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Keep Smiling: 1906

The Jersey shore circa 1906. "Rolling chair on the Boardwalk, Atlantic City." In the distance, the giant safety razor seen on the Gillette sign in the previous post. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

The Jersey shore circa 1906. "Rolling chair on the Boardwalk, Atlantic City." In the distance, the giant safety razor seen on the Gillette sign in the previous post. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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The third wheel

Oh God, Harold, She's gaining on us, give the man another dollar!


Looks like Amy Winehouse stumbled into a time machine.

Sun Grins

The "smiling lady" doesn't seem to be smiling to me. She has the same expression I do when I go outside and forget my sunglasses. I have VERY light sensitive eyes and end up with the "sun grins" without my sunglasses, even in cloudy weather. I can easily assume I'm not the only one to have this problem.

Rolling Chair Evils

Washington Post, Apr 22, 1900

Reforms in Atlantic City

Rolling-Chair Evil Regulated

This resort wears the aspect of summer, with a crowded boardwalk, and ideal sky, warm breeze, and everything in the way of amusement and entertainment in full swing. So great is the multitude of people that certain features of the city which have given it its attractiveness promise to become, and to certain extent now are, veritable nuisances. Once of these is the rolling chair, which every invalid who has ever been here and many of the perfectly able visitors know and have enjoyed. There are other visitors, those of the pedestrian class, who find their strolls on the Boardwalk at times almost blocked by the chairs, which line up five and six across the walk. There are no less than 600 of them.

But a new grievance against the chairs has come up. Careless attendants have recently been employed, and because of the rolling of the chairs against a number of visitors, several handsome Easter promenade gowns have been torn, and others ruined by the dust and grease from the unprotected wheels. The authorities have now stepped in with vigor, and all the chair attendants are to be uniformed, provided with badges, and are to held accountable to the police department. This move will be hailed with general satisfaction.

The morals of the Boardwalk have also been tuned up by the authorities. It took the police an entire week to learn that one or two mutascope showmen were exhibiting for "a nickel a look," scores of pictures decidedly "Frenchy." Then one morning Mayor Frank Stoy and a Baptist clergyman took a stroll and examined the pictures. Before night official orders were issued, and before morning the mutascope men had changed the pictures in toto, and now complain that business has fallen off. But the police order stands.

Washington Post, Feb 12, 1939

Atlantic City Rolling Chairs Prove Popular

The Boardwalk rolling chair, almost exclusively an Atlantic City vehicle, which was first introduced in 1887, is still a popular feature in the resort.

The late George Hayday at first rented the chairs to invalids, who found the Boardwalk chair rides stimulating but later learned that persons in the best of health also enjoyed the chairs. The chairs, which are constructed here, were later enlarged to accommodate two or three persons. There are now 1,500 in use.

Everyone who has ever visited Atlantic City will remember them and many a romance has started under the moon in a Boardwalk rolling chair. Should the weather prove to be a trifle cool, a warm robe and glass windshield protect the ride.

Is it a smile

or a maniacal grin? The lady on the left seems to be holding her cane in a very threatening way. Perhaps it's her husband in the rolling chair running off with her mother!

Rolling chairs

Ah, that's what you call them. I was thinking maybe "nobility scooter."

Amazing photo

It's almost surreal the way the characters pop out of this photo. The clarity of those early lenses makes one wonder why modern cameras can't match the dots per inch. Amazing!

[It's not so much the clarity of the lens as the size of the "image sensor." In this case, a humongous 8 by 10 inches. - Dave]

Hello Pork Pie Hat

Love the gent's hat. A cool modern topper, especially compared to the fusty lady sitting next to him.

A Short Time Later

I hope the poor bugger in the rolling chair hopped out and ran away with the smiling lady and left that evil eyed old biddy behind.

Hotel Traymore

As noted in Dave's comment, vantage point for the previous birds-eye view of the beach.

The Wicked Witch of the East?

The smiling, striding woman on the left is a dead ringer for Margaret Hamilton.


I was admiring the smiling lady, which seems uncommon in this period, and when I panned over to the stern couple in the rolling chair with the sign I laughed myself out of my chair. Thanks Dave, this is the most delightful photo I've seen.

Keep Smiling

Whaddaya mean, keep smiling ? I AM smiling.

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