Old New York In Photos #140 – July 4, 1860

Independence Day In New York Watching The Regatta 1860

July 4, 1860 regatta at The Battery. photo: Anthony

Patriotism, Parades and Pyrotechnics

In 1860 a year before the nation was split into two warring factions, New Yorkers celebrated the 84th anniversary of Independence Day in glorious fashion.

The day proliferated with excursions, theatricals, balloon ascensions, salutes, military parades, fireworks and – a regatta.

Regatta derives from Venetian, meaning a contention for mastery or contest. The New York regatta held on July 4 was a series of rowed and sailed boat races held near Castle Clinton at The Battery in New York bay.

All of the photographs seen here were taken by the firm of E. & H.T. Anthony as stereoviews. 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

Old New York In Postcards #26 – Broadway 1895-1915

Views Along Broadway From Bowling Green To Washington Heights

Broadway and 62nd Street – The Colonial Vaudeville Theater is on the left, 1913

Broadway means New York City. Sure there are other Broadway’s in the United States, but none have the same clout that New York’s Broadway does. It is the longest street in Manhattan and one of the oldest. What the Dutch called De Heere Straat and later De Heere Wegh, became Great George Street under English rule. The street was paved in 1707, but only from Bowling Green to Trinity Church at Wall Street. After the Revolution, New York’s citizens began renaming streets and Great George Street became Broadway.

Here are some postcard views of Broadway dating from 1895 – 1915 Continue reading

It’s Not “Plan 9 From Outer Space” But This May Be The Worst Movie Ever Made

Orgy Of The Dead Features Incredibly Bad Acting, & Writing

An Ed Wood Masterpiece From The Writer & Director Of “Plan 9 From Outer Space”

Plan 9 From Outer Space (1957) is acknowledged by classic movie buffs as among the worst films ever made. Edward D. Wood Jr. the director-writer of Plan 9 has a body of work to make a moviegoer either cringe or provoke hysterical laughter. Continue reading

Primitives & Savages – It’s All Culturally Relative Right?

A Different Sort Of Savagery

Marriage Among The Australian Aborigines – 1870

19th Century Australian Marriage Ceremony

We see that marriage by capture, either as a stern reality or as an important ceremony, prevails in Australia and among the Malays, in Hindostan, Central Asia, Siberia, and Kamskatka; among the Esquimaux, the Northern Redskins, the Aborigines of Brazil, in Chile and Tierra del Fuego, in the Pacific Islands, both among the Polynesians and the Fijians, in the Philippines, among the Arabs and Negroes, in Circassia, and, until recently, throughout a great part of Europe.

In Australia little real affection exists between husbands and wives, and young men value a wife principally for her services as a slave. In fact, when asked why they are anxious to obtain wives, their usual reply is, that they “may get wood, water, and food for them, and carry whatever property they possess.”

The position of women in Australia seems indeed to be wretched in the extreme. They are treated with the utmost brutality, beaten and speared in the limbs on the most trivial provocation. Few women, says Eyre, will be found, upon examination, to be free from frightful scars upon the head, or the marks of spear wounds about the body. I have seen a young woman who, from the number of these marks, appeared to have been almost riddled with spear wounds. If at all good-looking their position is, if possible, even worse than otherwise.

Excerpt and illustration taken from:

The Origin of Civilisation And The Primitive Condition Of Man – Mental and Social Condition Of Savages by Sir John Lubbock, Member Parliament, Baronet, Fellow of the Royal Society. Author of Prehistoric Times, etc. Vice President of the Ethnological Society, Fellow of the Linnean, Geological and Entomological And Other Societies. London: Longmans Green and Co. 1870

You have just read  a small sample of historic inhumanity not unique to Australia. Europe, Asia and the America’s furnish abundant examples of similar behavior in uncivilized societies.

