Tag Archives: 1910s

Harlem In the Teens & Twenties As Seen By Frederic A. Birmingham

Growing Up In Bucolic Harlem Before And After World War I

Frederic A. Birmingham’s 1960 memoir of New York, It Was Fun While It Lasted (J.B. Lippincott Company), describes a Harlem which few New Yorkers would recognize today.

The action takes place from approximately 1915 -1925, when Birmingham was between the ages of 4 and 14. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #165 – Broadway & 40th St. 1913

East Side of Broadway & 40th Street 1913

A Story Of Three Buildings On The Main Stem

This photograph taken by William Roege can be narrowed down to the autumn of 1913. Though photographer Roege engraved the year within the photo, he did not write an exact date.

The Empire Theater

We are looking at the east side of Broadway at 40th Street and the main clue to the time of year is the Empire Theater marquee which announces the appearance of actor John Drew.

John Drew

Drew was one of the turn-of-the-century’s big stage stars and the uncle of actors John, Lionel and Ethel Barrymore. Continue reading

Celebrating Armistice Day In New York – 1918

New Yorkers Celebrate The End Of  The Great War

November 11 originally known as Armistice Day commemorates the formal end of World War I.

The Armistice which ended the Great War on November 11, 1918 was greeted with elation all over the world. In New York tens of thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate. The news slug says:

New York City – A cart filled with celebrants added the noise of their drums and cymbals to their cheers as they rode through the streets. photo: Wide World Photos November 11, 1918

Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #157 – Brighton Baths & Beach 1912

Bathers At The Brighton Baths & Beach August 3, 1912

The Labor Day weekend is over now and those who went to the beaches found it crowded on three mostly sunny and hot days.

Though the costumes and people are different, 111 years ago on August 3, 1912 New Yorkers also sought the surf at Brighton Beach. This photograph is by William Davis Hassler, and is now in the collection of The New York Historical Society.

A few things to note. Hassler’s camera Continue reading

Classic Hollywood #150 – Mack Sennett’s Bathing Beauties

Mack Sennett’s Bathing Beauties

Unfortunately none of Mack Sennett’s bathing beauties are identified in this photograph. Though I believe the woman second from the left is Virginia Fox, later the wife of Daryl F. Zanuck. Sennett employed Zanuck as a writer before he became a studio chief for Warner Bros. and later 20th Century Fox. Most of Sennett’s bathing beauties were anonymous. But some went onto fame, including Marie Prevost, Phyllis Haver, Carole Lombard and Gloria Swanson. Continue reading

Old New York In Postcards #28 – Feltman’s Restaurant Coney Island

Feltman’s Giant Restaurant, The Forerunner of Nathan’s Coney Island

A brief description of Feltman’s from The New York Hotel Record July 9, 1912:

The Magnitude of Feltman’s Garden Coney Island New York

One of the largest and most unique restaurants and cafés in this country is Feltman’s at Coney Island New York was established in 1873 (ed. – actually 1871) with six employees and it now has a pay roll of more thirteen hundred names. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #152 – 6th Avenue 31st Street & Eva Tanguay 1911

A Typical Busy Day On Sixth Avenue While Eva Tanguay Performs Uptown

There is nothing extraordinary happening as we look north up Sixth Avenue from 31st Street.

There’s lots of horse manure in the street and there’s some construction and workers beneath the Sixth Avenue El. The bar on the corner has western saloon style doors and advertises Triple X German Liquors on its sign. A high pressure fire hydrant is on the corner, a sight rarely seen today as the city removed most of them almost three decades ago . The tallest building on the left between 32nd and 33rd Streets is Gimbels Department Store.

As much as we’d like to put an exact date on the photo we cannot. It is uncredited and labeled 1911. There is one intriguing clue however. It’s blurry but if you look at the roof of the building on the left you can see a billboard ad for Eva Tanguay (1878-1947) appearing at The Colonial Theatre. Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #151 – Fifth Avenue Mansions 1910

Fifth Avenue Looking North From 64th Street

From a private collection comes this 1910 photograph of Fifth Avenue looking north from 64th Street. The tree lined west side of the street abuts Central Park. The residential nature of this stretch of Fifth Avenue can be seen by the abundance of mansions as far as the eye can see.  Continue reading

Old New York In Photos #142 – Harbor & Skyline From Ferry

Manhattan Skyline As Seen From A Ferryboat – 1910

This stereoview photograph taken for the H.C. White Company shows one of the many ferryboats that transported passengers across the Hudson and East Rivers.

We are looking east along the Hudson River towards the lower Manhattan skyline. A few  notable buildings can be seen beyond the piers and terminals. Continue reading