JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Pressing the Flesh: 1940

New York, 1940. "Crowd at Coney Island." Gelatin silver print by Arthur Fellig, the press photographer known as Weegee. View full size.

New York, 1940. "Crowd at Coney Island." Gelatin silver print by Arthur Fellig, the press photographer known as Weegee. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Social distancing

1940 style.

Looking back.

Imagine the heebie-jeebies this gathering would now conjure, with the pandemic we're facing.

Where are Mom's shoes?

I was born in Coney but went to neighboring Brighton Beach. On one of those hot days, with blanket touching blanket staking our space, a crowd started to gather as someone was drowning. After things calmed down my mom discovered that someone took her shoes. I was about 12 but remember it as if it were yesterday as she walked to the train without shoes. Oh the memory that this photo stirred up. Thanks

Good day

to head out to Flushing Meadows to the World's Fair!

The comment volume...... proportional to the amount of exposed skin. Of course, there is also a female coefficient to factor in when applicable.


I will NEVER complain about a crowd and traffic again. I have never seen anything like this before.

July 28, 4 p.m.

Which was a Sunday. (Found with reference to a 2009 exhibition at the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas which included this photo.)

Anyone who's gotta use the washroom

raise your hand.

Ideal Place

If you ever wanted to lose a kid this would be where to do it!

Oh, the Humanity!

My guess is 600 to 700 thousand people framed in the pic. About enough to fill 9 football stadiums.

Re: Woodstock

Yep, pretty close!
This might make a good source for colorizers, too...

Where Are They?

So how did those folks find their blanket after the photo? That is one huge group of people.

Any open space will do

Where can I lay out my towel? Has anyone seen my flip-flops?

What kind of drive would one have to go to such a place where you could hardly breathe? Like someone said..."where's the water?"

J. Edgar Hoover

Mr Cool in the lower right corner cracks me up; he even wears fedora and sunglasses in the shower.

East Coast For Sure!

You can count the blondes on one hand!

Listen Without Prejudice

I always wondered where this picture was from! George Michael used it for the cover of his "Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1." and I always thought the woman in the center in the black bikini looked like my English teacher. Clearly, she was not; I'm not quite that old.

My Dog Filmed a Short Film on that Beach

My dog filmed a video on the boardwalk and on the beach in this photo. We rode the Wonder Wheel together and also had our photo taken in a photo booth. He died on Oct. 18, 2015 at age 15.
RIP Clancy :(

"Let's Go Down On The Sand,"

"It has to be less crowded than this boardwalk is...."

Fourth of July Weekend

I was 8 my that year & mom had taken me to Coney Island beach since I was an infant. If this was the Fourth of July it marks the last time she put up with the crowds that were there (weather permitting) most every week end in July and August.

After that it was Sunset Park Pool across the street from our third floor front apartment at 4109 7th Avenue in Bayridge, Brooklyn. No need for trolleys, subways and body odors.

Kids who today think Woodstock and rock concerts in Central Park were huge should see this photo. I demonstrated in four "marches" on Washington and they couldn't hold a candle to this loony mass of humanity.

A sea of humanity

Wonder what the occasion was? It's hard to believe there's enough room for anyone there to enjoy a peaceful day at the beach.

Must have been a change for Weegee -- shooting live subjects, that is. Most of his photos I've seen are still life (or, more accurately, still "death")


Someone could have made a fortune selling sunglasses to this crowd... I only count about a dozen or so folks wearing eye protection. Today you'd only be able to count a dozen or so NOT wearing sunglasses!

What a crowd! I'm getting claustrophobic just looking at the photo!

So Ralphie said

"Why don't we go to the beach and get out of this hot, crowded city?"

Watch the birdie

The trick here seems to be: How do I get them to look at me?

The Wonderwheel still stands and operates, as does the Cyclone, as far as I'm concerned the finest wooden rollercoaster in use.

I once got paid to ride it for an audio experiment, and made 23 trips around it with a 24 pound tape recorder in my lap.

I was a huge bruise the next day.

They said my headphones flew off at one point and I calmly reached into space and grabbed them. What a great day.

No Exit

Sometimes it's nice just to get away from it all and go to the seashore

Show Us Your Pits

I'll just show myself out now.

to heck with Where's Waldo.

Where's the water? It will take all day to find it.

How many humans?

Wow. Do that many people ever get together in one place any more? I know I have never been in a crowd that big in my life! Does Coney Island still get this overcrowded? Is the entire meyro NYC there all at the same time?



I am somewhere in this picture. I grew up in Coney Island and, since this was taken on the Fourth of July, 1940, I most certainly am somewhere here. No way I wasn't on the beach that day...
Anybody find me?

It was so very hot on that day.

None of the rides were open and Mister Handwerker ran out of red hots.

Special event?

That can't have just been the regular Tuesday crowd, right? There had to have been something special happening that day, to have so many packed in like sardines ....


Oh, the ocean. (I'm assuming it's there somewhere.)

Auntie Mary and cousin Joe in the tenth row back?

How many megapixels to get that level of detail on this here newfangled digital film, then?

Yogi Berra's Quote

“Nobody goes to Coney Island anymore, it's too crowded.”

Small wonder, and he actually may have said it. However, he also is said to have said, “I never said most of the things I said.”

Okay, Harry, where do we set up the tent?

My one day spent at Coney Island Beach in 1958 or so was enough for a lifetime, and our subsequent outings to the beach at nearby (Jacob) Riis Park were far more pleasant, although I never became a big fan of beaches anywhere.

The ride home on the bus and subway while still encrusted in sand and salt was truly the low point of every trip.

Where is Waldo

Black-and-white version.

In Living Color

A colorized version of this photo would be nice. Anyone up to the task?

Reminds me of:

Where's Waldo.


That was my first impression upon seeing the preview.

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Accessibility Statement | Site © 2023 Shorpy Inc.