The Nightly Parade of Rolling Chairs

The Nightly Parade of “Rolling Chairs” – Atlantic City (1912)
Thousands of vacationers descended on Atlantic City each summer day in the early years of the
twentieth century.
The famous Boardwalk provided a dazzling array of attractions and amusements if one did not care to
share the crowded beaches.
Each evening, ladies were invited to participate in the parade of “rolling chairs” – a conveyance that
resembled an elaborate, high-backed, wheelchair.
I cannot find a definitive description of this tradition, although I have seen various postcard illustrations
mailed over a period of at least ten years.
It seems that one’s husband or suitor could rent the chair and perform the labor, but hotels may have
furnished or supported the rolling chairs, also.
After a long day of promenading up and down the boardwalk, testing one’s skills at amusement arcades,
or jumping waves – being transported on a leisurely ride may have been especially welcome.
This postcard photograph was published by the Post Card Distributing Company of Atlantic City, N.J.
Anna was visiting the Jersey shore and mailed the postcard to her friend, Gertrude Voss who lived in
Olney, a section of Philadelphia.
(Readers of these postcard stories may remember that we met Gertrude previously – and noted the
history of Olney, once an independent town.
Earlier, Gertrude had received a postcard from Wildwood, New Jersey; her friends seemed to enjoy
reminding Gertrude of their long holiday excursions.)
Anna mailed the postcard from Atlantic City on June 24, 1912; she wrote that she was “down here for a
week”.
One hopes that Anna enjoyed her vacation, and had the experience of being transported in the “rolling
chair”.
One also hopes that Gertrude spent a pleasant summer in Olney.

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