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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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Dreamland: 1905

Dreamland: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Dreamland Park, Coney Island." Theme park attractions vying for our attention include the Shoot-the-Chutes water flume and various stunt spectaculars, cycloramas, rides and exhibits: Fighting the Flames, Fall of Pompeii, Marine Boat, Canals of Venice, the Air Ship and a pagoda-like tea house called Revels of Japan. Where to begin? 8x10 glass negative. View full size.

 

Speedy

Harold Lloyd's great movie "Speedy" (one of my favourite silents) was obviously not shot at Dreamland but rather at Luna Park. Just follow the pointing hand to the left of the building behind the tower.

Watch Harold Lloyd's "Speedy."

There's a long sequence that was shot at Coney... it looks like the most insanely fun place in the universe. Like it should be illegal to have THAT much fun in one location.

Nice to see it during the day.

I've been using this beautiful shot from last October as the desktop picture on my portrait-oriented monitor since it appeared. What a place!

Mies van der Rohe 's

...vision of Hell, incidentally.

Floating Sign

How did they get that floating sign up there between the two tall towers? I don't see any cables.

I suspect it's farther away than it looks and is being supported by the two kites above it.

Pompei

Are those fake buildings painted on the side of the Hall of Pompeii?

From the picture posted by BryantG I think a few more people should have attended the Fighting Flames show. BTW, I sure would like the see a higher resolution photo of the "after" picture posted by BryantG.

Breaking the rules

This young man looks to be breaking the rules of the day. No dark wool swimsuit.

Triple Coney

There were two other major Coney Island parks during this era. In addition to Dreamland, Luna Park can be glimpsed in the distance to the left, beyond the Ferris Wheel, and George Tilyou's Steeplechase park can be seen to the right. Coney was the Orlando of its day.

In May of 1911

Dreamland burned completely to the ground. Article here.

Great View

I'm a big fan of early Coney Island. I love this view from the top of the Shoot-the-Chutes.

No strings

How did they get that floating sign up there between the two tall towers? I don't see any cables.

Better than Disney

I have absolutely no interest in going to Disney World or D-Land, but I would have loved to have seen this place. Wonderful!

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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