Photo of the Week: Edna Huntington

[63-71 Sands Street], circa 1940, v1974.16.0043; Edna Huntington papers and photographs, ARC.044; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[63-71 Sands Street], circa 1940, v1974.16.0043; Edna Huntington papers and photographs, ARC.044; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Brooklyn Historical Society has a legacy of notable collection staff who work hard providing research assistance and enhancing our rich collections. We just passed National Library Week and thought it would be a good opportunity to draw your attention to a former librarian who donated hundreds of photographs and personal papers to the BHS collection. The photo of the week by former Head Librarian Edna Huntington, depicts 63-71 Sands Street on the border of Downtown Brooklyn and DUMBO neighborhoods of Brooklyn around 1940.  This photograph is particularly noteworthy because these buildings no longer exist due to major demolition projects by the BQE from 1946-1951.

Edna Huntington attended PS 131 in the Fort Hamilton neighborhood of Brooklyn and later completed Columbia University’s Home Study courses in librarianship. She began working for the Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) in 1926 and served as Head Librarian from 1936 until 1960. Huntington was part of a long line of female librarians who shaped the institution and its collections – you can read more about her predecessor, Emma Toedteberg, here. In addition to her work as a librarian, Huntington was an avid traveler and amateur photographer. She documented her excursions hiking and camping throughout the northeast United States with photographs and travel journals.

She donated hundreds of documentary-style photographs depicting Brooklyn street scenes during the 1940s, in addition to her travel photographs and writings. To see more photographs form this collection, check out this online gallery. Her photographs are particularly useful for housing research.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Flatbush + Main Episode 24: Brooklyn’s Revolutionary War Prison Ships

In Episode 24 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia discuss a Revolutionary War tragedy: the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans inside prison ships during the British wartime occupation of New York from 1776 to 1783.

Index
03:22 – Histories and Ideas
23:43 – Into the Archives
46:10 – Voices of Brooklyn

For complete show notes, go to brooklynhistory.org/flatbush-main.

We hope you’re enjoying our podcast! Please subscribe, rate, and review us at brooklynhistory.org/fm-itunes. And share the news of Flatbush + Main far and wide using the hashtag #FlatbushandMain.

Segment 1: Histories and Ideas

In segment 1, Zaheer and Julie explain how it came to be that the occupying British Army began converted ships into makeshift prisons during the Revolutionary War. They discuss the context in which the ships came to be, including the disastrous American loss during the Battle of Brooklyn and the question of whether and why New Yorkers were “patriots,” “loyalists,” or something in between. They also consider the horrific conditions on the ships in the context of today’s understanding of human rights and the history of public health.

Many of the stats and figures that Julie and Zaheer mention in this segment come from the terrific book by Ted Burrows, Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War.

Segment 2: Into the Archives

In the decades after the American Revolution, survivors of the prison ships began publishing their recollections of imprisonment. Zaheer and Julie examine one of these books, Recollections of the Jersey prison ship: from the manuscript of Capt. Thomas Dring prisoner, by Thomas Dring and Albert Greene, revealing how these personal narratives cannot be separated from the politicization of the Revolutionary War and the growing political factionalism in American politics in the decades after the Revolution.

The Othmer Library at Brooklyn Historical Society holds this book in our collections; access the catalog record here.

You can also read Dring’s account as an e-book available on Internet Archive.

Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn

Zaheer and Julie listen to an excerpt from the oral history of Alice Terson, from BHS’s AIDS/Brooklyn Oral History Project collection. Alice Terson was an HIV positive Latina lesbian born in 1952; her oral history was taken in 1992. Terson discusses her time in prison, her struggles with drug addiction, and her interactions with an HIV positive woman imprisoned with her before Terson’s own diagnosis.

You can listen to the full interview on BHS’s Oral History Portal here.

Segment 4: Endorsements

Both Julie and Zaheer endorsed programs in connection with BHS’s new long-term exhibition, Waterfront, at BHS DUMBO.

Julie endorsed the public program “Invisible Water, Invisible Watersheds: The Gowanus Canal as a Case Study.” This panel uses the Gowanus Canal as a case study for a discussion of urban ecology, stressed city ecosystems, and innovative design solutions. Jarrett Murphy of City Limits moderates a discussion with panelists Eric Sanderson, senior conservation ecologist at the Wildlife Conservation Society and director of the Manahatta Project; Kate Orff, MacArthur Award-winning landscape architect whose firm, SCAPE, has designed a visionary plan for the Gowanus Canal; and Andrea Parker, executive director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy.

The panel takes place at BHS’s Pierrepont location on Wednesday, April 18. 2018 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $5, and free for members. Reserve them here.

Zaheer endorsed the public program “Roasted: The History of Coffee in NYC.” From Arbuckle Coffee to Brooklyn Roasting Company, coffee has been at the center of Brooklyn life for well over a century. Join BHS Director of Public History Julie Golia, coffee impresario and owner of Gillies Coffee Company (which was founded in 1840) Donald Schoenholt, Brooklyn Roasting Company’s Jim Munson, and Erin Meister author of New York City Coffee: A Caffeinated History for a conversation about the love affair that wakes us up every morning.

