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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Leo and Benny's: 1943

Leo and Benny's: 1943

March 1943. New York. "A street cleaner on Washington Street." Medium format negative by John Vachon for the Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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The Myth Of The Original Six

Both sanman9781 and davidk are technically correct. The NHL was down to the six teams that would come to be known as the "Original Six" in the 1942-43 season, both the Montreal Maroons and Brooklyn Americans (previously the New York Americans) franchises existed although both were suspended. In the case of the Americans the League had promised to revive the team after the end of the war, a promise that was reneged upon in 1946. The American's owner "Red" Dutton was convinced that the cancellation of the franchise was demanded by the owners of the New York Rangers. He cursed the Rangers saying that they wouldn't win another Stanley Cup in his lifetime. They didn't win the Cup again until 1994, seven years after Dutton's death.

Actually the NHL didn't go "back to just the original six in 1942-43" simply because that was the first season in which the so-called "Original Six" alignment of teams existed. The NHL's first season - 1917-18 - started with five teams and ended with three: Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Toronto St. Patricks, Quebec Bulldogs (didn't start the season though they'd be back in 1919-20) and Montreal Wanderers (who started the season but withdrew when their arena burned down). The notion of the "Original Six" only came about after the equally misnamed "first expansion" in the 1967-68 season - misnamed because the NHL had expanded from the three teams that finished the 1917-18 season to ten teams by the 1925-26 season.


Interesting speculation, sanman9781, but the last time the Maroons played was 1938, and this is 5 years later, so I don't think anyone would need clarification on which team was Montreal. By the way, it was back to just the original six in 1942-43 (Black Hawks, Maple Leafs, Red Wings, Canadiens, Bruins and Rangers), and the Stanley Cup was won a month later by Detroit.

re: Original NHL six

My thinking is that the team was referred to as the Canadiens and not Montreal because there was another team from Montreal named the Maroons. While the Maroons were basically defunct as of 1938 and didn't play for several seasons they were still technically a part of the league until the mid-40s I think.

Nineteen Forty!!!

I would love to go back in time to tell any Ranger fans lurking about New York in 1943 that, even though their team had won three Stanley Cups in their 17 year history in the NHL (1927, 1933 and 1940), it would be more than fifty years before a player in a Rangers uniform would hoist the Cup again (1994).

Charlton & Washington

The corner of Charlton & Washington with Greenwich St in the distance. The cameraman is standing on Washington St looking east. Today, Charlton St no longer extends to Washington, the UPS distribution center is now built there. The building in the background is 345 Hudson St. Standard and Poor's moved into 345 Hudson in 1930.


Love how the street sweeper is looking at the camera as he walks right past the trash in the street.


Makes you wonder about the story behind "Leos and Benny's", brothers? Chums? Think the two fellas sittin' there are hoping for a re-opening. Or maybe that's Leo and Benny trying to decide what to try next.

Leo & Benny's

This particular dining establishment must have washed its last greasy spoon in the 1930s. There is no entry for "Leo and Benny's" in the 1940 Manhattan Telephone Directory.

Real hockey fans

know that you never put "Ice" before hockey, it's a Canadian thing, and no sissy helmets back then.

High Liner

Washington Street is in the heart of the very trendy Meatpacking District. The area is also part of the new High Line Park neighborhood. You can rent a 1 bedroom apartment in the $5,000 a month realm or buy one in a condo for about $2 million. Too bad Leo & Benny couldn't hang around longer.
Attached is a view of the Meatpacking District that I took a few years ago as I was walking through the High Line Park.

Fight card

In the fights at Madison Square Garden advertised on the poster at right (which already had taken place by the photo date), Johnny Greco won a decision over Cleo Shans in a ten-round lightweight match, while Sal "The Pride of East Boston" Bartolo outpointed Pedro Hernandez in a 10-round featherweight match.

Trivia: this was the first of the 12 fights that Bartolo would have in 1943. Today a boxer who fights 12 times in five years would be considered unusually active. Boxers were a tougher breed back then.

Original NHL six

Oh, I do so love that large poster advertising Rangers games at the Garden, curiously listing the Black Hawks and Red Wings by their city names but Montreal by its team name. Plus the truck up the street with its side door open, and the two seated guys, and the look of the passing street cleaner, and a restaurant named Leo and Benny's. There's so much great stuff in this delicious photo!

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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