Photo of the Week: Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks

[Portrait of man posing on a boardwalk in Coney Island], 1898, v1974.022.4.068, Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks, ARC.199; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Portrait of man posing on a boardwalk in Coney Island], 1898, v1974.022.4.068, Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks, ARC.199; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Did you catch the Tales from the Vault program at BHS Pierrepont on Monday? If not, we have some exciting project news to share. In 2015, BHS received a generous grant from Gerry Charitable Trust to digitize and catalog seven scrapbooks from the Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection. We are pleased to announce that the scrapbook pages are now available online.

Armbruster was an amateur photographer and NYC historian during the early 20th century.  He was particularly interested in infrastructure and preserving history that he viewed as vanishing during a period of rapid growth and change in Brooklyn. In his book, The Eastern District of Brooklyn (1912), he writes, “If a history of the City of New York will ever be written, its compiler will look around for historical matter relating to the old towns, now forming parts of the metropolis, and this book was written that the Eastern District of Brooklyn may be represented then.”

The scrapbooks are organized by subject and include newspaper clippings, photographs, hand-drawn maps, drawings, and writings. The scrapbooks primarily feature Brooklyn, but also showcase Manhattan, Queens, Nassau County and Suffolk County. They are a particularly rich resource for housing research.

The photo of the week depicts a man posing on the boardwalk in Coney Island around 1898. There are two full albums dedicated to Coney Island. Check out all of the digitized scrapbook pages 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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2 Responses to Photo of the Week: Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks

  1. SteveW says:

    What great news. I’ve loved his Coney Island photos from the 20s. One of the few photographers to document the streets rather than just the parks.

  2. This is one of the best articles I have come across. Keep up the good work.

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