Tag Archives: Playgrounds

Old New York In Photos #141 – Children’s Recreation On Rooftops

Children On New York’s Rooftops 1909-1910

Children playing on a roof in New York City April 28, 1910 from the series Living On (A) Skyscraper photo George G. Bain Collection Library of Congress (LOC)

In the early twentieth century the roofs of New York would offer a respite from hot days in New York. While roofs could be dangerous, the streets were full of peril with horses, trolleys and filth.

The news organization headed by George G. Bain sent its photographers up to the roofs to see life from this perspective. Continue reading

Play At Your Own Risk

Wait in Line For Your Turn at The Big Slide

This 1927 photo is captioned “Summer On A Children’s City Playground.”

I don’t know for sure what city this is in.  But it was typical of an early twentieth century playground.  No “helicopter mom’s” hovering over their precious children. Nothing but lots of kids experiencing fun on what is the biggest slide I’ve ever seen in a city park.

I wrote to the New York City Parks Department a few years ago and asked what happened to the monkey bars, see saws and tall slides along with all the other amusements that presented some sense of excitement and danger. Weeks later I received a reply that said in couched language that potential lawsuits and updates in technology had rendered these playground amusements obsolete.

If today’s lawyers had a time machine they would be lining up beside this slide waiting to file a case.