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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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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Cheyenne Joe's: 1903

Cheyenne Joe's: 1903

New York circa 1903. "Coney Island -- the Bowery." Decisions, decisions. Wacke's Trocadero or Cheyenne Joe's? Detroit Publishing glass negative. View full size.

 

Belly Up To The Bar Boys. I'm Buying

Quite a few always wax nostalgic when an idyllic tree lined residence street with an little girl is shown and wish that they could go back to that peaceful scene.

Not me. This is where I'm taking the Time Machine and a hundred dollars.

A sports bar, German beer on draught, Ballentine Ale, cinnamon buns, good 5¢ cigars, hot crisped waffles 3 for 5¢, chops, a cowboy bar with sawdust on the floor plus a pony, cowboy waiters, cowboy entertainers, an Oriental shop with 10 ¢ large ????, and last but not least an Irish Hotel Bar.

Since I am of Irish/German ancestry, a known beer drinker, and an occasional cigar smoker I would have been right at home here and would have spent the day slipping in and out of the various establishments announcing each time, "Drinks on me, boys and may ye be dead an hour before the devil knows it."

Ah wouldn't it have been a glorious day filled with oompah bands and Irish reels, good food, cold beer, and possibly meeting relatives from Strokestown, County Roscommon Ireland or Dusseldorf Germany?"

Great Photo

This is a perfect amusement park photo from the turn of the 20th century. I wish I could time travel back to 1903.

I’ve often wondered how many of these amusement park scenes are set up by the photographer. The couple walking towards the camera could be models. People are in just the right places. I’m sure they spent a lot of time setting up for the perfect shot.

Personal Time Machine

This is what I love about Shorpy. Whenever I want to go to a different time and place, I just come here, find a wonderful picture like this, click on "View Full Size," step into the picture and go for a fascinating visit. Oh the hats! I believe when we stopped wearing hats, it was the beginning of the fall of civilization.

Cheyenne Joe's Cowboy Tavern

From The Summary - Published weekly by and for inmates of the New York State Reformatory at Elmira.


The Summary, July 4, 1908.

Coney Island: The World's Greatest Play Ground
As it is To-Day.

… Cheyenne Joe's Tavern is free and once inside a long bar is visible. On one end sits a cowboy with two six-shooters protruding from this belt while he plays a violin. Another cowboy acts as waiter while a third tends bar. A group of these typical westerners are around a table and in the corner of the cabin stands a pony restlessly. The floor is sprinkled with sawdust and newspaper is made to supply wall paper. …

Re: Do Not Resuscitate

@aenthal: While I share your dislike of that v-cut in the waistband of the gentleman's pants, I'm not so sure I agree with your observation that it's "just above his rump." Those are some mighty high-waisted pants! I'd say that gap is more like just above the L1 or L2 vertebra.

3 Balls 5¢

Are they for a throwing or bowling game? I can't imagine they're talking whiskey at that price.

Ballantine's

Before I read the comments, coincidentally, I did the same as JeffK, but with the sign over the street on the left. Ballantine's Export Beer was well advertised!

Get a Room

Could that couple actually be holding hands in public? It's shameless is what it is.

Love this picture!

Wonderful, evocative detail. Please, somebody colorize this one for us!

Hot Crisis Vaffles 3 for 5 cents?

The curlicue tool held by the woman in the booth on the left intrigued me.

I stretched and skewed the sign on the front of her stand, but I still cannot make sense of it.

[HOT CRISPS WAFFLES / 3 for 5¢ - Dave]

Cinnamon Rolls & Beer

And there on the left you can get your fresh cinnamon rolls to go with your Export Lager

Wacke's Trocadero

Free Movies With Beer

Coney Island theater proprietor Herman Wacke, no stranger to the moving image, is touted by some as the first commercial exhibitor of a motion picture at his Trocadero Hotel in 1893. Wacke's hotel, a stalwart from Coney's early years located along a strip of cabarets and beerhalls affectionately called the Bowery, was nearly destroyed in the fire that consumed Steeplechase in 1907. In 1912, Wacke fanned a few new flames.

He began showing films for free in the saloon as a way to entice people to come in and purchase food and beer. Wacke's was probably the best known of many along the Bowery to exhibit films in this fashion. But the proprietor didn't have a license to do so, and during one particular sting, Wacke was arrested -- "charged with conducting a free show in connection with his bar" -- and fined $5. Not a huge sum of money for a successful saloon owner, and Wacke went willingly, becoming a test case for a law that many certainly thought was rigid and overly meddling.

The Bowrey Boys - New York City History

From the Dutch "bouwerij" meaning "farm"

The idea that Coney Island would have a theme area based on a famously seedy street in a nearby borough cracked me up; it was a short leap (for me, anyway) to visions of Disneyland installing a pre-Disney 42nd Street populated with street walkers and hustlers dressed as Disney characters. Pooh? Bambi? Lady & The Tramp? The 7 Dwarfs? It's a natural.

But the truth about Brooklyn's Bowery is merely very interesting...

http://www.thevirtualdimemuseum.com/2009/11/coney-island-bowery.html

Don't Overlook Flynn's

... and Ballantine! They made a pretty good ale up through the 1970s: green bottle, great with hamburgers.

He Coulda Been a Contender

"Rumour had it the challenger was so determined to prevail, he planned to load his gloves with Plaster of Paris.

“Let him do it,” said Jeffries. “I’ll flatten him anyway.”

"It came in the eighth round. After several blistering exchanges, Fitzsimmons inexplicably paused, lowered his guard, and spoke to Jeffries, taunting him. The champion’s response was a hard right to the belly followed by a thunderous left hook that put Fitzsimmons on the floor and ended the fight."
from http://www.bestboxingblog.com/?p=687

Other choices

Ballantine's Export or Genuine Wurzbüger Draught

Do Not Resuscitate

Some fashions should never be revived. I am talking about the fellow on the far right, facing away from us. He has a V gap in his waistband, just above his rump. I don't know what they were thinking when they designed that, but I hope no designer thinks it again!

 
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