Tag Archives: 1930s

Classic Hollywood #129 Titanic’s “Old Rose” Gloria Stuart When Young

Gloria Stuart

Gloria Stuart (b. July 4, 1910) played “Old Rose” in James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) and was nominated for Best Actress in A Supporting Role. She did not win.

This is what Gloria Stuart looked like in the early 1930s.

Gloria Stuart 1930sVivacious and pretty, Gloria Stuart was a movie star throughout the 1930s appearing in 43 films. Continue reading

Managers Connie Mack & John McGraw Decide Who Bats First At The First All-Star Game

Athletics Manager Connie Mack & Former Giants Manager John McGraw Have A Contest Before The First All-Star Game 1933

Photo shows – Manager Connie Mack of Americans (left) Manager John McGraw of Nationals choose for first up with the aid of a bat.

In the game of the century played at Comiskey Park, Chicago, July 6, the picked team of the American League defeated the picked team of the National League 4-2. Photo: Acme July 6, 1933

It’s hard to believe that this is how they decided home field advantage in the American League’s Comiskey Park for the first All-Star Game, but it’s true.

Kids used to do this in pick-up games in parks to see who would bat first. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #127 – Before She Became A Star, Ginger Rogers 1930

On The Cusp Of Stardom – Young Ginger Rogers 1930

portrait 18-year-old Ginger Rogers 1930 A victory in the Texas Charleston contest four years ago gave Ginger Rogers the necessary stimulus for a stage career. Since her arrival on Broadway last season, after playing in vaudeville throughout the country, this talented young woman has won all sorts of honors in musical comedy and motion pictures.

She now has aspirations to be a radio star. When the inaugural Mardi Gras program is presented from WABC over the Columbia Broadcasting System on Tuesday (May 13) at 9 P.M. (E.D.S.T.) Miss Rogers will be the guest artist. One of the songs she will introduce is “I Wish I Could Be Sing A Love Song” from a new picture, “A Sap From Syracuse”, in which she plays opposite Jack Oakie. Photo: Columbia Broadcast System / NEA May 6, 1930.

92 years ago tonight listeners tuning into the radio could hear 18-year-old Ginger Rogers sing this song.

She was born Virginia Katherine McMath on July 16, 1911 in Independence, MO. Ginger got her nickname Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #126 – Paramount On Parade 1930

Chorus Girls From Paramount On Parade

This kitschy publicity photograph for the 1930 film Paramount on Parade shows a few of the chorus girls. Though the girls are unidentified in this photo one could be a future star such as Virginia Bruce.

The film was a revue and would highlight the musical abilities of all the top Paramount Picture stars. Unfortunately the chorus girl scene in the film is missing today as are several other portions of the film. Continue reading

Christopher Morley Describes West End Avenue 1932 – Part 2

Christopher Morley’s Description Of West End Avenue – Part 2

12 room apartments, doormen and an air of upper middle class gentility. All part of West End Avenue’s allure.

In 1932 Christopher Morley took an apartment at 54 Riverside Drive on the corner of 78th Street, a block away from his subject.

Here is the conclusion of Christopher Morley’s essay on West End Avenue.

West End is incomparably the most agreeable and convenient of large residential streets, second only to Riverside Drive—whose decline in prestige is mysterious. For that famous old glue-pot stench that used to come drifting across from Jersey has vanished altogether. West End is well churched and doctored. The abandoned hospital at the 72nd Street corner is something of a shock, but the Avenue hurries on uptown, consoling itself with Mr. Schwab’s chateau, its proudest architectural surprise. I wander past Mr. Schwab’s railings at night, noting the caretaker’s light in the attic and regretting that Charley seems to get so little use of his braw mansion. I like to see the homes of our great barons gay with lights and wassail: I have a thoroughly feudal view of society and believe that we small gentry acquiesce gladly in our restricted orbit provided the nabobs are kicking up a dust at the top of the scale. Sometimes I fear that our rich men have been intimidated by modern doctrines and do not like to be seen at frolic. Nonsense! They owe it to us. When a man builds a French chateau he should live in it like a French seigneur. For the gayety of West End Avenue I desire to see more lights in that castle, and hear the organ shaking the tall panes. Continue reading

Christopher Morley Describes West End Avenue 1932 – Part 1

Author Christopher Morley’s Description Of West End Avenue

“Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.”

This was Christopher Morley’s final message to his friends before he died at the age of 66 in 1957.

Morley’s biggest commercial success was the 1939 novel Kitty Foyle, which was turned into an Academy Award winning movie starring Ginger Rogers.

Though Morley would write more than 50 books of all sorts and edit Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, his name has been forgotten by modern readers. Below is a piece that paints a splendid picture of one of the least written about New York city streets.

This piece on West End Avenue appeared in Internal Revenue (1933) Doubleday, Doran.

You hear little about West End Avenue. It is too genteel to have much taste for publicity. But like all very decorous personalities it has its secret ligatures with grim fact. It begins at 106th Street, spliced into the western bend of Broadway, with a memory of the Titanic disaster (the Straus Memorial Fountain). It ends at 59th Street in Dead Storage and Loans on Cars, and in the gigantic Interborough Power House. Below that, though its uniformed hallboys do not like to admit it, it becomes Eleventh Avenue. 59th Street was the latitude where all those baseborn avenues of the old Tenderloin decided to 20 respectable by changing their names. Eighth became Central Park West, Ninth became Columbus, Tenth became Amsterdam, and Eleventh (or Death Avenue) became West End. But reform is as difficult for Streets as for persons. Broadway, careering diagonally across (trollops follow the Trade), drew ever upward its witch-fires and its sulphurous glow. Good old strongholds of middle-class manners were swamped. Apartments once gravid with refinement were given over to the dentist and the private detective (who cries Confidentially Yours in the window). When the MacFadden Publications burst into that part of town, reticences tottered. Even as far up as the 70’s the West Side struggles to disengage from sombre origins or too gaudy companionship. Then a Childs restaurant—unquestionable banner of fair repute – stems the tide on Broadway. Childs is too shrewd to step in on Doubtful Street. The church also comes to the rescue: a place of worship is combined with an apartment house. The Cross on top of this building, says a notice, “Guarantees Safety, Security, and Enjoyment.”

