Analog City: New York B.C. (Before Computers) at Museum of the City of New York, May 20 – December 31, 2022  

“A new exhibition at Museum of the City of New York takes visitors on a visit to pre-digital New York, where analog innovations, professions, and industries fueled the city’s growth and status. On view from May 20, 2022-December 31, 2022, Analog City: New York B.C. (Before Computers) presents more than 100 photographs and once-pioneering objects, from rotary phones to pneumatic tubes, offering an opportunity for visitors to reflect on the city’s history of progress and interact with many of the inventions that led the way for contemporary networks and industries.

New York thrived as a center of finance, news, research, and real estate in an era before personal computers and the internet. Historical artifacts, images, audio, video, and hands-on interactives will immerse visitors in the sights and sounds of the pre-digital city. Analog City will take a special look at New York City institutions such as The New York Times, the New York Public Library and the Brooklyn Public Library, and the New York Stock Exchange, among many others, to examine how the analog systems born between the 1870s and the 1970s changed these institutions, and how they served and impacted New Yorkers across the five boroughs.” — Museum of the City of New York

Installation views of Analog City: New York B.C. (Before Computers) at Museum of the City of New York. Photos by Corrado Serra.

 “New York has always been a city on the cutting edge, and this exhibition allows us to marvel at both how advanced these analog tools were in their time, and how far we’ve now progressed in the Internet era,” said Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director and President of the Museum of the City of New York. “Whether you remember speaking with a telephone operator, or you’re too young to know the origin of ‘hang up the phone,’ Analog City offers a fascinating dive into New York’s leading industries and the inventions that made them run.”

Analog City is organized by curator Lilly Tuttle and designed by Abbott Miller of Pentagram.