Photo of the Week: Bickford’s

[351-357 Fulton Street], ca 1940, V1974.16.0028; Edna Huntington papers and photographs, 1974.16, Brooklyn Historical Society.

[351-357 Fulton Street], ca 1940, V1974.16.0028; Edna Huntington papers and photographs, ARC.044; Brooklyn Historical Society.

What’s your go-to lunch spot in Brooklyn? Pictured above is Bickford’s, a luncheonette on Fulton Street, in 1940. The restaurant opened in 1921 with the goal of providing quick service and moderately priced fare.

Bickford’s had 24 locations and extended hours, which attracted characters of all types and backgrounds. Most notably, Beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg were spotted late at night at Bickford’s locations throughout the city. Ginsberg wrote in his famous work Howl, “Sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s.” The last Bickford’s location closed in 1982, but you can still see a Bickford’s sign at the former 34th Street and Eighth Avenue location. To learn more about Bickford’s, be sure to check out this website.

This photograph comes from the Edna Huntington collection. Huntington worked at the Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) starting in 1926, and served as the head librarian from 1936-1960. The collection includes 1,550 black and white photographs, the majority of which document Brooklyn from 1938 to 1956. To see more of Huntington’s photographs, be sure to 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.

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