The Original Penn Station, New York City

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New York, circa 1911, the original Pennsylvania Station lived for only half a century, ultimate succumbing to declining train ridership and the pressure to build upward.

 

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Another view from Gimbels department store, circa 1910.

 

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The general waiting room

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1962, the year before its demise.

Fondly remembered, sadly missed.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

1954: Creature from the Black Lagoon

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High-resolution production still. Notice the cloning to make the image wider. Trivia: redditor /u/Artikunu chimed in to say, “Fun fact: my great grandfather is the creator of the Creature From the Black Lagoon’s mask and costume. The mask was a treasured family heirloom, until one of my relatives sold it. It was worth around $75,000.”

I love photos like this. At one point I had a beautiful production still of Margaret Hamilton as the wicked witch of the west, autographed to me and procured for me by my father. Sadly, it was purloined about 25 years ago by one of the young men I used to serve as a Webelos den leader; I was never able to recover it. On the other hand, I have a number of great production stills of my dad in various rôles, so I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

Light Test

 

Dad with Barbara Stanwyck and a lighting technician: “Man with a Cloak,” 1951.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

The Seegers on the Road

Today is John Steinbeck’s 112th birthday – or would have been, if he weren’t dead. But some pictures that ran across my Facebook feed this morning seemed somehow relevant.

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May 1921. Washington, D.C. “Professor Charles Seeger, a composer, is a brother of Alan Seeger, the war poet. His wife is a distinguished violinist.” Little Pete Seeger, 2 years old, and family along with their camping rig. Harris & Ewing Collection glass negative.

The Seeger family  More on this intriguing bit of ephemera was written about in the Washington Post (text and image found at Shorpy):

Washington Post, May 22, 1921.

TRAVEL AND LIVE IN AN AUTOMOBILE

Charles Seeger, Wife and Three Sons See World While Living Outdoors

LIKE WANDERING MINSTRELS

Mrs. Seeger Famed as Violinist. Husband Professor of Music In California.

Bound for wherever they happen to stop, paying no attention to daylight saving or other forms of time, and spreading music wherever they go, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Seeger, once of the University of California and now “wandering minstrels” of the world at large, are encamped at Rock Creek park, their home an itinerant Ford and a home-made trailer. They are accompanied by their three little boys.

Mr. and Mrs. Seeger, the latter known in musical circles as Constance Edson Seeger, are taking the boys to museums and places of interest wherever they stop, and the two [older] boys are learning to play the violin.

Their Profession in Music.

“We are trying to solve the problem of educating three boys, and at the same time lead a worth-while outdoor life,” said Mr. Seeger yesterday. Mr. Seeger says that they got the idea while they were at the University of California, where he was head of the music department for seven years after graduating from Harvard and studying music in Europe and where Mrs. Seeger gave violin recitals following her graduation from the New York Institute of Musical Art and a course at the Conservatory of Paris.

The Seegers came here from Richmond and to that city from Pinehurst, N.C., where they spent some time. In addition to the three boys, Charles, 8; John, 6, and Peter, not yet 2 [actually, he had just turned 2], they have taken with them Miss Marion Brown, whom they picked up at Pinehurst and who tutors the children and cares for them while their parents are giving concerts.

The Seeger “home” is a house of five and a half feet in width by fourteen feet in length, and contains all the comforts of home, including a sewing machine, a portable organ and games for the boys. It even has a front porch, which slides under the trailer while traveling.

Going to New England.

The Seegers spent the winter at Pinehurst and are now en route to the New England States for the summer, expecting to go back South when the winter approaches again. Increasing rents make no difference in their lives, as a camping place is always available.

Mr. Seeger is the brother of the famous war poet Alan Seeger, whose “I Have a Rendezvous With Death,” written shortly before he died, has become immortal.

Mr. and Mrs. Seeger gave a concert lecture at the Corcoran Art Gallery last night.

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May 23, 1921. Washington, D.C. “Professor Charles Louis Seeger and family.” Charles Seeger, wife Constance Edson Seeger and their 2-year-old son Pete, of future folkie fame. National Photo Co. Collection glass negative.

Another image of the itinerant Seegers. These images have nothing directly to do with Steinbeck, but there’s a distinctly “Grapes of Wrath” feel about their living style in these pictures. They weren’t destitute like the Joads, but my mind couldn’t help but make the connection. There is part of me that would love to be able to live on the road… as long as I had a comfortable motor home with some bookshelf space and the funds to support such a lifestyle.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

New York, 1950s

Some photos of New York City taken by my father, found while scanning his collection of negatives. This is the city I knew as a child. Dad was not a great photographer, but was very enthusiastic, and did his own developing and printing. These pictures were taken between 1950 and around 1959, based on what the cars look like. All black & white photography Copyright 1950-2014 Old Wolf Enterprises.

Below: two views of 35 Carmine Street.

