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Daydream: 1905

Daydream: 1905

New York circa 1905. "Dreamland Park and tower, Coney Island." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Photographic Company. View full size.


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Moxie Sighting

... bottom right. Just wanted to mention it. Great photo!

Panchromatic emulsion?

There is much more texture and contrast in the image than in other posts from this period, particularly some sky detail. Was it from a panchromatic emulsion?

[The sky is courtesy of Photoshop's Shadows & Highlights filter. - Dave]

Hats, hats, hats!

I looked long and hard, and there is not a single bare-headed person in this picture!

Preview Of Coming Attractions

The attraction partially seen in the far right of the photo was particularly popular at Dreamland. In a world made up still in 1905 by millions of wood and veneered buildings, fire was an everyday danger and occurrence and, let's be honest ... entertainment for the public as well. So what better to draw them in than an attraction featuring thousands of firefighters battling a new inferno every 20 minutes? Ironically, Fighting the Flames exhibit wasn't what did in Dreamland, but a hot bucket of pitch left in the appropriately named Hell Gate attraction (which is screen left in the photo) did. The dreams of Dreamland died in the 1911 fire and the park was never rebuilt.

Meet me tonight in Dreamland

One of the most mesmerizing documentaries I have ever seen is the American Experience episode on Coney Island. It first aired in 1991 but if you can find it to watch, watch it. I've seen it several times over the years and it never fails to deliver that feeling of actually stepping back in time. Truly haunting ... in a good, if slightly creepy, way.

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