shots of the New York Life Building, the former Savoy-Plaza Hotel, and the Queensboro Bridge.
Another video taken just a few months later is captured from the under-construction Chrysler Building, with sprawling views of Central Park. "Gosh, it's quite a sensation being atop here," the man filming the video exclaims. "People look like flies to me."
About the same time that the Chrysler Building video was filmed, this video was taken showing scenes of election night on November 5, 1929 along Broadway, when incumbent mayor Jimmy Walker defeated Fiorella H. La Guardia in the mayoral elections.
And that's just a small selection of it all. It's all part of USC's Moving Image Research Collections and several more videos can be found on their website. Don't forget to check out the great selection of videos from Chicago as well.