“Views of Nassau County” now online!

Brooklyn Historical Society received a generous grant from Gerry Charitable Trust in 2015 to digitize and catalog seven scrapbooks from the Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks [Arc.308]. Eugene Armbruster was an amateur photographer and historian during the late 19th century and early 20th century in Brooklyn. Following retirement from The H. Henkel Cigar Box Manufacturing Company, he became interested in local history and took thousands of photographs depicting buildings and street scenes throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and neighboring states. His scrapbooks are organized by subject and include a combination of photographs, clippings, hand-drawn maps, drawings, and writings. With the help of project cataloger Regina Carra, we are working to get all seven scrapbooks published online.

The Eugene Armbruster Scrapbook Digitization Project has gotten out of the city!

[Cover page of “Views of Nassau County”], 1909, v1974.022.14.002; Eugene L. Armbruster photograph and scrapbook collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society

[Cover page of “Views of Nassau County”], 1909, v1974.022.14.002; Eugene L. Armbruster photograph and scrapbook collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The project has reached yet another milestone with the addition of “Views of Nassau County” to Brooklyn Historical Society’s online image gallery. This scrapbook is about 175 pages long, which appears to be typical for the scrapbooks Armbruster compiled.  It includes mostly visual materials including clippings from newspapers and other popular publications, postcards, and panoramic drawings. Some text is also included and details the early history of towns in Nassau County.

Armbruster began compiling “Nassau County” in 1909. The scrapbook pages are ordered by towns and townships. Featured prominently are Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Mineola, Port Washington, Freeport, Rockville Centre, Long Beach, Glen Cove, Sea Cliff, Cold Spring Harbor (in Suffolk County), and Massapequa. Nassau County’s maritime and recreational boating history is featured prominently in the scrapbook with many images of coastal scenes and infrastructure, such as lighthouses, sailboats, and boat docks.

Hempstead Harbor,1909, v1974.022.14.044; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Hempstead Harbor,1909, v1974.022.14.044; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Greenwood ship yards], 1909, v1974.022.14.043; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Greenwood ship yards], 1909, v1974.022.14.043; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

There are also many sketches of houses and mansions of prominent Nassau County residents. These sketches appear to have been mass produced in magazines in the early 20th century.

John W. Harper’s residence, 1909, v1974.022.14.081; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

John W. Harper’s residence, 1909, v1974.022.14.081; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

George W. Bergen’s house, 1909, v1974.022.14.087; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

George W. Bergen’s house, 1909, v1974.022.14.087; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The U.S. military base at Hempstead Plains is also featured in the scrapbook and includes images of Camp Black, a camp that trained soldiers to fight in the Spanish-American War, and the Mitchel Air Force Base, active 1918-1961.

Mitchel Field, 1909, v1974.022.14.054; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Mitchel Field, 1909, v1974.022.14.054; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Camp Black], 1909, v1974.022.14.074; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Camp Black], 1909, v1974.022.14.074; Eugene L. Armbruster photographs and scrapbooks collection, v1974.022; Brooklyn Historical Society.

You can stay up to date with our project via Instagram and the hashtag #armbruster or searching our online image gallery for more frequent additions here. Our library is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm. To make an appointment to view the collection, please contact us at: library@brooklynhistory.org.

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Photo of the Week: Ambergill Falls

[Ambergill Falls in Prospect Park], 1880 ca., v1974.7.109; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Ambergill Falls in Prospect Park], 1880 ca., v1974.7.109; Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection, ARC.191; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Now that spring is upon us, it’s the perfect time to explore Brooklyn’s green spaces. The photo of the week depicts Ambergill Falls located by Rock Arch Bridge in Prospect Park. This is one of several waterfalls that was designed by Olmsted and Vaux, the Park’s creators. Prospect Park Alliance offers many free walking tours and events throughout the warmer months, which is a great way to explore all the hidden (and not so hidden) gems in Prospect Park.

This photograph comes from the Adrian Vanderveer Martense collection comprised of lantern slides and photographs taken by Martense from 1872 to 1889. There are fantastic photographs documenting Brooklyn in the 19th century, including photographs of the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Prospect Park, and the Blizzard of 1888. To view more photographs from this collection, check out the online image 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. library@brooklynhistory.org

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Flatbush + Main Episode 13: A Year of Podcasting Brooklyn History

In Episode 13 of Brooklyn Historical Society’s podcast Flatbush + Main, co-hosts Zaheer Ali and Julie Golia celebrate the podcast’s first birthday by looking back on the year’s most memorable segments and guests.

Index

02:38 – Histories and Ideas
18:20 – Into the Archives
33:57 – Voices of Brooklyn

For complete show notes, go to www.brooklynhistory.org/flatbush-main. Want to give us a birthday present? We’ll take a 5-star review on iTunes! You can leave one at brooklynhistory.org/fm-itunes. And please share the news of Flatbush + Main far and wide using the hashtag #FlatbushandMain.

Segment 1: Histories and Ideas

Revisiting interviews from episodes one, three, six, and eleven, Zaheer and Julie reflect on a year of brilliant guests and engaging conversation. They discuss the challenges and the value of understanding our current time through the lens of the past.

Segment 2: Into the Archives

Julie and Zaheer return to their favorite segments on archives from episodes two, four, and seven. They consider the stories that can be gleaned from different kinds of historical documents, and consider the archives as both a repository and as a process.

Segment 3: Voices of Brooklyn

Through different oral history clips from episodes seven and eleven, Zaheer and Julie consider the inherent tensions in curating and analyzing oral histories for this segment of the podcast.

Segment 4: Endorsements

Julie endorsed “Bringing Truth Back: Reporting Facts in a Post-Truth Era,” a BHS program on May 2, 2017 at 6:30pm. A panel including Laura McGann, deputy managing editor of the Politics and Policy desk at Vox; Brian Stelter, Senior Media Correspondent for CNN and host of the network’s media analysis series Reliable Sources; Nicole Hemmer, political historian and author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics; and Sopan Deb, culture writer for the New York Times and former embedded reporter on the 2016 Republican presidential campaign discuss what it means to report the news in the age of “alternative facts.” Get tickets here.

Zaheer endorsed “Talking Privilege with Hari Kondabolu and Jordan Carlos,” a BHS program on May 9, 2017 at 7pm. Comedians Hari Kondabolu and Jordan Carlos tackle the tricky topic of privilege in an unmoderated, one-on-one conversation. Get tickets here.

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Photo of the Week: Housing and Building Research

[#1661-1665 85th Street.], 1958, v1974.4.491; John D. Morrell photographs, ARC.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[#1661-1665 85th Street.], 1958, v1974.4.491; John D. Morrell photographs, ARC.005; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Housing and building research is one of the most popular research topics at Brooklyn Historical Society. The library and archival collections include a variety of materials that are helpful in understanding the history of Brooklyn neighborhoods, blocks and buildings. If you’re interested in diving into your own housing research, be sure to check out our Housing and Building Research guide that outlines a detailed listing of resources available at BHS and elsewhere. There is also an exciting program this Sunday If These Walls Could Talk where Elizabeth Call, former Head of Reference & User Services at the Brooklyn Historical Society, will lead a hands-on workshop on Brooklyn housing research.

One excellent resource for housing research is the John D. Morrell photographs collection comprised of over 2,000 photographs documenting almost every Brooklyn neighborhood from 1957-1974. John Morrell was a graduate of Pratt Institute and an assistant librarian at Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) for many years. The photo of the week depicts homes located at #1661-1665 85th Street between 16th Avenue and 17th Avenue in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. This collection is fully digitized and available online.

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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