1900’s Family History

My great-grandfather and great-grandmother on my mother’s side of the family were mentioned in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for an engagement and wedding announcement between the years 1911 and 1912.

I believe it was common in that era to run ads for special announcements like this. Particularly if you had a higher standing in society. Newspapers in the past often posted the address of the people mentioned in their articles. Unfortunately today that’d be an extremely dangerous thing to do.

If your family has roots in Brooklyn going back between the publication years of 1841 – 1955, use the search engine on the The Brooklyn Newsstand Archive  to type in names and events. You may find your ancestors mentioned. It’s a fun and educational resource provided by the Brooklyn Public Library for history buffs, writers, bloggers, and anyone who wants to know the newsworthy events, lifestyles, and interests of Brooklynites during the Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century.

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Brooklyn Visual Heritage

Brooklyn Visual Heritage partners with the Brooklyn Historical Society, The Brooklyn Public library, and the Brooklyn Museum to celebrate Brooklyn’s rich history through fantastic pictures from the 19th and 20th century. It’s in blog format and the photos are available with watermarks. Prints can be ordered and as much background information as possible is provided for each image.

Happy viewing!

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Washington Street, Brooklyn (1872-1877)

Long before the bridges even stood:

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Re-posted from the Brooklyn Museum Photostream on Flickr.

George Bradford Brainerd (American, 1845-1887). Washington Street, Brooklyn, ca. 1872-1887. Wet-collodion negative. Prints, Drawings and Photographs. Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection, 1996.164.2-1767. (1996.164.2-1767_g

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