Photo of the Week: Brooklyn Storefronts

Katy’s Candy Store, 2005, 2009.004.31; James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs, 2009.004; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Katy’s Candy Store, 2005, 2009.004.31; James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs, 2009.004; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The photo of the week depicts the exterior of Katy’s Candy Store, a specialty candy shop located at 125 Tompkins Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The family-owned shop opened in 1969 and closed permanently in 2007. This photograph is part of an ongoing project by photographers James and Karla Murray to document storefronts in Brooklyn and New York City. A limited set of images from this project is part of the James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs collection at BHS, and was recently catalogued and published on our online image gallery here.

Katy’s Candy Store was the last remaining penny candy store in New York, and the sign and storefront were original to the 1969 store opening.  Catherine Keyzer, the owner of Katy’s Candy Store, was born and raised in the neighborhood. She spoke about her experience closing the store in the Murray’s book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York: “I sell penny candy and I can’t afford to pay $2,350 a month plus electric and everything. The landlord wants to convert the whole building into luxury-type apartments and have something more upscale in the space.”  Many of the stories in the book reflect a similar experience of being priced out due to gentrification. Mom-and-pop stores are part of the fabric and charm of Brooklyn, and this work speaks to how communities and businesses are affected by structural forces that push them out. To learn more, be sure to check out Murray’s book at the Othmer Library and their website that includes images throughout New York City.

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: Happy Thanksgiving!

[Edna Machtiger’s Wedding, Thanksgiving Day], 1946, V1991.11.103.2; Harry Kalmus papers and photographs, ARC.046; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Edna Machtiger’s Wedding, Thanksgiving Day], 1946, V1991.11.103.2; Harry Kalmus papers and photographs, ARC.046; Brooklyn Historical Society.

As you prep for your Thanksgiving celebrations or travels, we bring you a photo of the week that takes us back to Thanksgiving, 1946. This photo depicts an unidentified man carrying a plate of food for Edna Machtiger’s wedding on Thanksgiving Day, 1946. Do you think there’s turkey on that plate?

A New York Times article published on November 26, 1946, describes a suggested menu for a Thanksgiving Feast: “Traditional fare from Turkey to nuts is what most families seem to prefer for Thanksgiving dinner. Here is a menu that includes most of the foods that have held an honored place on the holiday table since Colonial days: Grapefruit and grape cocktail, roast turkey, sweet potato-sausage stuffing, giblet gravy, boiled onions, broccoli with lemon butter, celery pickles olives, apple coleslaw with fresh watercress, squash or pumpkin pie, coffee, fruit and nuts.” How will your meal compare? However you decide to celebrate the holiday, we hope you have a relaxing and safe Thanksgiving Day!

This photograph comes from the Harry Kalmus papers and photographs collection. Harry grew up on Vermont Street in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. After serving in World War II, he returned to Brooklyn and began his career as a professional photographer. He worked for advertising agencies and corporate office, as well as an event photographer documenting weddings and bar mitzvahs in Brooklyn. This collection comprises photographs and papers from 1938 to 1987, and primarily make up photographs from his career in Brooklyn. Most of the collection is not digitized, but we hope you’ll make an appointment at the Othmer Library to view Kalmus’ many photographs documenting Brooklyn family events!

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 08: Brooklyn’s Veterans

In Episode 08 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia explore the legacy of veterans from Brooklyn and beyond, and consider the ways that historians have analyzed the often fraught history of American veterans. In the first segment, Julie and Zaheer sit down with historian Phil Napoli to discuss the the historical meanings of the American veteran throughout history. Phil also discusses his work interviewing New York City’s Vietnam Vets, and the essential role that oral histories can play in the preservation of veterans’ experiences. Our hosts head into the archives with BHS Assistant Curator Erin Wuebker to learn the stories embedded in one Civil War-era surgeon’s kit. in “Voices of Brooklyn,” they listen to and honor the experiences of Second Lieutenant Joan Furey, a Brooklynite who served in Vietnam. Following endorsements, Zaheer and Julie offer their thoughts on the recent presidential election and the importance of historical thinking in this unprecedented political age.

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

Index

03:10 – Histories and Ideas: Interview Philip F. Napoli
19:12 – Into the Archives: With Erin Wuebker
29:47 – Voices of Brooklyn: Veteran Joan Furey
38:31 – Reflections on the Presidential Election

Segment 1: Histories and Ideas

Our first guest, Philip F. Napoli, is Associate Professor of Social and Public History at Brooklyn College and the author of Bringing It All Back Home: An Oral History of New York City’s Vietnam Veterans. He was also the co-curator of a celebrated 2007 BHS exhibition, In Our Own Words: Portraits of Brooklyn’s Vietnam Veterans. Learn more about Phil’s work on his website.

