Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Early 1900s Part 1: Brooklyn

I've been reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a classic 1943 book by Betty Smith about a young girl growing up poor in Brooklyn around 1912-1916.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
royalbooks.com, first edition of 1943 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Images that come to my mind as I read are pleasant but vague.  So I've gathered a collection of 1912-1916 Brooklyn images that help to set the stage for this book:

Tenament housing in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is where Francie Nolan grew up.  It probably looked something like this:

brooklynpix.com; Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg Brooklyn 1916

Factories were nearby where the people worked hard to earn a meager living:

mcnycblog.org, "The Struggle to Save the Austin, Nichols, and Co. Warehouse"
brooklynhistory.org: female factory workers 1915 ca, Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory

Brooklyn (Trolley) Dodgers had another season in the new Ebbett's Field in 1913:

Ebbets Field 1913
thebaseballpage.com, "Ebbett's Field 1913"

A "trolley dodger" was a negative name that people from Manhattan had for the people of Brooklyn--because of Brooklyn's many trolleys (see wikipedia under "trolley dodger").  Here you can see a major intersection of trolleys in Brooklyn:

ebay.com photo for sale, "1916 Flatbush-Nostrand Aves Junction Trolleys Flatlands Brooklyn NYC Photo"

Brooklyn's Vitagraph Studios was one of the first film studios:

brooklynology.brooklynpuliclibrary.org: 1913 fashion shoot at Vitagraph Studios

Now that we've looked at Brooklyn specifically, I will be posting about early 1900s interior color schemes, flooring, wall coverings, lighting, furniture, and upholstery in another post.  I want to give everyone out there with a house built around this time the context for the architects and builders at that time.

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