William “Billy” Koch was an amateur photographer in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of German immigrants Phillip and Elisabeth Koch. Billy also ran a tavern named Billy Cook’s Saloon at 3rd avenue and 65th street in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. From 1912 to the mid-1950s, Koch worked in the real estate business with his uncle, also named William Koch.
In 1985 Billy Koch’s granddaughter, Mrs. Beatrice Roman, donated to Brooklyn Historical Society not only the collection of 66 glass plate negatives taken by Billy circa 1900 [v1985.4], but also his camera and darkroom equipment. The collection contains a mixture of country and town shots, group portraits, and casual photos of individuals and homes.
Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. To search our entire collection of images visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Fri, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Written by CHART Intern, Twilo Rios.