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Brooklyn Weddings

Sep 13, 2010 10:00 AM | 1 comment

  Fabulous Travel's "Your Fabulous Honeymoon Planning Guide"

Sometimes you can't ignore a good coincidence. Around the time that I was planning my own wedding, I opened a drawer in the Eagle morgue labeled "unsorted."  Inside I found lovely ladies smiling up at me, some in wedding gowns and some who looked as if they were posing for school photos.  Reading through them, I found that they were all wedding and engagement photos! We have since rehoused the images in folders and will be listing them so that anyone wanting to add to their family photo album may be able to find an image or two here at the Brooklyn Collection. 

Joan Betty Schwartz  1954

Here we have the lovely Joan Betty Schwartz who resided at 1617 Avenue R.  Her parents happily announced her engagement to Mr. Donald Weisberg of Brooklyn on December 13, 1954.  Good thing they got this announcement in, because the Eagle closed just a few short weeks later.  I do hope they made a lot of happy memories together.

Phyllis Funk 1954

Cynthia Collins  1954

These next two brides are Phyllis Funk (or Mrs. Henry Reuss) and Cynthia Collins (or Mrs. James Crane).  While their announcements are beautifully descriptive (for example, Cynthia Collins "wore an antique taffeta gown trimmed with seed pearls and a Chantilly lace fingertip-length veil" and she carried "carnations on a white prayer book with a rosary") they also tell us quite a bit about the family members, where the wedding took place, and the wedding party--some of whom could be the long-lost relatives often sought by genealogists. 

HERZ 0673 Bridegroom about to cut challah Irving I. Herzberg 196-?

1952 Charred house as wedding backdrop, International News Photos 1952

Our catalog also has a few photos that show the wonderfully rich cultural diversity of Brooklyn.  The top photo, showing the bride and groom about to cut the Challah bread together, is of a traditional Hasidic wedding in Williamsburg.   Below that, a bride and her father head for St. Cyril Methodius Roman Catholic Church.  They are standing in front of the charred remains of the house where the new couple was to live.  They went on to live with the bride's family.  I hope they eventually got a house of their own.

The Brooklyn Eagle also captured a couple of weddings that seem a bit off the beaten path.  (You can read a great post by Leslie on Brooklyn Tom Thumb Weddings here.)  While the below photo is not a Tom Thumb wedding, children dressed in wedding garb still make me a bit nervous.  These tots are re-creating a traditional Dutch wedding at the Old First Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn.  In my opinion, the best part of this photo is the expression on the "preacher's" face!

CHUR 0212 Don't throw wooden shoes, please, Brooklyn Eagle, 1954

And this very non-traditional golden anniversary of the marriage between the hot dog and the roll took place in Coney Island in 1939.  Borough President Ingersoll gave his blessing and sent Brooklyn's Assistant Commissioner of Public Works to preside over the ceremony at Feltman's Restaurant.

CONE 0199 50th anniversary of hot dog & roll, 1939

Finally, if you look the the Eagle microfilm, you will see advice columns for brides and advertisements for wedding attire. 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1930

This describes non-traditional gowns and colors.  Those who did not want the "fancy wedding gown of white satin may don picturesque medieval attire in pastel hues." This article ran in 1930, so I don't imagine many people ran out to get a fancy medieval dress, since money was probably quite scarce.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle 1955

The popular Brooklyn department store Namm's Loesers published this beautiful ad in the January 1955 edition of the Eagle.  I believe I have admitted to blog readers before that I love 1950s style, so I had to include this ad.  The dress advertised is quite close to what my wedding dress looked like.  Ah, tea length dresses, and at a very reasonable price!

Martins 1970

Finally, I found this little gem in our ephemera collection.  I used to love going through my mother's wedding album.  She was married in 1976 and this style is very close to what her dress looked like. Martin's was another Brooklyn Department store and this catalog lists their fall bridal collection.  It's small, but it's fun to look through because it includes dress descritptions like: "Scotch Plaid taffeta skirt and shawl with white lace bodice."  Or: "Candy pink faille with bowed watteau back."  Other dresses had stripes and brocade and one dress was pale lime green.  I'm pretty sure one of my mother's bridesmaid dresses was lime green.  You have to love that 70s style.

Seen from Brooklyn, September 11, 2001. Photographs by Anders Goldfarb.

Sep 10, 2010 4:23 PM | 1 comment

From 1072 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, 9:10 a.m.

Near Flatbush Ave, crowds walking home.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on Bedford Ave northside

Corner of Calyer St and Manhattan Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Little-Known Brooklyn Businesses. The Bilnor Corporation

Sep 2, 2010 2:26 PM | 1 comment

In the 1950’s the Bilnor Corporation was a leading manufacturer of swimming pools and water toys. From their location at 300 Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg, they turned out summertime recreational products made from plastic. In 1954 they expanded upon their seasonal merchandise by creating portable ice rinks. Made of Krene, (a popular plastic developed in the 1940's) these winter weather contraptions required only water and freezing temperatures. 

Unrolling the ice rink


"Ice Rink In a Package -- A new portable ice skating rink -- weighing only 60 pounds for a diameter of 24 feet - has been developed by Bilnor Corp., 300 Morgan Avenue. Liner is unfolded and stretched over ground. Low fence is placed in position...and flexible side wall of liner is placed over fence.  Next steps are filling with water and donning skates. Rink, made of tough, flexible Krene, costs $100 in size shown here." 

Filling the ice rink


When showing these photos around the staffroom our very own Cecilia remarked that her family had one of these.  This is what she said about the experience:


"Brooklyn during the 1950's was a great place and time to grow up. Many new products to entertain children were just coming on the market and the middle class parents wanted to provide them for their children. I remember the winter my parents (or Santa) gave my brother and I a backyard ice skating pond. I was able to skate but my brother, being younger, needed double runner skates.  On cold winter Saturdays our backyard in Old Mill Basin would be filled with neighborhood kids waiting their turn to skate. My Mom would make hot cocoa and someone else's Mom would bring cookies.  What a great time we had!"

Skating on the ice rink