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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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Mlles de Mer: 1920s

Mlles de Mer: 1920s

Circa 1920s. "Man building sand castle and two unidentified women. Long Beach, New York." 4x5 nitrate negative by Arnold Genthe. View full size.

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Either this guy has very poor peripheral vision or he really just isn't interested in all that pulchritude.


Long Beach's most famous former Citizen is Comedian Billy Crystal. His Broadway Show "700 Sundays" is mostly about his growing up in Long Beach. The City Of Long Beach took a big hit from Hurricane Sandy and Billy played a large part in its rehabilitation.

West Side

A boardwalk has run along most of Long Beach's shoreline for the past 100 years. As there's no boardwalk here, the picture probably was taken on the west side of town near Atlantic Beach, where there's a boardwalk-less stretch of shoreline. The far east side of Long Beach also lacks a boardwalk, but I don't believe that area would have been developed back in 1925.

City lore has it that circus elephants were used as beasts of burden in the construction of the boardwalk. Alas, that isn't quite true; the developer in charge of construction had some elephants paraded to the worksite, but there's no evidence that the pachyderms did any actual work. New York's zealously turf-protecting construction unions wouldn't have allowed it.

Trivia: along with Glen Cove on the North Shore, Long Beach is one of the only two communities on Long Island that's an actual incorporated municipality. All other communities are unincorporated parts of much larger townships.

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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