Outboards Race from Albany to New York City

From British Pathé, another historic view of Albany’s riverfront, this time from 1931. The title is “Albany to New York — 117 outboards race 136 miles,” but this brief bit of newsreel only shows the first couple of minutes, giving us some fabulous views of both the Albany and Rensselaer riverfronts. On the Albany side, we first see the long-gone Maiden Lane bridge, with the Albany Yacht Club structures just to its left. Before that on the left, we can see Steamboat Square, complete with one of the big steam liners that plied the river in those days. The camera turns as it focuses in one one of the individual speedboats (which look like the driver would take a hell of a bruising over the course of 136 miles), and we again see the Maiden Lane, this time on its Rensselaer end, and we get a river’s level view of the city of Rensselaer, which hasn’t changed hugely since this was made. Then we see the Maiden Lane bridge again, with its swing span in the center. On the backs of some of the industrial buildings of Rensselaer, we see a sign for Freihofer Bread (originally from Philadelphia, by the way) and Peter Schuyler Cigars. At about 48 seconds, we return to a view of the Albany side, and see the rooftop sign of the Blue Ribbon Potato Chip Company and then Ward Coffee. A boat passes under the original Dunn Memorial Bridge, and we’re done.

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