Charles (Karl) Blieffert was born on May 10, 1891 in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. His parents immigrated to the United States from Nuremberg, Germany. The family lived at 18th Avenue near Gravesend Avenue where Charles spent his childhood. In an effort to Americanize his name, he changed his name from “Karl” to “Charlie” and pronounced his last name “Bly-furt” rather than “Blee-furt.” During the Great Depression, Charles moved out of Brooklyn to Milwaukee where he found work in the insurance business. He did not marry until his widowed mother died in 1940.
While a family day at the beach is common today, this kind of urban leisure was a relatively new phenomenon in the late 19th century. Earlier in the century, elite and wealthy Americans began taking excursions to places like Saratoga Springs, but you don’t see middle class people or immigrants like the Blieffert’s partaking in this kind of recreation until the turn of the century. That makes this album particularly interesting!
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