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Father Duffy: 1937

Father Duffy: 1937

New York, 1937. "Times Square with Father Duffy statue still wrapped up." Sculptor Charles Keck's likeness of Francis P. Duffy, the New York Army National Guard chaplain decorated for his service in France with the 69th Infantry Regiment during World War I. Duffy Square and the statue were dedicated on May 2, 1937, by Mayor LaGuardia. Photo by Peter Sekaer. View full size.

 

From Coke to Pepsi

Anyone else notice that the Coca-Cola sign in the original has been replaced by a Pepsi-Cola ad in Kilroy's picture from 6 years later?

+76

Another photo of Father Duffy I took earlier this month. Still looks just as good all these years later.

Taft Hotel

The Taft may be a boutique hotel now, but in the '60s, it was my idea of New York sophistication. In '61, I was a member of the staff of our Jr. High newspaper (yes, there were such things), up in the Big Apple for the Columbia U. Scholastic Press Association convention and staying at the Taft. Three year later, back to the Taft as a member of our High School concert band, playing at the World's Fair out in Flushing. The Taft had valet service and house detectives and all the things I came to expect in a big city hotel.

Planters

I would love to have seen the Planters sign at night - lit up in its glory!

+6

Here's Father Duffy uncovered six years later in August 1943. That's my mom in the middle with her friends during a visit that year.

Have it all?

Don't forget Ballentine Ballantine Ale and Beer on the left.

The Coke and Planters sign are on the back of the building last seen here:

http://www.shorpy.com/node/15565

And then there's the Brill Building, also known as Tin Pan Alley, where music publishers made their home.

((Gads! I misspelled Ballantine?!! I'll have to turn in my Rebus bottle cap collection!!!))

Duffy Square

The northern part of the Times Square "bowtie," north of 46th Street, officially is known as Duffy Square, but as a practical matter the name doesn't get much use. Most people simply refer to the whole assemblage as Times Square.

Father Duffy's statue is still there, but has been somewhat overshadowed by the TKTS theater tickets stand and its rooftop viewing area directly to the statue's north, and by an early 1960's statue of George M. Cohan about 100 feet to its south.

While much has changed in the ensuing 76 years, there are a couple of surviving buildings. The Taft Hotel on the right is now an exclusive boutique hotel called The Michelangelo, while the building on the left with the Camel Cigarette sign is the Brill Building, which has housed many music publishers and producers ever since it opened in the early 1930's.

RE: DonT's Comment

Hey, DonT--

Did you grow up in the South? I always did the bag of salted peanuts into the Coke bottle thing too, and suspected it was a Southern delicacy.

Storied character

Besides being portrayed by Pat O'Brien (who may have played as many priests as Bing Crosby over his career) in "The Fighting 69th" (1940), Father Duffy is said to have inspired the character "Fightin' Father Feeny" in Al Capp's "Li'l Abner."

Still there but boy has Times Square changed

Working With Walker

It's interesting to note that the photographer, Peter Sekaer, assisted Walker Evans for a time.

Peanuts and Coke

When I was young and Coke was sold in glass bottles, there was nothing better than a bag of salted peanuts poured into the Coke, and consumed together.

Camels, peanuts and Coke

New York really does have it all.

 
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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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