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Franco-American: 1913

Franco-American: 1913

July 14, 1913. "French fete." Bastille Day in New York 101 years ago, where the Continental lunch menu included Frankfurters, Clam Chowder, "All Kinds of Sandwiches" and Ice Cold Milk. Bain News Service glass negative. View full size.


Harlem River Park

This one was puzzled out in the New York Photo Detectives group on FB. The French Benevolent Society held an annual Fete on or near Bastille Day from the 1890s to the 1910s at Sulzer's Harlem River Park, at East 126th Street and Second Avenue. The buildings in the background are 316-330 E. 126th.


I see a few young men as well as boys wearing knickers. I wonder how old a young man would be when he could start wearing long pants? I'm also amazed that my father was 13 when this photo was taken, just one generation ago!

Where did my dime go?

The little girl in the front left hand side of the photo, holding the pocketbook, seems to have dropped something. I hope it wasn't her last dime! Then, she wouldn't have been able to get the frankfurter on a roll and a glass of iced milk she'd been looking forward to!

A small correction on the menu

Actually it's Frankfuters. Maybe that was a French version of Frankfurters.

Soon-to-be-awkward timing

Considering what political events would be like in a little over a year, serving a German specialty like frankfurters at a French celebration is a bit amusing in hindsight.

Not much to go on in terms of locating this scene, but as the roadway separating the park from the buildings fronting it seems quite narrow, I'd go with Tompkins Square Park,


There are some expressions, such as "Sino-American" (Chinese-American) that one simply has to look up. When I was a kid, I thought that "Franco-American" was one of those situations. Because they made Spaghetti-Os, Ravioli-Os, etc., I thought that "Franco-American" meant "Italian-American" until I was set straight in a Sociology class at university!

Frankfuters, actually

Note the spelling on the sign. Wonder if it was common like the "Hambuglars" in a previous post.

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