2001-04-28 / Columnists

1900’s Family Photo A Mystery To Solve Historical Views On The Rockaways Emil R. Lucev

1900’s Family Photo A Mystery To Solve
Historical Views On The Rockaways
Emil R. Lucev

The postcard souvenir photo published today in historical views struck yours truly as being unusual. It does not appear to be just a souvenir photo to be sent in the mail, and as a matter of fact- it was not posted. There is no stamp, postmark, address, or special message on the back. The picture was taken in T.W. Rodman’s Hollywood Studio, Seaside, Rockaway Beach, New York. Souvenir photos became popular in the early 1900’s.

What makes this group photo special, is that I believe that it is a family portrait , taken at Rodman’s Hollywood Avenue (Beach 101 Street) Studio on the seaside bowery, during the time of a family get together in seaside. The scene backdrop shows a train at top right- about to cross a bridge. Most souvenir photos were of stiffly posed people dressed to the nines- on a photo drop , marked Rockaway or Rockaway Beach.

If my powers of observation are right the couple on the right are locals. Their sleeves are rolled up, just as if they are at home-relaxed! The other men and women are dressed like visitors, as are the children.

They are young couples, and look like brothers and sisters with wives, husbands, and children and after a family dinner all went for an afternoon walk on seaside’s old Bowery Amusement Strip- passing Hollywood Studio- and decided to have a family portrait taken. If it were not for the studio name on the back, this could be anywhere in the U.S.A.

I hope that someone out there in Waveland can identify the group… for this is what drives historians nuts!

The second souvenir photo appearing today is of an unidentified lad seated in a boat prop at Rodman’s Seaside Studio. He did not sign the card, but sent it to a Miss Bethel Krumenacher, who lived in Floral Park, Queens. He gave his address as Springfield Road, Queens.

The stamp was placed upside sown, which signified- a kiss for you- in the old days. The postmark states August 17, 1908- Jamaica, Queens.

Whomever you are, are you and Bethel still out there…somewhere?

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