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Benjamin Rathbun’s Buffalo, by Raymond Massey: This is genius!

This video, by Buffalo historian Raymond Massey, is pure genius.  Recently, it has been making its way around the web and it is a must-see.  I had seen some of Massey’s historical renderings in the past. Even as static images, they were impressive in their beauty and detail.  But, in this video, Massy brings the images to life with animation and a compelling historic narration, detailing the career of canal era entrepreneur Benjamin Rathbun and his impact on Buffalo. You see boats moving through the city’s network of canals, people moving through the dirt streets and pathways on foot, by horse, and in carriages.  It is truly captivating. Here is what Massey has to say about the documentary.

I have created this documentary so as to introduce the reader to that wonderful scoundrel Benjamin Rathbun and of Buffalo around 1836. The Buffalonians that lived through this decade looked back with loving fondness to their frontier city and the boom and bust excitement of the Rathbun era. Despite the calamity that he caused his trial had to be moved from the city as prosecutors believed that a conviction in Buffalo would not be possible.

This amazing video of this long distant and mostly erased part of Buffalo’s history is just the start of Massey’s plans.  He runs the web site Buffalo (also a must see), where he describes his plans for more in-depth Buffalo historical documentaries.  BAsed on this first video, I can’t wait for the next installment.  Once you watch, just try and tell me you can’t imagine yourself shrinking down and walking around these amazing old Buffalo Streets. Thank you Raymond!

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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