The Woolworth Building and Singer Building At Night In Color – 1914
In this photograph looking south along Broadway are three buildings that each at one time held the record as tallest building in the world.
This hand colored magic lantern slide was taken soon after the Woolworth Building was completed in 1913. After its completion and for 16 years until 1929, the Woolworth was the tallest building in the world. Continue reading →
Mary Carlisle, Movie Star Of The 1930s Is 104 Years Young
Mary Carlisle MGM publicity photo by George Hurrell
While she is not a household name, Mary Carlisle appeared in many films in the 1930s, including co-starring with Bing Crosby in three of his films.
With 65 films to her credit from 1923 -1943, Mary Carlisle is among the last survivors of Hollywood’s golden age of film.
Born in Boston on February 3, 1914, Carlisle started appearing regularly in movies at age 16 in 1930, mostly as an uncredited extra. Of the thousands of actresses vying for stardom in the 1930s, Carlisle’s talent and looks helped her rise in the ranks quickly.
Between 1922 -1934 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers (WAMPAS) had a publicity campaign, where they annually named the young movie actresses they believed were on the cusp of motion picture stardom. Carlisle received a big boost in her career by being chosen a WAMPAS baby star for 1932. Among the 14 other actresses chosen that year by WAMPAS were Ginger Rogers, Gloria Stuart and Eleanor Holm.
Carlisle got a big build up from MGM and made dozens of films throughout the 1930s, not surprisingly cast as a stereotypical “nice girl” pretty blond. Continue reading →
July 4 Holiday Views Of Coney Island Crowded Beaches 1938, 1942 & 1955
The crowded beach at Coney Island in the late 1950s
Beaches in New York City are popular during the summer. Especially around July 4. For over 150 years Coney Island has been a magnet for those seeking relief from hot weather. Combine those three factors and you can get huge crowds at Coney Island’s beaches during the July 4 holiday break.
Some people will not actually go on the beach. Instead they’ll walk along the boardwalk, visit the new Luna Park, watch the Nathan’s hot dog gorging contest or enjoy the fireworks show at night.
If you think the beaches get crowded these days, then have a look at old news photographs of Coney Island from July 4 holidays of years past. Continue reading →
A Previously Unpublished View Of The Flatiron Building 1902
There is nothing extraordinary about this photo of old New York. But because it is previously unpublished and taken by an amateur photographer at an interesting time, we’re sharing it here.
This sepia photograph is from an old personal photo album and was taken sometime in the summer of 1902. It shows the Flatiron Building as it neared completion. The scaffolding had been removed at the end of June 1902. If you look carefully you can see a sign in front of the building announcing space for rent.
The Flatiron Building is located at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Broadway at 23rd Street. When it was completed it was not the tallest building in New York at 307 feet, but the slenderest and most aquiline. It was, and still is considered by many to be the most remarkable building in New York. In 1902, hundreds of people would stop and just stare at the building for five or ten minutes. Then many of them would move to a slightly different vantage point and continue looking at the building with amazement. Continue reading →
Here is the early 20th century’s royal family of acting, the Barrymore’s, Lionel, Ethel and John.
Each a star in their own right, first on the stage and later in films. Yet the trio only appeared in one movie together, Rasputin and the Empress (1932).
The Clan Barrymore
When John, Ethel and Lionel Barrymore came together to play in M-G-M’s “Rasputin”, it made possible the first reunion of the entire family. Above photo shows the Barrymore reunion in Hollywood. Left to right- front row: Mrs. Lionel Barrymore (Irene Fenwick), holding John Blythe, son of John Barrymore; Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Mrs. John Barrymore (Dolores Costello) with Ethel Dolores Barrymore, her daughter; and Ethel Barrymore Colt, daughter of Ethel Barrymore. In rear are left to right: John Barrymore Colt (left) and his brother, Samuel Colt, with John Barrymore standing between the two. credit: Acme 9/20/32
This photograph was taken at John Barrymore’s home in early September 1932.
Interestingly before this film, the three actors had never even appeared together in the same play.
Rasputinand the Empress as the film was re-titled, marked Ethel Barrymore’s (1879-1959) first talking film. Her stage popularity was such that she wouldn’t appear in another film until 1944 (None But The Lonely Heart). After 1944 Ethel would appear regularly in motion pictures, making 20 more movies until her retirement in 1957.
