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Dreamland Twilight: 1905

Coney Island, New York, circa 1905. "Dreamland at twilight." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

Coney Island, New York, circa 1905. "Dreamland at twilight." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Great place!

I never heard about Dreamland until I got into Shorpy. And reading your comments I learned a lot about this place. It would be great, at that time, to have a place like that, considering the little fun you could have at home. So sad Dreamland burned to the ground and noone rebuilt it. Big shock for the people, they lost their land of amusement.

I'd give a year, too

But I'd want a long weekend in 1905, so I could spend a day at each of the parks.

Have to grin at how Tilyou has put the "Steeplechase This Way" sign on the lookout tower where it's going to be in every photo taken of the Dreamland promenade. Luna Park has stuck their sign in just to the left of the tower, too.

Nothing lasts forever
A short film about Dreamland (all still images) ending with the fire.

"Fighting the Flames" was filmed, I haven't located it yet.

Sign me up

I would so love to go there. It all looks so clean and shiny and promising...well if you don't look at the beach section on the lower right that is.


I'd give a year of my life to spend one day here.

Meet me tonight in Dreamland
Under the silv'ry moon

Bert Kaempfert

I keep hearing "Wonderland by Night."

I'd have to say that Dreamland, especially the spectaculars Fall of Pompeii and Fighting the Flames, out-Avatars "Avatar."

Dreamland "the novel"

This photo brings alive much of what I read in Kevin Baker's "Dreamland."

Safety Last?

I just noticed that the ONLY way up or down to the observation tower (background right) is via the elevator - no stairway at all! Heaven help you if there's a breakdown or a power failure!


More Dreamland. Please. I'm begging.

The fall and the flames

From here :

The Fall of Pompeii was an attraction at Dreamland in 1904. Visitors seated inside a classical Greek temple decorated with a fresco of a dormant volcano watched the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and its destruction of the town of Pompeii and its remaining inhabitants. The effect was achieved with scenic and mechanical equipment and an exciting electrical display finale.

In Dreamland's similar, more elaborate and most exciting show, Fighting the Flames, there was the noisy arrival of the fire fighting apparatus, followed by breathtaking rescues of people trapped in the building's upper stories. Spectators watched from bleachers just inside the buildings ornate facade decorated with sculptures of fire fighters. A cast of 2000 fire fighters, complete with four engines and hose wagons, an extension ladder fire truck had to save a full-sized six-story hotel constructed of iron that was set on fire.


When I look at this print I can almost "feel" the air. People anticipating a wonderful and enjoyable evening.

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