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Surf Avenue, Coney Island

Irving Underhill

This 1906 image shows the trolley service that since the 1890s had run from Park Row in lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge, inaugurated in 1883. The trolley provided an additional easy and relatively cheap trip for many working-class and immigrant visitors to Coney. (The construction of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 and the Manhattan Bridge in 1909 further facilitated the journey.) The subway would eventually replace the trolley. Here the trolley is shown running on Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s main street and transportation hub, parallel to the beach. The photograph shows the Loop the Loop, one of the first mechanical rides on the island from 1883 and a precursor to the roller coaster. Note also the many electrical lines, which supplied energy for illumination and the running of the amusement parks.
MEDIUM Gelatin dry glass plate negative
DATES 1906
ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.164.8-B10221
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Irving Underhill (American, 1872–1960). Surf Avenue, Coney Island, 1906. Gelatin dry glass plate negative Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection, 1996.164.8-B10221. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1996.164.8-B10221_glass_SL1.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1996.164.8-B10221_glass_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © Estate of Irving Underhill
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