The frightening aspect of this, is that the reality of cultural relativism has been conveniently forgotten. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #139 – Zeppelin And The Woolworth Building

The Dirigible Los Angeles Flying Near The Woolworth Building – 1929

Graf Zeppelin’s Sister – Los Angeles Joins In Great Reception For Dr. Eckener
New York – Photo shows : The dirigible Los Angeles, older sister of the Graf Zeppelin, flying above the Woolworth Building during the reception for Dr. Hugo Eckener commander of the Graf. Photo: Underwood & Underwood August 30, 1929.

Continue reading

Indians Lou Boudreau Slides Safely Into Third – 1949

The Yankees Bobby Brown And Indians Lou Boudreau In A Close Play At Third Base – 1949

Boudreau slides into third Brown applies tag 1949

Safe!
New York – Umpire Joe Paparella announces his decision as Lou Boudreau of the Cleveland Indians slides into third on Allie Clark’s pinch single in the 7th inning at Yankee Stadium June 18. Bobby Brown, New York Yankees third baseman takes the throw, Yankees won 6-3. photo credit: Acme 6-18-49

With all that dust flying how could umpire Paparella make an accurate call?

Dale Mitchell was the next hitter Continue reading

The Circus Fat Family Leaves Brooklyn For The Country

The “Fat Family” Moves To The Country – 1914

The following article is from Chicago’s The Saturday Blade newspaper July 18, 1914:

New York, July 16 – Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Tanner and their four giant children, known to circus folk as the “Fat Family” have been sent to the country by kindly disposed women who became interested in their case. Tanner is going to rest for a week or so and then he will try to get a job.

“I guess by the time we’re all rested up some show will come along that’s a real one,” said Mrs. Tanner the thin mother of the fat children.

The last show the Tanners were in was not a real one. It went broke and Mr. and Mrs. Tanner were compelled to appeal to give their babies shelter and food lest they starve to death.

“Buster” Tanner, 5 years old is the heaviest, his weight being 187 pounds. Little Doris, alias “Snookums,” is six months old and weighs 63 pounds. The others, Barnard and Alvin, 2 and 3 years old, would take prizes for weight at any baby show, though they look thin beside the youngest and oldest of the four. The home of the Tanners is Nicholson, GA.

Today the media and public would either exploit this family or call to prosecute them for child abuse. Remember the Honey Boo Boo craze? In 1914 there was nothing wrong with the word fat or being fat. Today calling someone fat is considered “body shaming” by this generation’s snowflake word censors.

We Need Food

Figuring Coney Island would be a good place to get employment the Fat Family came looking for a sideshow.

The Fat Family’s father Marshall explained to a Brooklyn police lieutenant that they had come from Chicopee, MA where the circus had gone bust owing them $100. “We had just enough money to get to New York and we came. Here we are now. We have no engagement, no money, no food and no place to sleep. Not having food is a serious matter.” And in what may be the biggest understatement, Mr. Tanner added, ” The children are fond of eating.”

The news story had no substantial follow up, and the Fat Family Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #128 – Jack Palance & Barbara Lang 1957

Jack Palance & Barbara Lang Have A Cup Of Coffee

Java Break
Looks like serious business as Jack Palance pours coffee for Barbara Lang between scenes for a new movie, “House of Numbers,” on the Hollywood set. Some of the studio old-timers think Barbara suggests the late Jean Harlow. Photo credit: Wide World Photos 2/18/1957

At first glance in this still, Barbara suggests Marilyn Monroe more than Jean Harlow, but you can see a resemblance to Harlow.

House of Numbers is based upon a book by the great Jack Finney (The Body Snatchers; Assault on A Queen and the New York based classic Time and Again.)

The plot of House of Numbers is a prison yarn that has Palance playing twin brothers. Continue reading

Only 357,598 Americans Paid Income Tax In 1914

Income Taxes And Who Pays Them Past and Present

A relatively minuscule number of Americans paid taxes after the federal income tax on individuals began in 1913. The entire income tax burden in 1914 was paid by 0.27% of the population. Basically the very wealthy and upper middle class carried the income tax load for America.

With a population of 98.7 million people in 1914, only 357,598 citizens paid an income tax. If you earned less than $2,500 per year, you paid no income tax. Continue reading