Author Archives: Hannah K.

Old New York In Photos #126 – Times Square 1906

Times Square 1906  – The New Hotel Astor, Olympia Theatre & Surroundings

Times Square New Astor HotelThis stereoview image of Times Square was taken by the H.C. White Company in 1906. Before The New York Times moved their headquarters here it was called Long Acre Square.

The view is titled, “New Astor Hotel and 20 story Times Building.” We are looking south from 46th Street towards the New York Times Tower. The flatiron-style building opened in 1905. The building was mutilated in 1965 when purchased by Allied Chemical. Today it is unrecognizable after it was altered again in the twenty first century to become a giant garish billboard.

Hotel Astor

On the right is the 500 room Hotel Astor comprising 14 city lots from 44th to 45th Street where Broadway and Seventh Avenue intersect. The 10-story Hotel Astor cost owner William Waldorf Astor over $7 million to build and furnish. The land was purchased decades earlier as farmland  by his great-grandfather John Jacob Astor for $100 an acre. The Grand Ballroom was a baroque masterpiece.

Hotel Astor Grand Ballroom interior 1904

After some labor related delays Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #109 – Fred MacMurray & Carole Lombard 1937

Fred MacMurray & Carole Lombard Skeet Shooting Between Takes

Fred MacMurray Carole Lombard 1937 Candid Skeet Shooting 1937 photo Tom EvansMore Deadly Than The Male!

Carole Lombard, blonde screen star, killed two kinds of birds with one gun in this skeet shooting match against Fred MacMurray and writer Claude Binyou while on location with Paramount’s “True Confession” company at Lake Arrowhead. Not only did Carole blast the clay pigeons with unerring accuracy. She also bagged two masculine egos, thoroughly puncturing the pretensions of MacMurray (waiting to shoot) and Binyou (operating the trap) to superior marksmanship. photo: Tom Evans for Paramount 1937

Among the many things that drew Clark Gable to Carole Lombard was that she was one of the guys. Lombard was also a favorite among studio stagehands and technicians.

In Gable & Lombard & Powell & Harlow, 1975 (Dell) by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein the following story illustrates the sort of loyalty that made Lombard so appealing. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #107 – Greer Garson, Great At Memorizing Lines

Greer Garson – Acting Talent Does Not Equate To Being A Good Talk Show Guest

Greer Garson (1904-1996) was a fine and talented actress. Anyone seeing her deeply moving performances in Goodbye Mr. Chips or Mrs. Miniver can attest to that.

Garson won the Academy Award for her portrayal as the title character in Mrs. Miniver. Six additional Academy Award nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role affirm that her colleagues appreciated Garson’s acting skills.

But according to Craig Tennis, a former talent coordinator of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from 1968-1976, Greer Garson was not great when it came to spontaneity. Continue reading

Miss Coney Island Beauty Contest Winner 1924

Agnes Leonard – Miss Coney Island 1924

aGNES lEONARD MISS CONEY ISLAND 1924Love those 1920s bathing suits.

Though undated, our photograph is from July 29, 1924, at Steeplechase Park. Miss Coney Island would go on to represent the neighborhood in the Miss America Pageant. This was before each state had just one representative. Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #103 – Carolyn Jones & Aaron Spelling

Addams Family Actress Carolyn Jones Poses With Husband Aaron Spelling

Carolyn Jones Aaron Spelling c 1962 photo Bill Kobrin

Did two people ever look unhappier?

Or is it just Carolyn Jones who looks incredibly sad?

In 1960 Aaron Spelling said, “Carolyn is the only person in the world I need. We are more than in love. We are each other’s best friends.” Continue reading

Divorce-Proof Your Marriage Part 2. How To Keep Your Wife Happy – 1923

 

The 10 Commandments For Men Wishing To Divorce-Proof Their Marriage – 1923

“The average woman is a bundle of highly strung nerves.”

We continue with part two on the advice given out in 1923 by New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Domestic Relations Division to help to save marriages.

Here is the portion given to husbands to insure domestic tranquility:

1. Be generous according to your means. A woman rightly expects liberal support from her husband. She is duly considerate of sincere effort and tolerant of misfortune, but differentiates sharply between ill fortune and inertia. Continue reading

Divorce-Proof Your Marriage. How To Keep Your Husband Happy – 1923

The 10 Commandments For Women Wishing To Divorce-Proof Their Marriage – 1923

“Men are but overgrown children…”

A serious couple100 years ago, New York City’s Legal Aid Society, had a Domestic Relations Division helping to save marriages.

Through vast experience sorting out marital spats, the Society accumulated 10 rules that if followed could make marriages divorce-proof.

A wife would know how to keep her husband affectionate and faithful. By the same token a husband, following a similar set of rules, could insure domestic tranquility with his wife.

Here are the 10 Rules For Wives from 1923:
Continue reading

The Post Office Considered This Magazine Cover Too Racy

Magazine Censored By The Post Office – 1914

What was considered obscene 100 years ago? The publishers of a monthly magazine, The International, devoted to fiction, music, drama and politics, were told the January 1914 issue could not be mailed.

Why? The magazine’s cover.

Here is the cover in question. Continue reading