Famed Actor Edward Everett Horton Was Born & Bred In Brooklyn
Imagine living in a home that is old. Over 150-years-old.
If you’ve ever lived anywhere that has a long past, you’ve probably wondered who previously occupied the space before you. What were the people like who once lived there? What celebrations and heartbreaks happened there?
When passing by, no one would take a second look at the building at 316 Carlton Avenue in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. It’s just another tidy single family, four story brick home in a row of similar 19th century houses. Continue reading →
West 42nd Street Looking East Towards Times Square
This postcard view taken by Irving Underhill is undated, but a little detective work led to the date of 1927. Along 42nd Street is a billboard for the movie King of Kings. Further down the block a movie marquee advertises the film 7th Heaven, both released in 1927
In this photograph of West 42nd Street the tallest structure visible is the Paramount Building on the left also completed in 1927. The building once housed the Paramount Theatre.
This charming etching by Frank M. Gregory (1848-1927) comes from a limited edition book Representative Etchings By Artists of To-day In America by Ripley Hitchcock, 1887, Fredrick A Stokes. The book included ten original etchings from noted artists of the day including Frederick S. Church, Robert F. Blum and Stephen Parrish.
We are looking north up Fifth Avenue. The busy street scene with horse drawn carriages, delivery wagons and pedestrians features a Broadway Squad policeman escorting a young girl across the street.
On the left is the Fifth Avenue Hotel and beyond that is Broadway. The obelisk in the center is the General William Worth Monument. Directly behind the monument on 25th Street, where Fifth Avenue and Broadway diverge is the building that housed The New York Club, an exclusive men’s club, in 1887. The building was originally built in 1865 as a hotel named Worth House. In 1888 a fire displaced the New York Club. The structure that now occupies that site, was built in 1918 and is the New York flagship store of Porcelanosa.
Madison Square Park is barely visible on the right.
Further up Fifth Avenue on the corner of 26th Street is the Brunswick Hotel. Diagonally opposite the Brunswick is the famous Delmonico’s restaurant.
The steeple in the distance on Fifth Avenue and 29th Street is the Marble Collegiate Church.
What Swimsuit Fashions Looked Like 100 Years Ago – Arms Were Visible – How Shocking!
From The New York Tribune newspaper of June 16, 1918 comes this advertisement from Franklin Simon & Co..
They were not called bathing or swimsuits, but bathing dresses and for good reason. Women still covered their bodies in dresses from neck to toe. Things were getting a bit risque for the time- these dresses had exposed arms. Of course legs were still fully covered by material, but not completely hidden by the bathing dress. Continue reading →
Many Years Before Macy’s Held Their Annual Thanksgiving Parade New York City Children Used To Dress In Costume And Beg For Money
A Forgotten New York Thanksgiving Tradition – Ragamuffin Day
On Bleecker Street New York City children dressed in costume for Thanksgiving 1933 photo Percy Loomis Sperr
“Please mister, a penny or a nickel for Thanksgiving?”
This request was once heard all around New York City from children dressed in outlandish costumes celebrating Thanksgiving. It came to be known as Ragamuffin Day.
Christopher Street near subway kiosk Thanksgiving 1933
When it started exactly is unclear. It was reported in 1870 costumed men were celebrating Evacuation Day a day early on Thanksgiving, November 24. Evacuation Day commemorated the November 25 anniversary of the British forces leaving New York after the Revolutionary War. Evacuation Day was a major holiday in New York until 1888.
The men in costume who paraded about were called “the Fantasticals.” But why would they be in costume? The answer is somewhat convoluted. The costumes were not really about Thanksgiving or Evacuation Day. This was related more to Guy Fawkes Day celebrated November 5 in England. In the United States, Guy Fawkes day was celebrated with anti-Catholic sentiment, burning an effigy of the Pope. Even though the holidays are weeks apart, the proximity of Guy Fawkes Day to Thanksgiving Day and Evacuation Day is thought to be responsible for the strange combination of these distinct holidays. However the American Fantasticals did not beg for money. Continue reading →
In 1929 The Almanac Hotel In New York City Became The First Hotel In The Country To Hire Women Bellhops
New York Hotel Using Girl Bell-Hops
The newest wrinkle in hotel service these days is girl bell-hops. The Almanac Hotel, New York City, is probably the first hotel in the country to use girls for bell-hop service. Hotel customers say they give “real service” too. Here are three of them standing by while a patron registers. The girls are, left to right: Eleanor Julin, Mildred Wilson and Edith Gillin. – Associated Press Photo 11/13/1929
Only at the high class hotels do you still find bell-hops. Until the 1970s, almost all hotels had them.
The Almanac Hotel, (aka Hotel Almanac), was being “progressive” at the time, by hiring female bell-hops, in what was traditionally a male occupation. Or were they? Continue reading →
New York City – A fancy stepping cowboy band and cowboys and cowgirls in their bright-colored shirts parade before children patients of Bellevue Hospital as they visit the hospital to stage their rodeo which is now appearing in Madison Square Garden. 10/14/1937 credit Wide World Photos
Over 3,000 people, mostly children, watched this performance at Bellevue Hospital on October 14, 1937. If you are wondering exactly where this took place, it is the rear yard of Bellevue at 29th Street facing the river. The East River Drive (renamed FDR after 1945) portion of the highway behind Bellevue had not been constructed yet. The hospital grounds had quite a bit of room to hold a rodeo. Continue reading →
A Very Early View of Lower Manhattan Looking East Towards The East River & Brooklyn circa 1892
This magic lantern slide overlooking lower Manhattan along with the East River and Brooklyn is pre-twentieth century. Where exactly; when it was taken; and where from, was a mystery. But some things to take notice of:
In 19th Century New York, You Had 24 Hours To Retrieve Your Lost Dog
Unclaimed Dogs Were Drowned In The East River
The dog catcher in New York City & the dogs fate- drowned in cages in the East River – illustration Harper’s Weekly
The Dog Dilemma
What happens today when animal shelters are filled to capacity? Sometimes cats and dogs are humanely euthanized, if there is such a thing as being humanely euthanized.
Canine population control in 19th century New York was much harsher. Beginning in 1855 a new and brutal method of putting down dogs was instituted – drowning.
Some editors and citizens actually attached the word “humane” to this new way of disposal.
Before that time, wandering dogs were considered pests and usually killed on the spot, in the street. The fear of rabies and mad dogs was used as a justification for the wanton killing.
The New York Times wrote, “One thing, however, is certain: dogs are useless animals in cities, and are a nuisance, independent of their habit of occasionally running mad; and the best dog law would be one that imposed so high a tax on the owners of curs that few people would care to keep them, and those who did would see to it that the animals did not run at large, muzzled or unmuzzled.” Continue reading →
Williamsburg Bridge Under Construction As Viewed From The East River 1901
From a personal photo album comes this previously unpublished 1901 view looking north from the East River.
Besides all the vessels navigating the heavily trafficked waterway, we can see the completed towers of the Williamsburg Bridge. The cables of the bridge have been completed but the roadway beneath the span is absent.
The first bridge crossing Kings County to Manhattan was the Brooklyn Bridge, opening in 1883. It would take another 20 years before the next great span, the Williamsburg Bridge was completed. Continue reading →