Photo of the Week: Happy Summer!

[Charles (Karl) Blieffert photograph album], circa 1912, 2015.010.1; Charles (Karl) Blieffert photograph album; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Charles (Karl) Blieffert photograph album], circa 1912, 2015.010.1; Charles (Karl) Blieffert photograph album; Brooklyn Historical Society.

We hope you’re having a fun and relaxing summer so far! The photo of the week is from the Charles (Karl) Blieffert photograph album depicting summer social activities, including boating, fishing, and sunbathing, from 1908 to 1917 in the Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay, and Brighton Beach neighborhoods of Brooklyn. To see more pages from this album, check out this page.

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!

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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3 Responses to Photo of the Week: Happy Summer!

  1. FNAF Games says:

    This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. Everything is very interesting to learn and easy to understood. Thank you for giving information.

  2. cube runner says:

    Happy summer is for kids. BTW good post.

  3. gmail says:

    very good. Thank you for sharing!

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