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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Gray Saturday: 1951

Gray Saturday: 1951

        As an alternative to Black Friday, we present Gray Saturday. More specifically, the first day of December 62 years ago:

Dec. 1, 1951. "Shopping center, Great Neck, Long Island, New York. Wanamaker's." Large-format negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Bathtub Nash

The car to the left of the woody, to elaborate upon tterrace's identification.

Garden of Great Neck

Just over a year old in this picture, Garden of Great Neck was by some accounts the first suburban-style shopping plaza* in the New York metropolitan area. Definitions can be a bit fuzzy so it's hard to be certain. It's still a thriving center today, though of course it's been greatly renovated over the years. Great Neck is a very upscale community, and this center benefits from a prime location right in the center of town.

Wanamaker's was gone by 1955, but other department stores occupied its space for another 20 years. Today there's a supermarket on the lower level of the space, and if I'm not mistaken a fitness center occupies the upper part.

* shopping plaza is a much better term than that modern abomination "strip mall."

Great Neck today has a large Jewish population and a large Iranian population. While that sounds like a recipe for World War III, by all accounts everyone gets along fine.

Beautiful Cars

All those beautiful cars, with their magnificent chrome bumpers, lined-up at the curb in front of the store.

Dr. Fuselage

The next-to-the-last car on the right (is that a Hudson?) brought back memories of my father, who was perfectly content to forgo the shopping experience and sit in the car, listening to the radio.

[It's a Nash. -tterrace]

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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