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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 • NORWAY IN SEPTEMBER, c. 1920s

New Garden Pier: 1920

New Garden Pier: 1920

The Jersey Shore circa 1920. "Atlantic City Boardwalk and New Garden Pier." An apt seaside metaphor might be the billboard as a sort of terrestrial barnacle, encrusting every available surface with ads for yarn, hair nets, cough drops and typewriters. 5x7 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Cold day on the Shore?

Looking at the number of folks wearing overcoats and cloaks probably explains why there are more people on the boardwalk than on the beach.

Bernays

Thanks, to Ishadoff, for your information on Edward L. Bernays! The first thing I noticed in this picture was the ad for the hair nets, and thought of how their business was soon going to be drastically reduced by the popularity of the "bob". I remember Grandpa's sisters telling me about getting their hair bobbed and then going to the photographic studio and getting their pictures taken. Their mother was furious and told them not to expect her to put those pictures out on the piano, with all of the other portraits. Within a few months, however, she had her own hair bobbed!

I guess we have Mr. Bernays to blame for the "lunch lady" look!

Japanese Ping Pong

Japanese Ping Pong appears to be an arcade game where one rolled balls across a table aiming to sink them through numbered holes. The table may have contained depressions or other topography to increase the challenge.


The Poultry Item, April 1914.

While visiting Atlantic City a young married farm couple became interested in Japanese Ping-Pong, a game consisting of an oblong table with twelve holes at one end, each bearing a certain number, and ten balls which are rolled from the opposite end with desire to score in these holes. Whenever they went for a stroll his wife edged and schemed to reach the ping pong tables. In a short time she developed enough skill—and luck—to get the second highest possible score. The game became an interesting feature of their vacation. "If the game is enjoyable here it will surely be entertaining at home," they decided. Before leaving the shore he bought a second-hand table and some balls for less than five dollars, had them packed and shipped home where fine emery paper and a little labor placed the game in an excellent condition. The following winter found friends and family turning many dull and dreary evenings into happy ones with newly found game from Atlantic City.

Some products don't melt away

Luden's cough drops are still with us!

Edward L. Bernays and Venida Hair Nets

Edward L. Bernays (1891-1995), American consultant to business and government, labored to bring public relations to the status of a profession.

Bernays' campaigns for Venida hair nets and Procter & Gamble during the 1920s and Lucky Strike cigarettes during the 1930s provide good examples of his methods. At that time shorter hair styles were becoming the fashion among younger women. This development was a matter of no small concern to the manufacturers of Venida hair nets, who saw the market for their product disappearing along with longer tresses. Bernays was called upon for his advice. Soon prominent women were publicly expressing their preference for long hair over short and assorted authorities were warning of the dangers of unbound hair in factories and restaurants. In response, a number of state governments passed legislation requiring the wearing of hair nets on the job.

Edward L. Bernays

Heisey's Glassware

The A. H. Heisey Glass Company was established in Newark, Ohio in 1896. At first Heisey produced mould pressed patterns that simulated cut glass styles of the era. Table sets, cruets, small condiment jars, bowls and syrups were a large part of this production. By 1920, many of these early patterns were no longer considered stylish and Heisey was forced to join the new trend as consumer interest moved toward etched and cut patterns. During the 1920's many glass companies began to focus on color and Heisey was no exception. Vaseline glassware was made in the early 1920's. Later, about 1925, Moongleam (green) and Flamingo (pink) were introduced. Other distinctive colors soon followed and and the period from 1925 to 1938 was Heisey's most prolific color era.

Heisey Glass Company

136 people

on the beach, 78,000 on the boardwalk, also a second (third) story man caught in the act.

Can someone direct me

Can someone tell me what "Direction of Stanley Co." refers to, which appears just below the 'Globe' advertisement? I cannot for the life of me figure just what that means, unless there is some part of the sign which is not in view here.

Great to see that young Shorpy had tagged the pier with his name.

[The Stanley Company of America was a theatrical booking agency, owned and operated theaters and was a pioneer in motion picture exhibition. The Globe Theatre sign advertises the fact that their attractions are supplied by the company and are therefore as wonderful as you'd expect from them. - tterrace]

So Crowded!

I can't believe the congestion on the street. It must be a cooler day, as I see coats and overcoats on many folks. Notice the man climbing out the window to the right of the Luden's sign? Or the two men standing on the roof just below the "For Rent" sign and gazing at the crowds below? What a great photo!

[That "street" is the Atlantic City Boardwalk. - Dave]

The Beach

Do the folks crammed on the boardwalk know it's there?

Sumo ping pong?

Dave knew when he posted this that someone would comment on the sign for Japanese Ping Pong. But I won't, I won't ... the heck I won't -- I give up, is it any different than any other country's ping pong? BTW happy to see the dog being walked on the beach found the newspapers to do his duty.

 
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