Spotlight Collection

Endicott-area Photographs & Postcards

This month, New York Heritage Digital Collections proudly spotlights digital selections from the Endicott Area Photographs & Postcards from the George F. Johnson Memorial Library.

From the collection description:

The village of Endicott was originally made up of two distinct villages: Union village, incorporated in 1892, and Endicott (whose center was along Washington Avenue and North Street), which was incorporated in 1906. Union was a market town along the Susquehanna River settled in the 1790s, serving the farming area between Binghamton and Owego. Endicott, on the other hand, was originally a company town constructed for and by the Endicott Johnson Corporation, which grew to become the largest shoe company in the world by World War I. Growing out of a large tract of farmland, Endicott was known as a boomtown, and as a result acquired the nickname The Magic City. As the two villages had grown so much that there was no longer any physical distinction between them, Union village was merged into Endicott in 1921. (From the Wikipedia entry on Endicott, NY.)

This collection contains photographs and postcards that share the history of the Village of Endicott, including images of people like George F. Johnson (after whom nearby Johnson City is named) and pictures featuring the Endicott Johnson Corporation. Also included are a number of buildings from the village, including libraries, schools and fire stations.

About the repository:

From the Library's website...

The Endicott Free Library was first opened on March 16, 1915 in the Mattoon Hotel building on Washington Avenue, due to the work of a group of forty residents who raised the necessary funds to establish a free library association. It was headed by a board of seven trustees, including Chester B. Lord, President; John W. Johnson, Vice President; John E. Paden, Treasurer; Herbert H. Crumb, Mrs. William G. Collingwood and Mrs. Chester B. Lord. The first annual meeting was held at Union-Endicott High School on January 11, 1916. The circulation for the first nine months of operation was 24,493 books.

Many residents of Endicott’s north side were immigrants and skilled craftsmen employed in the tanneries and factories of the Endicott-Johnson Corporation. In an effort to serve the north side the library started one of the northeast’s first bookmobiles in 1916. The truck was a standard flat-bed Ford donated by a local resident who used it during daytime hours for light hauling. The vehicle was operated two hours each evening after supper and before dark so that residents could see the books and would have time to make a choice of materials. Because many patrons were not able to speak or read English, the staff attempted to help them in solving any problems which they had in filling out forms, etc. and also provided books written in the appropriate foreign languages. The book shelves for the truck were removable and were made at a cost of only $5.00. They were taken out each evening when the bookmobile was returned to the main library.

The George F. Johnson Memorial Library is a member of the Four County Library System. Other member libraries include the Broome County Public Library (Binghamton), Johnson City, Vestal, Norwich, Oneonta, Sidney, and the other public libraries in Broome, Chenango, Delaware and Otsego counties.


The George F. Johnson Library is a member of the South Central Regional Library Council, a member of the Empire State Library Network.