Brooklyn Baby Pictures | May 1st, 1916.

May 2, 2015 § 4 Comments

I’m really loving my new photo scanner and all that it brings. Since my dad was much older than my mother most of his family is now gone. Fortunately they left us with a plethora (one of my dad’s favorite words) of images. I found this small envelope tucked away in one of my grandfather’s albums with negatives from May 1st, 1916.1916 Negative Envelope075 copy

My dad would have been around 10 months old then. I never met my grandmother Rose and when I look at these pictures that are now almost 100 years old I still feel this longing to. Growing up everyone around me spoke about her. How she was funny with a dry wit and quick temper and very pretty when she met my grandfather. My mother still uses some of her sayings like “What a boring world this would be if we all wore the same hat”. I wonder what she sounded like. She’s so stylish in the pictures. I love the Polka Dotted veil she’s wearing. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the fascination I have with my grandfather’s history and I think one reason is because he saw so many changes in his lifetime. For most of us things haven’t changed that much. Yes we use technology more, but it’s not like we never had it. My grandfather went from horses to cars and gas lamps to electricity. What I find interesting in these pictures too is how many things in New York City still haven’t changed. It makes me think of the novel Time and Again.


If you stood in just the right spot you might be able to go back in time.


Vinmont Veteran Park, Bronx.

I had my struggles the first 2 years, see? Until your grandmother was pregnant with your father. Then she says we gotta settle down, because I was going from one town to the other. As soon as I had a job, earned some money, saved up a little, I spent it on railroad fare. You can’t travel around with a baby coming. We settled first in the Bronx.  We had this one room furnished apartment and I found myself a good job cutting pocket books. Bags. Never did it before in my life, but it was good money. Made more money then I could in the shoe factories. There were seasons in those days for every trade and when the seasons finished the shoe factory started to get in business. I saw an ad for a job in Brooklyn. I went over to Brooklyn to apply for the job in this factory and I got the job. I liked it, so I said to grandmother, I says lets move to Brooklyn. I was still Penny Pinching. I didn’t have any money. I had no money to even buy a baby carriage to take him out in the air. There was a little park near us then and we use to carry him in our arms over to the park and we use to sit on a bench so as he had fresh air or make a bed for him on the bench – your Dad. All I was trying to do was striving all the time to get enough, earn enough money to get the necessities of life.  – Ben Benjamin

The Historialist: INTRODUCING BEN BENJAMIN (1891 – 1982) DESIGNER & SHOEMAKER | Part 1

Grandpa - 1916062Grandma Rose, Dad 1916064Dad 1916067History of Brooklyn – Early 20th Century

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