Remembering Coney Island – New York, NY (1907)

My first understanding of the impact of Coney Island on the imagination of New York City residents came from reading the short stories of O. Henry when I was very young.

In these tales, the shop girls and their swains flocked to Coney Island for a glimpse of amusements, curiosities and splendors in the wider world.

From the Wiki entry:

“Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States, attracting several million visitors per year. Its development as an amusement area was concurrent with the erection of urban amusement parks elsewhere in the United States, which changed amusement from a passive to an active concept.

Of these amusement areas, Coney Island was the largest. At its height, it contained three competing major amusement parks—Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park—as well as many independent amusements.”

Among the millions who visited Coney Island in 1907 were three friends.

In this postcard, the friends celebrated their Coney Island excursion by posing for a novelty postcard.

This is cleverly done; the three faces superimposed on a trio of donkey riders.

I cannot discern the post office from which the card was mailed; it was addressed to Port Carbon in Schuylkill County, and the receiving postmark is very visible on the face of the postcard.

Mailed by “your darling baby”, the sender terms the three friends, “the Donkey Club”.

Clearly, someone had fond memories of the adventure; the postcard has survived for more than a century.


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