Of all this shifting struggle—so characteristic of New York and repeated in scores of regions all over town—West End Avenue is perfect symbol. The Interborough Power House, I dare say, gives it vitality to struggle successfully with the New York Central freight yards. It is humble enough here: it eats in Gibbs Diner and smokes its cob pipe in the switchman’s little house. It sees lines of milk cans on the sidings and is aware of the solid realities of provender and communication on which citizens depend. (Much of West End Avenue’s milk comes from Grand Gorge,  N. Y., which is an encouraging name to find printed on the cardboard bottle-top when you rummage the  ice-box late at night.) Then the Dodge and other automobile warehouses put ambition into it. It rises to a belt of garages and groceries. At 70th Street it makes as sudden a transformation as any street ever did—except perhaps that social abyss where Tudor City looks over the parapet onto First Avenue. “Here in A. D. 1877,” says the tablet in difficult Tudor script, as hen-track as Shakespeare’s, “was Paddy Corcoran’s Roost.” Who was Paddy? They have him in stone with an inverted Irish pipe. One day I walked through Tudor City with W. S. H., a heraldic expert, pursuivant of the various shields, emblems, armorial bearings and stained glaziery of that architect’s heyday. Cockle-shells, pelicans, griffons, lymphiads, bars and bends most sinister, nearly made an imbecile of my poor friend. Rouge Dragon himself could never unscramble that débris of the College of Arms. “The intended a boar, but it turned to a talbot,” cried W. S. H., examining one fierce escutcheon.

But West End Avenue, when it goes residential at 70th Street, does so in solid fashion, without freak or fantasy. For thirty-five blocks it has probably the most uniform skyline of any avenue in New York. It indulges little in terraces or penthouses; just even bulks of masonry. What other street can show me a run of thirty-five blocks without a shop-window? Few of its apartments have individual names. The Esplanade and the Windermere are two rare exceptions, as also the grand old Apthorp, the Gibraltar of our uptown conservatism: Inside its awful court-yard I have never dared to tread. We leave to the crosstown streets the need to hyperbolize their apartments with pretentious names.

Joe DiMaggio Ends His Holdout For More $

Joe DiMaggio Signs A Contract, Then Autographs For Fans – April 23, 1938

Back In Harness With Fanfare
Back in his Yankee uniform after a long holdout, Joe DiMaggio is shown April 23 in the home ballpark in New York City as he obliged autograph-seeking youngsters in the bleachers. The San Francisco slugger expected to be in playing form within a week. The Washington Nationals celebrated DiMaggio’s presence in the park by beating the Yanks 7-4. Photo: Associated Press April 23, 1938

Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez recently signed a seven year $141 million contract. Mets pitcher Max Scherzer will earn $43,333,333 in 2022. Mike Trout possibly the best position player today will earn $35,541,667 playing for the Angels this year.

In 1937 Joe DiMaggio’s second year in the majors, he played 151 games, scored 151 runs, with 215 hits, 46 home runs, 167 RBIs and posted a .346 batting average. He also walked 67 times while striking out only 37 times.

DiMaggio was paid $15,000. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #124 – Marx Brothers At Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

The Marx Brothers Leave Their Prints In Cement At Grauman’s Chinese Theatre- 1933

Marx Brothers leaving prints at Grauman's Chinese Theatre 1933 photo Acme

Los Angeles – The four Marx Brothers, film comedians are now among the famous whose foot and hand prints now grace the foyer of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Enduring cement holds the imprint and the lobby of the theater is beginning  to look like a Who’s Who in Movieland. Among the notables who are represented there are Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, William S. Hart, Ann Harding, Diana Wynward, and now the Marx Brothers. Photo shows (left to right) Jean Klossner cement contractor; Harpo, Groucho, Zeppo, and Chico Marx. Sid Grauman (standing). Photo: Acme; 2/17/1933

One thing to note about this news photo Continue reading

2022 Baseball Lockout Ends – More Stupid Changes Coming

The MLB Lockout Is Over. The Cost?

More Ruinous Changes

A Quick Look Back At A Spring Training Of The Past

Babe Ruth Greets New Yankees Manager Joe McCarthy At Spring Training 1931

Spring training will begin soon now that the avaricious owners and materialistic players have reached an agreement to continue ruining baseball. Continue reading

Doomed New Yorker Cartoonist Ralph Barton On Living In New York – 1929

Ralph Barton Talks About New York After Living In Paris In The 1920s

Ralph Barton & Germaine Tallieferre

Ralph Barton & his 4th wife Germaine Talleferre photo: Daily News

“New York has ceased to be a city in which people live. It is necessary if one has to have quiet and peace to work to live in the suburbs. Steamships have made Europe a suburb of New York. I like to eat well, drink well and read grown up books, and these are not to be had in America.”

“New York is a crazy city and America is a madhouse. That is why I came back. I feel I belong here. Americans are crazy and I find I am crazy too. Americans are too rich. We have too much money. I have too much money. That is why I’m crazy. An artist ought to be prohibited from earning as much money as I do. Yet if someone suggested cutting my earnings, I’d scream so that you could hear me for three blocks.” – Ralph Barton upon returning to New York in 1929 after being in Paris for two years.

Barton committed suicide, Continue reading