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Children's Room: 1941

Children's Room: 1941

February 1, 1941. "Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park Plaza. Children's Room, from balcony." 5x7 safety negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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re: Those Blinds

My first thought was that the phantom image of the blinds was a reflection, as if this were taken through a glassed-in balcony or divider. There seems to be one in the distance at the right.

Those Blinds

The window blinds at the left look odd: is that a relection or some sort of optical trick? Was the photo shot through a glass lightly?

[It is a (probably inadvertent) double exposure. - Dave]

50 years later

I've sat and read books in that room 50 years after this photo was taken. It's a beautiful thing.


I can remember being in this room in late 50's as an early elementary school kid. It was an awe inspiring place. Wonder what it's like now. My dad owned a drug store two blocks away on Eastern Parkway.

Don't want to break the magic spell, but...

looks posed to me.

[You are a master of the obvious. - Dave]

So peaceful!

Kids sitting down and quietly reading in a library - I had forgotten what that looks like.

Boys Wearing Knickers in 1941?

I see both boys sitting with their backs to the window are wearing them. I thought 1941 was late for knickers. When did they go completely out of style?

[August 12, 1943. - Dave]

I can't believe

How open everything is! I work in our local library and our children's room is waaaay overdue for a remodel and is very crowded. We have many more books than this, but this scene is utterly charming!

Quiet Please

I used to hate the way some libraries strictly imposed absolute silence but maybe it's gone too far the other way. The children's section at my local library now has a play area, where kids run around, squabble over toys, and build towers of hard plastic stuff which crash to the floor when they knock them down. Maybe it's good to have quiet places in your life, as well as other places where you can run around and yell and do silly stuff to let off steam.

The card catalog!

Did you catch a glimpse of the long-forgotten card catalog, way over on the right?

I actually have one in the back of my truck right now, purchased this weekend at a Texas antique store and waiting for some handsome hunk to come along and help me move it into my own middle school library ... where the kids will have *no idea* what we're wrestling BACK into a library!

Anne! Is that you?

The girl in the hat looks like Anne of Green Gables. Everyone here is so well dressed.

Brooklyn Born and Raised

My mother, Dorothy Kaiser, was a Brooklyn girl, born in 1926. She would have been 14 when this picture was taken and these kids would have been her contemporaries. What a wonderful glimpse into her childhood world. Thank you. RIP, Mom


I was born in 1941, so the serene Brooklyn Library scene is very familiar to one who started school in the late 1940s in New Jersey. There was something comforting about the spic and span nature of our schools then. And, it wasn't our fault that we were overdressed by today's scanty standards. Mom made us wear them! The only clothing I miss from that era was the great stuff from Christmas 1951: Hopalong Cassidy shirt, pants, boots, scarf and belt with silver buckle--with a silver six-shooter cap pistol for after school fun! Those were the days!


(thank you)

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