The panel takes place at BHS’s Pierrepont location on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 6:30pm. Tickets are $10, and $5 for members. Reserve them here.

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Photo of the Week: Baseball

Boys Club, circa 1910, v1981.284.51; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Boys Club, circa 1910, v1981.284.51; Emmanuel House lantern slide collection, ARC.136; Brooklyn Historical Society.

It’s officially spring, which also means the start of baseball season. The photo of the week depicts a portrait of a boys baseball club taken at the Emmanuel House in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn, around 1910. Brooklyn played a key role in baseball’s early history, in part because of the rapid growth of amateur clubs that developed within a decade after 1845. By 1858, there were 71 clubs in Brooklyn, including the Atlantics of Bedford, the Excelsiors of South Brooklyn, and the Williamsburg Eckfords. According an 1858 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, “Their games have been attended by large crowds of spectators and it became evident that a great popular want was being supplied by these clubs.” To learn more about this fascinating history, check out Brooklyn! An Illustrated History available at the Othmer Library.

This photograph comes from the Emmanuel House lantern slide collection comprised of 87 photographs from 1900 to 1914 that document children at the Emmanuel House, their activities, interior and exterior shots of the buildings. The majority of the photographs are group portraits of clubs, classes, and recreational activities at Emmanuel House. Emmanuel House was located at 131 Steuben Street in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn and served as a civic center and place of outreach run by the Young Men’s League of the Emmanuel Baptist Church. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

If you haven’t seen the BHS Pierrepont baseball exhibition, Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson’s Legacy, you have until June to check it out! This exhibition celebrates Jackie Robinson’s legacy and features an array of archival materials, photography, programs and memorabilia.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Happy Passover and Easter!

 [Helen (Rosenfeld) Ginsberg and Katy Cohen Rosenfeld at Passover], 1939, v1990.33.6; Photography collection, V1990.33; Brooklyn Historical Society

[Helen (Rosenfeld) Ginsberg and Katy Cohen Rosenfeld at Passover], 1939, v1990.33.6; Photography collection, V1990.33; Brooklyn Historical Society

[Greenhouse Easter Display], circa 1920, v1980.2.73; Prospect Park lantern slide collection, v1980.2; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Greenhouse Easter Display], circa 1920, v1980.2.73; Prospect Park lantern slide collection, v1980.2; Brooklyn Historical Society.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tis the season of Easter and Passover celebrations! In recognition of both holidays we thought we’d bring you two photos this week. The photo on the left depicts 19-year-olds Helen Ginsberg and Katy Cohen Rosenfeld at a synagogue at Stone Avenue and Dumont Avenue in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn during Passover in 1939. The photo on the right depicts a greenhouse Easter display around 1920 in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. Wishing all who celebrate a joyous Passover and Easter!

This photograph on the left comes from the Rosenfeld Family Photograph Collection comprised of photographs of the Sam and Helen Rosenfeld family of the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. The bulk of the collection spans 1935 to 1944 and includes family photographs and related Ginsberg and Fagin families, as well as images in Coney Island and Borough Park.

The photograph on the right comes from the Prospect Park lantern slide collection comprised of 91 black-and-white and hand-colored lantern slides depicting Prospect Park from the time of construction to the 1920s, as well as the Brooklyn Botantic Garden and notable Brooklyn buildings. You can access more photographs from both collection by visiting the Othmer Library during public research hours.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Photo of the Week: Luna Park

[Children in the Scenic Railway], circa 1930, v1973.5.1228; Brooklyn photograph and illustration collection, ARC.202; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Children in the Scenic Railway], circa 1930, v1973.5.1228; Brooklyn photograph and illustration collection, ARC.202; Brooklyn Historical Society.

In honor of Luna Park opening for the season last weekend, the photo of the week depicts children on the Scenic Railway amusement ride at Luna Park around 1930 in the Coney Island neighborhood of Brooklyn. The railway ride known as “Dragon’s Gorge” opened to the public in 1905 taking visitors through a fantasy world of fire-breathing dragons. In 1944, an electrical issue caused a fire to the amusement ride leading to massive destruction of the park, some speculating that this led to the closure of the original Luna Park in 1946.

Under new ownership, the new Luna Park opened in 2010, bringing both new rides and new iterations of old rides back to Coney Island. You can learn more about the history and visiting the new Luna Park here.

This photograph comes from the Brooklyn photograph and illustration collection comprised of approximately 7,000 photographs dating from the early to mid-20th century. The collection provides a comprehensive visual documentation of the borough of Brooklyn with images of neighborhoods, homes, buildings, the waterfront, and infrastructure. To see more photographs from this collection check out this gallery. To see more photographs of Coney Island, check out the Eugene L. Armbruster scrapbook pages on Coney Island here.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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