New York - Polichetti's Bakery

New York - Saltzman Tailor

History: No. 35 Carmine Street was constructed in 1877 by Bavarian-born brickmason and prolific tenement builder Peter Schaeffler, at a time when many of Greenwich Village‘s Federal and Greek Revival-style row houses were being replaced by tenements constructed to house the growing working-class and immigrant population. Featuring elements of the popular neo-Grec style in the design of the lintels, sills, and cornice, the building housed stores on the ground story and four families on each floor above. Built just prior to the 1879 tenement house law, the building had only two small square airshafts. Census data for 1880 shows that sixteen families resided at no. 35 Carmine Street, including three native-born families; first-generation immigrant families from Ireland (four), England (three), and Germany (one); and second-generation immigrant families from Ireland (two), England (one), Germany (one), and Scotland, via Canada (one). Residents were employed as a hatter, lawyer, watch case maker, bill collector and laundry worker, among other occupations. 1930 census records indicate that all fifteen families residing there were first-generation immigrant families from Italy. Residents held a variety of occupations, including bakery proprietor, cabinet maker, longshoreman, operator (men‘s clothing), and hat trimmer. By 1935, the number of apartments per floor had been reduced to two. City directories list the following commercial tenants: Experienced Hand Laundry (1950), A. Polichetti, baker, and Irving Saltzman, clothier (1959). The storefront had been occupied by a bakery in the early 1910s as well. In 1938 the western airshaft was enlarged and in 1939 architect Sidney Daub oversaw replacement of the existing storefronts; except for these changes, the building remains largely unchanged since its construction.  (Greenwich Village Historic District Extension II, Designation Report, June 22, 1910)

35 Carmine Street

35 Carmine Street as of June 2011, Google Street View

New York 1950 - Milkman

Milkman for Sheffield Farms Co. with typical New York brownstone in the background.

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45th Street and 5th Avenue, looking north. The Fred F. French building on the northeast corner.

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The same view as of June 2011, Google Street View

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5th Avenue and 39th Street, looking north. A New York Public Library lion is visible on the left.

39th Street North

The same view as of June 2011, Google Street View

New York - Church

Our Lady of Pompeii, Carmine Street. This is my family’s parish; many blessed events have taken place here.

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Our Lady of Pompeii church on the corner of Carmine and Bleecker Street, looking northwest.

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The same view as of 2014, Google Street View

New York - Bocce Court

Common street scene in Greenwich Village – the bocce court

New York - Brownstone

New York Brownstone

New York - Ferris Wheel

 

Local traveling carnival

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Janitor caring for a small courtyard.

Joe Darkroom

 

Dad in his “darkroom.”

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe, France

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Click for a full-size version

I happen to be a dyed-in-the-wool francophile; how in the world did I ever miss knowing about this stunning accomplishment?

From Wikipedia:

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a chapel in Aiguilhe, near Le Puy-en-Velay, France, built in 962 on a volcanic formation 85 metres (279 ft) high. The chapel is reached by 268 steps carved into the rock. It was built to celebrate the return from the pilgrimage of Saint James. In 1429, the mother of Joan of Arc, Isabelle Romée, was said to have come to the site to pray.

I would love to visit this chapel some day.

Selfie, 1920 Version.

One of the earliest selfies, taken by principals of the Byron Company, in 1920.

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Byron Company:  Uncle Joe Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core, Ben Falk-New York, 1920. Museum of the City of New York.

How the photo was taken:

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Byron Company, Side view of Byron Co. photographers posing together for a photograph on the roof of Marceau’s Studio, 1920. Museum of the City of New York

More information can be found at the Museum of the City of New York.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Le Robinson Resort from the air.

Previously I wrote about Le Robinson, a resort in Patterson, NY just north of New York City. It was owned by my father’s first wife, Miriam, and her second husband, André Lavielle.

Recently I’ve been scanning a collection of slides and negatives that I inherited from my father, and encountered some shots of the resort taken from the air. My dad was an amateur pilot, among other things, and these are some pictures he took on one of his flights. They make an interesting addition to the history of the locale.

Le Robinson from the air 1

Le Robinson, showing the main house that burned, as well as the cottages. Visible are the tennis court and the bocce court to its right.

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Le Robinson from the air 7

Le Robinson from the air 6

Le Robinson from the air 5

Le Robinson from the air 4

Le Robinson from the air 3

The beginning of the pond can be seen at right.

Le Robinson from the air 2

Le Robinson from the air 9

It’s too bad the career of Le Robinson was cut short by the fire, but time was moving on and the popularity of these resorts was waning. I’m just glad the land was preserved and serves a useful community function.

Airplane (Le Robinson Flight)

For your gratuitous enjoyment, here’s a shot of the plane that these pictures were taken from. According to Miriam’s son David, Joe had rented this plane at Danbury airport to fly around the farm. He was almost shot down by the previous owner of Le Robinson, who had been fined $1,000 (a princely sum in that day) for jacklighting deer using lights and salt. Apparently he thought my dad was the game warden and was going to shoot him down for revenge.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Chaplin in the air

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Charlie Chaplin in New York,  appearing with Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. during WWI. They were promoting war bonds for Third Liberty Loan. Photo taken in April, 1918 in front of the Sub-treasury building.

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Another view.

WAR & CONFLICT BOOK ERA:  WORLD WAR I/PATRIOTISM

Fairbanks addresses the crowd.

Some comments over at reddit are worth noting:

  • The respect. No policemen, no crowd control, everyone keeping a respectful distance.
  • The hats. Almost everyone was wearing hats. The wearing of hats was largely abandoned in the 1960s; some have hypothesized that the explosion of the automobile made wearing hats for protection from the elements less necessary.
  • The crowd is overwhelmingly men. Women just did not go out as much at the beginning of the 2oth Century. It was truly a man’s world.
  • The crowd is overwhelmingly white. That was our country in 1918.

An intriguing glimpse of a tiny slice of history that I had never seen before.

The Old Wolf has spoken.