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Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Two photos of ‘Small people in pairs’

June 26, 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:

Last week, I displayed “People in pairs.” In many cases, there was a lot to say about the people featured — their careers, their relationships to each other, and details about their activities or the settings they were in. This week’s theme, “Small people in pairs,” sounds similar, but it’s really very different. In most cases, there’s not much to say about the photos’ subjects — maybe a bit of background, where they are, what they’re doing. But it’s mostly just interesting to look at and reflect a little on what kids of various ages are like.

I’ve tried to provide a variety of settings and circumstances, like I did with the adults last week. Though it wasn’t a major area of my father’s work, a number of his clients brought him into contact with young people — certainly enough to generate hundreds of interesting images of kids of all ages, who are all adorable.

Today’s photos:

The last two pictures of the week feature nothing but the basics. Just pictures of kids, captured in a candid and genuine moment and providing us with a feeling we can connect to.

Those are a lot of candles! May 7, 1945

These two girls with big smiles must be the center of attention. They are presiding over a cake with a lot of candles. I haven’t tried to count the candles, but there should be 100. There is an overflow crowd for this day of celebration at the Packer Collegiate Institute in honor of the Institute’s centennial.


Big and little, c. February 1940

These two are residents of the Brooklyn Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Though moving toward foster placements and short-term direct care, the BHOA at this time still had “traditional” residents from families that couldn’t care for their children. The littler boy is riding the tricycle with the big boy as passenger. The little one is gazing up proudly. The background fades away, leaving these two as the unmistakable focus.

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 8: Photos of ‘Small people in pairs’

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