Brooklyn Boro

Kaufman’s Brooklyn: May 21: Two photos from the ‘Having fun’ collection

May 21, 2020 Phil Kaufman
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My father, Irving Kaufman (1910 – 1982), was a professional photographer who started in Brooklyn in the mid 1930s working for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. He captured thousands of images of Brooklyn through the 1950s. I have recently digitized a great many of them. My father’s profile can be found here.

This week’s theme:

This week’s photos are all about “Having Fun.” There are lots of different ways to have fun. What’s fun for one may be torture to another (Running — on purpose?; Monopoly — you must be kidding!). Indoors, outdoors; young, older; physical, cerebral; alone, with random others or with special others.

Today’s photos:

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Today’s two pictures have water in common. OK, that’s a stretch. They’re both recreational activities that people usually participate in with many others, mostly strangers, and with no particular format or orderliness. One’s a winter activity, the other summer, though indoor variations of both have let us overcome nature.

Real winter, mid-’30s

This is a classic, old-fashioned winter scene. Everybody in town, out skating on a firmly frozen lake. I can’t supply any information. The negative is glass and was in a box with other old glass images, but none with anything resembling this scene. Unless my father snuck it in or mistakenly mixed in a shot taken elsewhere, I have to assume this is Brooklyn. If you recognize it or can even make a guess, please let me know.


The most luxurious in the world, undated

It doesn’t look particularly luxurious here, does it? It’s crowded and chaotic. But when staged properly, as this group did in their advertising, it seemed quite impressive: Olympic-sized, enormous mirrored ceiling, a spectator level, a waterfall, mosaics, and art deco accents. Though eventually opened up to outsiders for a fee, it was originally for hotel guests only. “Which hotel?” you ask. The St. George, of course.

An index of Kaufman’s Brooklyn posts may be found here.

Irving Kaufman’s profile may be found here.

I invite you to submit comments, memories, images of Brooklyn, and especially any additional background information you can supply about the photos posted here to [email protected]. I’d also be glad to supply information about buying prints of any of the images seen here. Many of my father’s images are also available for viewing and purchase at All prints purchased will be the product of professional scanning and editing.

Weekly collection 3: Photos from the ‘Having Fun’ collection

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  1. Harvey Fishman

    Could that be Prospect Park Lake? I skated there in the late 1940s. I can’t see enough of the background in the photo to tell as the picture is too small.