Category Archives: friday photo

Friday Photo, Fort Greene History Edition

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More than 350 years ago Brooklyn took its original name from that of Breukelen in the Dutch province of Utrecht on the Vecht River.  Here we see the earlier town’s square.  Whereas our borough is now home to 2.6 million, Breuckelen still thrives at 15,000.  And, like Brooklyn being spooned into New York City in 1898, our Dutch namesake is going to be folded in to a nearby larger city.  (Courtesy Brooklyn Paper.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)

Friday Photo, Fort Greene History Edition

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Pivotal in the march of African Americans toward human rights was Marian Anderson, a contralto of “intrinsic beauty.” Only once did she appear in opera, preferring recitals or concerts. When she sang at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1938, the hall announced “Standing Room Only.” That was just a year before Eleanor Roosevelt asked her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial after the DAR refused her entry to Constitution Hall in Washington. (Courtesy BAM.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)

Friday Photo, Fort Greene History Edition

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For the cause of their country, these naval personnel gave up their limbs during World War I. With its extensive medical facilities at the Brooklyn Navy Yard along Wallabout Bay, the Naval Hospital fitted returning amputees with prostheses designed up to that period. (Courtesy National Archives, the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)

Friday Photo: Fort Greene History Edition

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Before electronic surveillance gates, these “Rosie the Riveters” — first-ever women to work at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II — had to open their handbags for security reasons. Assuredly the guards found nothing more sinister or explosive than a mirror, lipstick, sanitary pads and bobby pins.  In all, the Navy Yard workers jumped from 10,000 in 1938 to some 70,000 by war’s end. (Courtesy National Archives, the Brookyln Navy Yard.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)

Friday Photo: Ft Greene History Edition

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Arrival of water mains, sewers and flush toilets in the 1860s created a new use of outdoor privy pots as spots for trash. All these bottles are more than four score years old, from deep down. The small bottle was the type usually contained bitters, heavy with alcohol, which women often used for cramps.  If a lot of those in a privy pit, you knew that Mama was a tippler.  Sunny Brook Rye at left, from Prohibition days, states that it is 50% alcohol by volume — “For medicinal purposes.” Yeah, sure! As they’d say: “First ‘ya swaller, then ‘ya holler.” (Author’s photograph.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)

Friday Photo: Ft Greene History Edition

A local resident for nearly 30 years and one-time chair of the Fort Greene Association, Howard Pitsch recently published a fascinating pictorial history of the neighborhood.  For the next six Fridays, we’ll be posting images from his book.  The Local will also feature some of the book’s photography, but CHB will be posting its own unique set of imagery from the book.

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Horses, the unrequited and often abused heroes of wagons and carriages, did not pose for this picture when everyone had to “freeze” for the slow shutter speed.  In 1860, Vandergaw was at the junction of Fulton Street and DeKalb Avenue, probably where the Dime Savings Bank stands today. The buildings in the background are not identified, although the center one would appear to be a church.  (Courtesy Roger Whitehouse collection.  From “Fort Greene” by Howard Pitsch, Foreword by Paul Palazzo, Arcadia Publishing, 2010, $22.  Available online: HistoricFortGreene.org)