After MGM signed Ethel Barrymore to appear in Rasputin, brother Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was asked to comment and said, “Great! And tell me what poor benighted and unlucky individual is to direct this opus in which all three of us are to act together?” Continue reading →
Maude Fealy “The Most Beautiful Woman In the World” In An Atypical Pose
One of the most read stories we have done was about Maude Fealy the stage star and film actress who had a career that spanned the first half of the 20th century.
Given the lack of fact based information available on the internet about Fealy we’ve provided another short page devoted to this forgotten star.
This unusual photograph entitled The Coiffure no. 3 captures Maude Fealy in a very flattering pose.
The Coiffure no. 3 was taken by Rudolf Eickemeyer. If there were other photographs from this sitting indicated by the fact that this is called number three, I have not come across any of them.
In 1903 the Figaro Illustre of Paris held a contest and offered a prize for the woman who represented the “perfect type of beautiful womanhood.” Photographer Burr McIntosh submitted a photograph he had taken of Maude Fealy. A committee of experts pored over 30,000 entries and decided Maude Fealy was the most beautiful woman in the world. Burr McIntosh won the prize for submitting the photo. Fealy wound up with the accolades.
Besides being a famous photographer, Burr McIntosh was the publisher of a popular magazine in the early part of the 20th century, mostly featuring theatrical stars. In February 1904 Maude Fealy graced the Valentine Number of The Burr McIntosh Monthly. The illustration above was drawn by Clark Hobart in 1903.
When we first wrote about Maude Fealy there was uncertainty as to her exact date and year of birth. That has yet to be resolved, though we can now narrow Maude’s birth year to prior to 1884. Maude’s papers housed in the Denver Public Library give a likely birth date of March 3, 1881.
Through diligent research we have established two previous unknown facts regarding Maude’s domineering actress-mother Margaret: the date of her marriage and divorce to Maude’s father. Continue reading →
The 14th Street Store of Henry Siegel – 14th St. & 6th Ave c. 1905
These two photographs were taken by the Detroit Photographic Co. on the same day, likely minutes apart. They show Henry Siegel’s 14th Street Store (1904-1914) and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railroad looking towards the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.
There is much to see, especially when zooming in on the details by clicking to enlarge the photos.
Besides the orientation of landscape versus portrait there are slight but noticeable differences in the two photos.
In the first photo at the 14th Street elevated station the northbound passengers wait for the next train and all sorts of advertising can be seen along the station walls.
On top of the southbound station, a man is painting the roof with two cans of paint, one in front of him, the other behind him. In the other photo the painter is not in frame, but both cans of paint are near one another.
On the fourth floor of the store, two women appear to be watching the photographer as he set up to take his picture. The window openings are in the exact same position as the other photo, but the women are gone. Continue reading →
So What Did Jayne Mansfield Look Like As Brunette?
Along with Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow and Brigitte Bardot, Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967) is one of the Hollywood stars who usually has the word “blonde” inserted before the word bombshell.
Mansfield’s hair was dyed blonde for the majority of her film career, which may leave you wondering what did she look like with dark hair?
Here is the answer.
Jayne dyed her hair dark for her role in the 1960 film The Challenge (re-titled in the U.S as It Takes A Thief.)
While the photo above is not Jayne Mansfield’s natural hair color, it is a startling contrast to the thousands of published photos of her as a blonde.
In the early 1950s Jayne studied acting at Southern Methodist University. She recalled in a1957 interview, “I was a brunette then. And covered up. Men whistled at me. But that’s all. I decided my body was an asset and I’d use it.” Continue reading →
You probably won’t recognize this building unfortunately, though it is certainly New York’s most famous landmark. Every sightseer who has studied it up close will know it’s the Empire State Building. credit: Acme 9/7/51
There are not many 87-year-olds that look this good.
The remarkable Empire State Building may no longer be the tallest building in the world or New York City for that matter, but it still is one of the most iconic and beautiful.
The Empire State Building opened May 1, 1931. Dedicating the Empire State Building, President Herbert Hoover pressed a symbolic button in the White House that put on all the lights in the building. (A worker in New York actually turned on the lights.)