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Japanese Rolling Balls: 1910

Japanese Rolling Balls: 1910

Cincinnati, Ohio, circa 1910. "Coney Island -- the midway." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Coney Island of the West

The Cincinnati Coney Island was originally an apple orchard until the farmer realized that he could make more money renting out the property for events. He built some facilities and called the place Ohio Grove. He sold the property in 1886 and the new owners renamed it "Ohio Grove, The Coney Island of the West." The next year they dropped the "Ohio Grove" and it became Coney Island.

The park is still in existence although it was closed between 1971 and 1973 following the construction of King's Island. Part of the park was donated for the construction of the Riverbend Center Amphitheater, the home of the Cincinnati Pops. It's a pleasant old fashioned family amusement park.

Bright Lights

What a unique row of light poles on the left. I've never seen anything like them.

Two Borrowed Terms

"Coney Island" from New York, and "midway" from the Midway Plaisance at Chicago's Columbian Exhibition of 1893. It was the amusement area of that world's fair, and today it's a park.


I love the hats on the ladies to the right.

Skee Ball

An early version of the popular arcade game?

Maybe a little earlier?

From the clothes, etc., and comparing it to other images I've seen here at Shorpy, I'm wondering whether this image is from a little earlier than 1915, say maybe 1906 or so. Just a thought.

[There were no 46-star flags until 1908. - Dave]


I wonder if anyone has a clue about how many places were called "Coney Island" back in the day? If many, were they part of a larger enterprise. Delightful ladies, in their glorious hats, planning the day's activities over at the right side.

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