Author Archives: B.P.

The “Prince” Who New York’s Prince Street Is Named After

Was New York’s Prince Street’s Name Derived From Royalty?

Prince Street Bromley & Robinson 1879 Atlas of New York

Some of the original names given to the streets of New York when under Dutch and English rule have survived to the present day.

Many streets owe their name to local landmarks or the aristocracy and heroes of 17th and 18th century New York, including Delancey Street, Duane Street and Houston Street named after James De Lancey, James Duane and William Houstoun. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #110 – Bootblacks By City Hall Park During An Historic 1863 Moment

A Group Of New York Bootblacks At City Hall Park – July 1863

Bootblacks and other child workers New York City Hall posters theater advertisements 1863

A group of eight bootblack boys line up near City Hall for this stereoview photograph.

Taken by the pioneering stereoview firm of E. & H.T. Anthony of 501 Broadway, the view is entitled, “Brigade Of De Shoe Black, City Hall Park.” There is no date attached to the photo, yet, the timing of this photograph is of historical significance. How do we know?

The fence behind the boys is covered with broadsheets advertising several theatrical productions.

From the information on the advertisements we can narrow down the date the photo is from. Continue reading

Lou Gehrig’s Mom Visits During Spring Training 1930

Lou Gehrig With His Real Mom, March 22, 1930

Lou Gehrig wit his mother at St. Petersburg Florida on March 22, 1930 at Yankees spring training

Lou Gehrig and his mother Christina March 22, 1930 in St. Petersburg, FL at Yankees spring training.

Above is Yankee legend Lou Gehrig with his real mother in contrast to movie Gehrig and mom.

Elsa Janssen and Gary Cooper The Pride of the Yankees 1942

Elsa Janssen and Gary Cooper

Mrs. Gehrig: “I want you to be somebody.”

Lou: “Sure, Mom.”

Mrs. Gehrig Like your Uncle Otto, Louie. He went to university. He graduated. Don’t you see, Louie? That’s why I’m cooking at Columbia, so you can go there some day……and be an engineer like your Uncle Otto. Lou you are going to become an engineer like your Uncle Otto.”

Those are the words Mrs. Gehrig says to young Lou Gehrig in the 1942 movie The Pride of the Yankees. Continue reading

Goose In Flight – 1934 Spring Training Lakeland Florida

Goose Goslin Jumping High In Spring Training

Goose Goslin 1934 spring trainingBefore Rich “Goose” Gossage another great “Goose” played pro baseball. Suiting up  for the Washington Senators, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers  was Leon “Goose” Goslin. Here Goose leaps high to stab a ball at spring training in Lakeland, Florida. Continue reading

Spring Training 1940 Ted Williams Takes The Grapefruit League Literally

Ted Williams Smashes Some Grapefruits

Ted Williams hitting a grapefruit March 6 1949

Ted Williams – grapefruit pulverizer photo Acme: March 2, 1940

We know the Florida spring training circuit is known as the Grapefruit Leauge. But that doesn’t mean that grapefruits are a good substitute for rawhide. So, to explain this photo – were they low on baseballs? Or is this just a silly publicity picture dreamed up by a reporter? I can’t imagine Red Sox slugger Ted Williams accommodating a press photographer with a request. Continue reading

Birds-Eye View Of New York 1870

A Panoramic View of Lower Manhattan Including The Unbuilt Brooklyn Bridge

Lower Manhattan Harper's Weekly 1870 Brooklyn BridgeOur view is from the November 19, 1870 Harper’s Weekly.  Entitled, “Bird’s-eye view of the southern end of New York and Brooklyn showing the projected suspension bridge and East River from the western terminus in printing house square, New York.”

That long title reflects a fairly accurate view of New York, Brooklyn and surrounding area drawn by Theodore R Davis. Marine traffic crowds the river and piers with ferries, paddle-wheelers, steamships, schooners and sloops of all descriptions. The building of the bridge would slightly alleviate this nautical congestion.

Construction on the bridge began on January 2, 1870.  Continue reading

Oh No! “Fats” Of The Little Rascals Is Dead!

“Fats” Is Reported Dead And Little Rascals Fans Scratch Their Heads In Confusion.

The Los Angeles Times, New York Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer were among the dozens of newspapers reporting the sad news of the passing of Don Law aka “Fats.” The Associated Press photo shows a rather glum grown-up Don.

You remember “Fats” from Our Gang a.k.a. The Little Rascals, right? Even serious fans of Our Gang may not exactly be sure which one Fats was. Probably the big fat kid.

Search your memory. You’ll come to the conclusion that you don’t remember anyone named ‘Fats’ in Our Gang. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #92 – Part 2 Unpublished Snapshots of the Stars 1948-49 – Couples

More Snaphots of the Stars In 1948-49 – Hollywood Couples

Howard Duff and Ava Gardner

We continue our look back at a fan’s collection of snapshots from the late 1940s.

Frequently the studio would pair up couples so that they could be seen together when they were going out on the town. It didn’t matter that they may have had no interest in one another or one of them was gay. It  was good publicity to be seen by the press and public.

However in many of these photographs the stars are married to one another and they are not “beards” covering up homosexual relationships.

Even more surprising is that a number of these couples remained married to each other for many years; some until death. Cyd Charisse and Tony Martin and Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond being two prime examples of lifelong commitments.

June Allyson and Dick Powell

Betsy Blair and Gene Kelly

Continue reading

Book Review – The Finest Building In America The New York Crystal Palace

The New York Crystal Palace Gave Americans A Building To Be Proud Of

burrows finest building in americaOn the site of the future Bryant Park on 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues stood The New York Crystal Palace. It was only there for a little more than five years. Built of cast iron, timber and glass the building was unlike anything previously built in America.

Edwin G. Burrows book, “The Finest Building in America The New York Crystal Palace 1853-1858” Oxford; (2018), is a short, entertaining account of the impact the building and the wonders displayed inside, had on the city. Continue reading