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Shipshape: 1917

Shipshape: 1917

New York, 1917. "Washday on landship Recruit." Sailors doing their laundry on the Navy's pretend battleship moored at Union Square, used for recruiting during World War I. In back is the Automatic Vaudeville penny arcade, two of whose backers -- Marcus Loew and Adolph Zukor -- went on to found Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer and Paramount Pictures after a few years in the nickelodeon business. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Night Ship

Those ground lights around the USS Recruit must have made for a pretty spectacular sight in the evenings. At that angle, the ground would disappear in shadows, leaving the ship to appear to float on waves of light. Very impressive design.

Union Square Again

This is Union Square Park facing south toward 14th Street (also known as Union Square South), a major crosstown (east-west) thoroughfare. The Automatic Vaudeville Theatre, if that was the name of it, was once the site of the Hearn's Department Store. The present tenant at that approximate location is a very busy Whole Foods Market at No. 4 Union Square South. No. 40 houses a Filene's Basement store -- which I believe is, ironically, on the second floor.

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