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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Clown Eats Boy: 1953

Clown Eats Boy: 1953

Santa Cruz, California Beach Boardwalk September 1953. Here I am at the entrance to the Fun House, alas now long gone. We might have gone down there for my 7th birthday; the prints from this negative (2-1/4 square Kodacolor) were made the following month. Wish I still had a shirt like that. View full size.

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Clown Eats Folks: 1947

I finally found another photo of the clown, on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk web site's Boardwalk Memories section. It's dated 1947, but notice how the teeth, at least the visible uppers, are in the same condition, so it's a feature rather than a defect. Also, the clown looks much smaller. What a shrimp I was at 7.

There last night

We were at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk last night to listen to Herman's Hermits on the beach. Peter Noone is still in fine voice. They keep favorites around still like the carousel (with steel ring grab and toss), the loose wooden coaster, and the cave train. Our kids are building their fond memories...

Clown eats boy, clown needs dentist

Judging by the clown's bad teeth, little boys in funny shirts don't seem to make a very healthy diet.

1950s vacationing?

Why was it that vacationing in the 50s seemed so much more fun! We stopped to look at every roadside marker and we would go through all the small towns (before superhighways).

That's why it was probably better. Slower pace, much more personal travel through small towns, plenty of opportunities to stop and "tourist traps" pretty much everywhere -- some of which were actually entertaining. Or at least to a small child.

Beautiful colors

Kodacolor was *amazing* film - this picture looks like it could have been taken yesterday!

Uh, freaky

So, I'm pretty glad I never had a chance to go there or I'd be afraid of clowns big time. That thing is more than a little scary.



I just happened upon a similar shirt on ebay (I’m not affiliated with the vendor in any way).


And still I here from "It" - "We all float down here..."

Sudden Impact

The Wikipedia article linked in the caption says it was indeed "Sudden Impact."

At the Movies

Some vague memory says that place was a backdrop of sorts of a Clint Eastwood "Dirty Harry" movie. Sondra Locke was in it, I recall. Maybe Sudden Impact. Kind of took the family fun aspect out of it.

Been there!

I have some really happy memories of the Santa Cruz Boardwalk from about 1960. What a fantastic place. We lived over in San Jose and the best day was when my friend's dad took us and dropped us off for the day with TWO DOLLARS in our pockets. Life couldn't get any sweeter than that for two 10-year-old boys.

By the way, remember the giant slide in the Fun House? Grab your gunnysack and go. Now that was a slide! And of course the spinning disk, the "Wild Mouse" ride, and the wooden roller coaster that could strike fear in you with just the sound of the cars roaring by.


Why was it that vacationing in the 50s seemed so much more fun! We stopped to look at every roadside marker and we would go through all the small towns (before superhighways). My brother and I did not need any electronic games to keep us busy. When we got bored in the car, we would play some "car games" or fight! The fighting caused my Dad to say (every year), "I'm not taking you two anywhere in the car again!" Ah, fun times!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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