Astonishing Facts About New York at the Dawn of the 20th Century

By Phin Upham

New York is frequently romanticized in television and film, and with its rich history there is no wonder why. The area has always been hotly contested, and wasn’t always the financial hub we know it as today. The New York in 1890 was quite a bit closer to the New York of today, but it had gone through so much change to get to this point.



Alexander Hamilton had cemented New York as a financial hub early on, which meant a great deal of money was flowing through the city. By 1900, Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange had been in full swing for some time. Both were already declared two of the largest financial institutions in the world. It was fitting, then, that skyscrapers would be built in New York City.

This exhibition to man’s ability made New York iconic, but the history that followed would cement its place in history for all time. The skyscrapers themselves sparked a great competition, with the winner being the Empire State Building. Empire held the title until the World Trade Center, which collapsed tragically on September 11, 2001.

Separate Territories

New York became the New York City we know of today thanks to the consolidation of several areas. Residents call them “the Boroughs”: Brooklyn, Manhattan, the Bronx and the outlying areas. Many of the thoroughfares and roadways that join these areas are made of trails that date back to the 1500s, when natives used them to hunt or trade.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Phin Upham website or Twitter page.