Segment 2: Into the Archives

Here are a few pictures of the Civil War-era surgeon’s kit we discussed:

1985.385 civil war surgeon's kit_1 of 2

1985.385 civil war surgeon's kit_2 of 2

A terrific book on the cultural history of Civil War amputees is Megan Kate Nelson’s Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War. A good overview of medicine during the Civil War is Frank Freemon’s Gangrene and Glory: Medical Care During the Civil War.

BHS has incredibly rich resources on the Civil War in the archives. A great place to start is our Civil War Subject Guide.

Our guest for this segment, Erin Wuebker, is a scholar of American history and public health. At BHS, she’s Assistant Curator on our new public history project, Sick: Four Hundred Years of Illness and Health in Brooklyn. Check out one of Erin’s earlier public history projects, The Venereal Disease Visual History Archive.

Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn

In this segment, we listen to Joan Furey reflect on her experiences as a nurse in Vietnam. Joan was born in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn in 1946 and grew up in Terryville, Long Island. After receiving her nursing degree, she was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Nurse Corps, and volunteered for duty in Vietnam, where she was deployed in January 1969. She later worked for the Department of Veteran Affairs for over 30 years, advocating for improved health care, PTSD support, and gender equity.

Here’s a picture of Joan just before her return home from Vietnam. She had just been awarded a Bronze Star.

Joan Furey

Segment 4: Endorsements

Julie endorsed “Steven Hahn and Eric Foner on A Nation Without Borders: The United States and Its World in an Age of Civil Wars, 1830-1910.” The event is Monday, November 28, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $10 ($5 for members) and can be purchased here.

Zaheer endorsed “Stop and Frisk: An In-Depth Look at a Contentious Policing Tactic,” featuring author Michael White. The event is Tuesday, December 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm. Tickets are $10 ($5 for members) and can be purchased here.

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Photo of the Week: Brighton Beach Hotel Move

[Men examining railroad cable at moving of Hotel Brighton], 1888, V1974.7.86; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Men examining railroad cable at moving of Hotel Brighton], 1888, V1974.7.86; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The Brighton Beach Hotel was a grand, three-story, 174-room waterfront hotel in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn.  The hotel was built too close to the ocean, and after ten years, the hotel faced serious erosion issues that threatened the structure and foundation. In April 1888, a decision was made to move the entire (estimated eight million pound) structure approximately 600 feet inland.

This was no small task and the plan was to move the hotel on wheels by first driving piles under the entire front of the building and then building 24 railroad tracks on those piles. Over ten days, six locomotives slowly and successfully pulled the structure over the tracks to drag it away from the ocean. The Evening World reported that it was the “biggest case of house-moving on record.” The hotel remained in this new location until it was demolished in 1923.

The photo of the week depicts men examining the railroad cable before the move in 1888. This photograph is part of the Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection that comprises lantern slides and photographs taken by amateur photographer Martense from 1872 through 1889. Martense photographed Brooklyn houses, streets, and informal portraits of people. He also photographed momentous events including the Blizzard of 1888 and this series of photographs during the Hotel Brighton move. To view other photographs of the Brighton Hotel move by Martense, check out this gallery.

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: John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

[John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge], ca 1890, v1981.283.55, Burton family papers and photographs, ARC.217; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge], ca 1890, v1981.283.55, Burton family papers and photographs, ARC.217; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The photo of the week depicts the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge in Cincinnati, Ohio. If you look closely, it might remind you of another bridge here in Brooklyn. That’s because both the Brooklyn Bridge and the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge were created by the same civil engineer and designer, John A. Roebling. The above bridge spans the Ohio River to connect Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky, and was completed in 1866. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time, measuring 1,057 feet (Brooklyn Bridge surpassed that at 5,989 feet). Using flexible wire cables designed by Roebling, it was later considered a prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge, an ambitious project to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn by the East River. Unfortunately, Roebling didn’t live to see the completion of his most ambitious project, and died of tetanus from a work-related accident before the Brooklyn Bridge was completed. To learn more about this fascinating history, be sure to check out The Builders of the Bridge: The Story of John Roebling and his Son by D.B. Steinman, available at the Othmer Library.

This photograph comes from the Burton family papers and photographs collection that comprises photographs and personal documents from the Burton family, spanning from 1870 to 1949. To see more photographs from this collection, check out this gallery.

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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