Ah! Those Old Dog Day Afternoons

Congrats to Nathan’s and all who have helped to make the 4th of July Hot Dog Eating Contest such a fun part of Coney Island history! Vintage ad for Nathan’s Famous from the Coney Island History Project Archive: “Almost as famous as the Atlantic Ocean…Nathan’s…where the frankfurter is king… and queen too”!

Rolling Through Seasons

Four scenes from Seasons of the Cyclone; a short film by Charles Denson, Director of the Coney Island History Project.

A Distant Evening’s Radiance

Early motion picture effort to capture the dazzling nighttime activity at Coney Island‘s three great amusement hubs: Luna Park, Dreamland and Steeplechase Park. It was shot by Edwin S. Porter, pioneering director of The Great Train Robbery and Life of an American Fireman. His innovative use of dissolves (gradual image transitions) helped pave the way for continuity editing.

On This Day: Luna Park

On this day in 1903 the first-ever Luna Park opened in Coney Island! Charles Denson describes it as “a visual delight, a ‘grotesquely delightful’ storybook fantasyland filled with hundreds of towers, domes, spires, and minarets, all decorated with thousands of electric lights. It was known as the ‘Electric Eden,’ a city ‘sketched in flame.'” Poster from the Coney Island History Project‘s May 2010 exhibit “Luna Park Revisited” about Thompson & Dundy’s iconic park and the creation of Zamperla‘s new Luna Park NYC.

Frosty Sun Worshipers

Long before tanning salons, winter sunbathing was a popular pastime in Coney Island! Clad in overcoats, these regulars are catching some rays back in February 1952. The chairs and reflectors were rented by the hour! AP Photo

Personally, at first glance, I thought these people were dead! Happy to learn that they were in fact enjoying themselves in the sunlight.

Source: Coney Island History Project–Facebook