Photo of the Week: Brooklyn Women


[Rose: 82 Years Old], 1977, v1992.43.13; Marcia Bricker photograph collection, v1992.043; Brooklyn Historical Society.

This week’s photo of the week is in honor of Women’s History Month (also known as March, if you are not in the loop). While a wonderful idea, when I sat down to write about women, I was at a loss as to where to begin. It suddenly seemed like a daunting, and potentially dangerous topic, guaranteed to offend or stereotype somebody. So, I did a search of our image collections to get some ideas, and to see what women in Brooklyn have been up to in the last hundred or so years since the advent of photography. The answer, apparently, is that women in Brooklyn have been doing everything imaginable. Women were riding elephants at Coney Island, swimming at the beach, sitting on rooftops, dancing on boats, playing sports, handling machinery, getting married, holding babies, and having tea with friends, among other things.

It is hard to capture the essence of Brooklyn womanhood with one or two photographs, and I wouldn’t want to try. Instead, please enjoy this random portrait of one Brooklyn woman – Rose. Rose may not represent all women, but Rose’s smile, eyebrows and elaborate hair all hint at a fantastic life and story, and to me that is what Women’s History is – the lives and the stories of all the women like Rose.

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 new 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.

Author: Halley Choiniere

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