Pinning Brooklyn History


I found this very awesome website which allows users to pin photos of their favorite places on Google maps. As you can see from above it sort of brings the past to life again and that’s always cool. I haven’t delved into all the features as yet, but History Pin includes a search function and time line. The results are narrowed down by section and their selection of pictures are fantastic. You just click on the pin and it brings up all the photos in each set. The majority of the photos were provided by the Brooklyn museum and the Museum of the City of New York.

Check out the sets labeled “Brooklyn” Here.

Random Old Brooklyn Facts

In 1790, the population of Brooklyn was a mere 15,394 persons. In 2012 there is still a dispute over the exact amount, but it has ballooned to over 2 and 1/2 million people.


Coney Island, An Illustrated Guide to the Sea, A first hand account of Coney Island in 1883:

“We sailed down the bay in an antiquated steamer (in 1863), mid scenes of confusion and hilarity. At the landing there was a barn-like bar-room, more conspicuous than the dingy dining-room with two barrels at either end supporting boards used as a lunch or dining counter. Chops, choweder, steaks, etc., of a very inferior quality, were purveyed at the prices of fashionable restaurants in the Metropolis.

“Three-card monte-me and swindlers occupied tables along the beach, which either for bathing purposes or promenade could not be surpassed. It is no exaggeration to say that respectable citizens, and especially ladies, could not visit this Island then without danger of robbery…”

Coney Island: New York’s Playground: Dreamland

Documentary created and Uploaded by ethelmalley on Youtube.

The Scott Russo Archives

If you close your eyes you can imagine yourself in that yesteryear walking and touring the spacious Dreamland and all its wonders and little curios. The vision may at first appear jumpy and black and white…and despite everyone animatedly talking and laughing, their voices are silent. The music starts off as if drifting on an echo and grows louder. The fun scenes come into sharper focus, you can smell the tasty foods and salty ocean air and it invigorates all your senses. Daydream a little harder and you will start to see Coney Island of the past in all its colorful glory.

Fulton Street Trading Cards from the 19th & Early 20th Century

Just as it is a diverse hub of activity today, Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn was once home to a score of lively businesses and factories. Long before that time, it was an Indian Path that lead to Hempstead Plains in Long Island. Fulton Street, like many other places in America, was named after the American Inventor and Engineer, Robert Fulton.

The proof of this active commercialism can be seen in a colorful and fine collection of advertisements, commonly known as Trading Cards. They were the grandaddy of the modern-day business cards. In my opinion these lovely cards have a lot more heart and appeal than their modern counterparts. Frankly, anything that is painstakingly designed, hand-drawn and crafted without the use of modern technology, tends to be. Like most advertisements in the past, companies relied heavily on dramatic and sweet art work, elegant fonts, and background embellishments to sell their products.

Half the time these masterpieces had little to do with the actual product. For example, in the trading card above, what does cute, chubby children and a terrier on a beach have to do with furniture, bedding, and stoves? Perhaps the advertisers were sending a subconscious message to consumers: Make sure your home is well furnished for when they come home after a long day of frolicking in the sand!

Either way, the trading cards were often pleasing to look at, and the mind-set and sensibilities of people in the 19th century were far different than ours.

Check out the full 245 card collection that has been digitally restored and showcased in the Brooklyn Public Library Databases.

The Fulton Street Trade Card Collection