Seeing New York (Seeing New York Automobiles, Inc.) is an American company that offered tourists sightseeing tours of New York on electric buses and boats at the beginning of the 20th century.
Open electric buses left from the world-famous Flatiron Building every hour. Please note that in 1904, just two years after the completion of construction, the Fuller Building, named after the “inventor” of skyscrapers, George Fuller, was already nicknamed “Iron”, but then the words Flat and Iron had not yet merged into one.
The Seeing New York tour, a forerunner of today’s Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour, offered to visit “the historic part of New York of the Dutch, British and American eras; Bowery, Chinatown, Brooklyn, Castle Garden (Castle Clinton), Central Park, Grand Boulevards, historic Hudson River, Columbia University, General Grant’s Tomb, and statues of Christopher Columbus and William Shakespeare.” In 1913, the Seeing New York fleet consisted of 8 electric buses.
Photo from the archives of the US Library of Congress. Electric bus of the Seeing New York company near the Flatiron Building, 1904
Unfortunately, we were unable to find out the manufacturer and specifications of the electric buses used by Seeing New York. The earliest mention of electric buses refers to the multi-seater electric taxi Siemens-Schuckertwerke in 1905, which operated in Berlin, and the London Electrobus Company, which launched a fleet of electric buses in the capital of Great Britain in 1907. But it must be understood that at the beginning of the 20th century, 38% of cars in The US were electric and there were dozens if not hundreds of small electric car manufacturers.
Modern colorization of the original photo