Saturday, January 14, 2017

Young Ladies Visit Coney Island, 1905



In this vintage 1905 motion picture, a group of young ladies in white dresses visit Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York. Some of the amateur gags involve the girls outrunning their chaperones.


They climb onto a big horseless carriage, open their parasols, and visit Dreamland, with its thrill rides, the Steeplechase, and the beach. The film captures the spirit of buoyant fun and playfulness of that era. (Link to video on YouTube)



Incidentally, the title cards seem to be made of felt letters. A set of flimsy letters cut out of white wool felt can be repositioned on a black or green felt background. It sticks to itself like weak Velcro, with no need for glue, tape, or pushpins.

I still remember these felt or "flannel" boards when I was in grade school in the early 1960s. If a kid was good in class, they would be allowed to make the felt sign in the front of the classroom that might have a seasonal message. You can still buy educational flannel boards, or better yet make your own out of Merino wool felt, which would feel much nicer in the hand.
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Previously: The story of Coney Island's Dreamland
Thanks, Kay

5 comments:

Alex MacKenzie said...

What a fun movie! Yes, having grown up in the '60s, I remember felt letter boards. I used a variation of the idea as a kid -- we always had felt scraps at home for craft projects, and anytime I was stuck in bed sick, I would cut out felt figures of animals, buildings, trees etc in all different colors, and use the blanket propped up by my knees as the board, upon which I would then tell stories with the figures, moving them around as I rattled away to myself.

Steve said...

Charming look at a more innocent time. I remember going to the part of Coney Island called Steeplechase (The Funny Place) in the mid-1950s. Some of the "rides" in this film were still there. I recall especially enjoying the long curving slides of polished wood -- all the more polished for having been used for fifty years. In reading the Wikipedia entry on Steeplechase, it was head-snapping to learn the property was acquired in the 1960s by....Fred Trump (Donald's father).

Dow said...

Fascinating video!

doug goodale said...

Interesting that the horseless is right hand drive.

Peter Drubetskoy said...

Thanks a lot for that fascinating movie! Incidentally, my brother was telling me the other day about a book by Rem Koolhaas - the Dutch "starchitect" - called "Delirious New York", that tells the story of Coney Island, including Dreamland, the fire etc - in some detail. I just started reading it, but my bother says it is an eye-opener when it comes to the history of New York and its development. Hare's a PDF version I found.