Author Archives: B.P.

Old New York In Photos #132 – Fulton Fish Market

Unloading The Cargo At The Fulton Fish Market 1923

Fulton Fish Market 1923 photo Percy Loomis SperrThe Fulton Fish Market turned 200 years old in 2021. According to Richard C. McKay author of South Street A Mariritme History of New York (Putnam) 1934, after a fire in January 1821 destroyed a large number of wooden buildings around South Street, a fish market building was erected in the area and was open for business in November of that year.

Our photograph was taken by Percy Loomis Sperr in 1923 and shows the loading of fish into barrels. Continue reading

Cape Cod 1961 & 1962 Family Vacation Home Movies

The Seymour Family on Cape Cod 1961 & 1962

The Seymour families in the 1960s photo via theoldcuriousityshop.net

Cape Cod 60 years ago. Fewer people. No cell phones to tether your life to work. And fewer distractions when on vacation. It was a time to spend with your family. It was a simpler way of life.

For brothers Mike and Thaddeus Seymour and their families, the early 1960s was apparently an idyllic time. From 1959 – 2003 the families annually spent two weeks together on the Cape in Chatham and later Orleans.

The family have put a few of these home movie memories up on YouTube. Continue reading

New York Scenes From “Central Park” – The Movie 1932

Central Park 1932 Movie, On Location Shots

An out of work man, a beautiful woman, gangsters, an about to retire visually impaired cop, an escaped lion and a robbery at The Central Park Casino make up the plot of Warner Bros. 1932 drama Central Park. Continue reading

Whoops. Army Anti-Aircraft Guns Hit The Equitable Building

The Army Fires Live Shells & Hits New York’s Equitable Building – 1942

Equitable Building hit by army anti-aircraft shell March 13 1942 photo AP

Photograph shows where New York City’s Equitable Building was struck by an anti-aircraft shell. March 13, 1942 Photo: AP

The old Equitable Building at 120 Broadway was destroyed by fire January 9, 1912.

A different sort of accident occurred thirty years later to the new Equitable Building.

On Friday, March 13, 1942 during World War II, eight anti-aircraft shells were mistakenly launched by the army from the East River. The Equitable Building was hit by one of the 37 millimeter shells. Continue reading

An Attempted Murder & Rape Inspired The Happy Song “Dancing In The Moonlight”

The Hit Song “Dancing In The Moonlight” Was Written After Musician Sherman Kelly Was Nearly Beaten To Death And His Girlfriend Was Raped

Sherman Kelly 1970 photo: Sherman Kelly

Sleeping peacefully on the beach at St. Croix in 1969, musician Sherman Kelly awoke to five men beating him with baseball bats.

After he blacked out, one of the men attacking Kelly raped his girlfriend Adrienne. The other four were preparing to take their turn at rape. Continue reading

Those Crazy Nineteenth Century Baseball Rules

As Ridiculous As The Ghost Runner Rule Was For The Past Two Years, 19th Century Baseball Had Some Strange Rules

For instance – a batter could be called out for deliberately fouling off pitches

MLB has been tinkering with the rules for the last few years, trying to improve the game. Seven inning double headers; ghost runners; pitching mound visit limits; and the relief pitcher, minimum three batter requirement are just a few of the gimmicks that have been implemented with many more changes under consideration such as; designated hitters in the National League; pitch clocks and moving the pitching rubber back twelve inches.

Thankfully the 2021 World Series does not have any ghost runners. That is the MLB rule enacted during the last two seasons in which a runner was placed on second base to begin extra innings in the hopes of shortening the length of extra inning games. Most fans hope the ghost runner will be abolished permanently in 2022.

In the 19th century baseball was constantly evolving and changing rules. While baseball’s basic rules have remained the same for the last 120 years, modern fans would be perplexed at many of the old rules. Before 1884 all pitchers had to throw underhand. The batter could request to the pitcher where he wanted the baseball thrown. Very few players wore baseball gloves – they were considered unmanly.

In the 1880s and 1890s the rule changes came fast and furious.

The following examples are from Jerry Lansche’s entertaining book Glory Fades Away The Nineteenth -Century World Series Rediscovered (Taylor Publishing Group) 1991.

1884- Pitchers were now allowed to throw overhand.

1884- An error was charged to the pitcher for a walk, balk, wild pitch or hit batsman and by the same logic an error in the catcher’s column for a passed ball.

1884- A foul ball caught on one hop was no longer an out. Continue reading

Philadelphia Athletics 1931 World Series Pitchers Grove, Earnshaw & Rommel

Three Members Of The 1931 The Philadelphia Athletics Pitching Staff

Grove Earnshaw Rommel Athletics 1931 World Series Acme PhotoMay Play In World Series
Here are three important members of the Philadelphia Athletics pitching staff who are bound to figure in the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals. Left to right, George Earnshaw, Eddie Rommel and Robert “Lefty” Grove. Photo: Acme September 30, 1931

The Athletics had reason to be confident. The previous year, the Athletics defeated the Cardinals four games to two with Grove and Earnshaw each winning two games.

The photo caption writer here was a bit off with “bound to figure”. Rommel pitched just one inning in the 1931 World Series.

Earnshaw and Grove once again carried the load pitching 50 of the 61 innings for the Athletics, but wound up losing the championship to the Cardinals in seven games. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #131 – 3rd Avenue & 34th Street From The El 1930

Looking North From The Third Avenue Elevated Station At 34th Street

34th St 3rd Ave El photo Percy Loomis Sperr

Our photograph was taken in 1930 by Percy Loomis Sperr who documented the changing scenes of New York during the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

We are looking north from the Third Avenue El’s station at 34th Street. Continue reading

October 3, 2021 Regular Baseball Season Ends / October 3, 1953 World Series Game 4

Baseball’s Regular Season Is Too Long or The Post-Season Starts Too Late

An Easy Out
Jackie Robinson is an easy force out at second in first inning of fourth game of World Series at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York , Oct. 3. Yankee second baseman Billy Martin has thrown to first too late to make double play on Gil Hodges who started play on a grounder to third baseman Gil McDougald – 10/3/1953 credit Wide World Photos

On October 3, 1953 The New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers played game four of the World Series.

On October 3, 2021 baseball’s regular season finally concluded. There will be 10 teams competing in the post-season.

It’s no longer as simple as the best team in each league squaring up against each other. Continue reading

Central Park Mall – Protect The American Elm

The Signs Are There For A Reason

The trees lining The Mall in Central Park are mature American Elms, over 100-years-old.

You don’t need to be a dendrophile to appreciate the American Elm. But, most people take for granted the canopy of trees that surround The Mall.

For the last 93 years the American Elm has been decimated by the spread of Dutch Elm Disease. Those who study plant pathology, phytopathologists, first identified the fungus which causes Dutch Elm Disease in 1921. Continue reading