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The Rollicking Girl: 1905

The Rollicking Girl: 1905

October 1905. The New Montauk theater in Brooklyn at Livingston Street and Hanover Place. Now playing: Sam Bernard as Schmaltz in the vaudeville comedy "The Rollicking Girl." Detroit Publishing Co. glass negative. View full size.


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I beg to differ...

The LOC data for this photo states 1906 as the created/published date and the photo as well has that date on it. Why do you state the date to be 1905?

MEDIUM: 1 negative : glass ; 8 x 10 in.

["c1906" means the copyright date is 1906. Not the same as when the picture was taken. Which, as we see from the newspaper clipping below, and from the date on the sign on the sidewalk, was October 1905. As noted in my previous comment. - Dave]


I think it's interesting that they have the tarps rolled up on the canopies over the sidewalk. I guess they're just rolled out for performances and not for everyday use. Not something you normally see these days.

Dot matrix sign

This sign is quite curious. It appears to be able to display a three digit number. Close inspection shows special rows of bulbs to make slanted lines for 4 and 7. But why a three-digit sign? What quantity was it intended to display?

[I think those would be letters, not numbers. Maybe for a bar. - Dave]


Looks like the luggage of a traveling diva is piled up on the sidewalk on the left.


For such a utilitarian building, I think it's quite well done. The ornate brickwork and the stained glass windows on the corner are very nice touches. The "White Wing" street cleaner is interesting. Clearly the photographer could have waited a couple of minutes for him to move out of the way, but didn't.

Is the water tank on the roof for the sprinkler system? Did this theater have one?

[The tank, like the tanks atop the building next door (and any building of six or more floors in New York) is water storage for general use. More in the comments here and here. - Dave]

A very nice building

Lots of intricate brick work, and what appears to be stained glass. Only to be replaced by that monstrosity shown on the Google site. What a shame.

Also, I love the white suit the street sweeper is wearing. Reminds me of the guy on the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons (was it during the "Fractured Fairytales" closing credits when they showed that guy?).

Rich in neat little details

Another one of those Shorpy photos so rich in detail. Starting with the brickwork of the building. No present-day builder would consider (and no client could afford) doing a diamond brick pattern across an entire wall. How about that large curved glass window, complete with an inset "face"? Then there are the stone dentils in cornice. The decorative finial on the water tank...and a similar finial on the streetlamp. Finally, the street sweeper. Back then New York's sanitation workers were known as "White Wings." It's a shame that such beautiful buildings were razed during the postwar years. More was lost than gained.

No Spark

It's amazing how bland the exterior is in the pre- electricity days. I would have thought that a theatre would have something bigger and more eyecatching than sandwich boards.

[Electric lighting had been around for well over 20 years in 1905. This photo has light bulbs aplenty, including the arc lamp on the corner. - Dave]

Which Year?

Not that it matters, but I think your date is out by a year Dave. This is 1906, the show opened on May 1st 1905 at the Herald Square Theatre, then transferred to the New York Theatre in April 1906 where it ran for a month or so. It must have come to the Montauk Theatre after that.

[The year was 1905, not 1906. - Dave]

Livingston & Hanover

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