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Not in Reps. No Other Examples Traced.

The only known extant example of this color-lithographed view of Manhattan Beach, New York, by one of the most enigmatic and tragic of American viewmakers.

The view shows the Manhattan Beach Hotel, Bathing Houses, Pavilion, and Oriental Hotel. The hotels are in the grandiose style of mega-hotels of the 1870s.

Galt & Hoy produced the greatest of all American bird's-eye views, their view of New York City, in 1879.

Galt & Hoy

According to Reps, Views and Viewmakers, J.L. Galt & Co. published three bird's-eye views of Massachusetts towns in 1878, all listing the office address of 111 Liberty Street. We find an additional view published by J.L. Galt, depicting Hartford, Connecticut, that was issued in 1877. Sometime in 1878, the firm was reconstituted as Galt & Hoy, with Henry E. Hoy, a member of a prominent and wealthy family, joining as a partner. This marked a change in the company's focus away from Massachusetts and towards New York and other locations. One of the first views by the newly-formed firm was an 1878 bird's-eye of Newport, Rhode Island, where Hoy liked to summer. Tragically, Hoy found the view-making business extremely difficult, and in December of 1878, he became overwhelmed by the large capital outlays and paltry revenue of the company. On December 17, Hoy met with his brother at his offices on Liberty Street and informed him of the financial difficulties that the firm faced. Shortly thereafter, he shot himself. The New York Times coverage of the incident draws attention to the difficulties faced by view-makers in the 1870s, even during that relative boom-time in that industry:

"About his business," he continued, "I know little. For the last year he has been engaged with his partner in a comparatively new scheme. They have had men employed taking perspective views of different portions of the largest cities in the United States. These publications were intended to assist business men. It required a very large outlay of capital to carry on the scene, and as yet the business had not returned the money. Mr. Galt is now in the West attending the business."

It seems that Hoy had been brought in to fund the production of views, but that the business was not returning his money quickly enough (or, perhaps, at all). The firm continued to publish into 1879, perhaps exhausting the last of the work that Hoy's money had financed, before going defunct and disappearing from the historical record. This tragic story probably explains why the present view is so exceptionally rare today: there simply was not enough money left in the firm to support large-scale printing and distribution.


Not in Reps, Views and Viewmakers. Not in OCLC. Nor in RBH.

Condition Description
Color-lithograph on wove paper. Dampstain in the margins (could be cleaned for an additional fee). VG+ but for the dampstains.