Brooklyn Boro

Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Three photos of ‘Parks and recreation’

July 10, 2020 Phil Kaufman
Share this:

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 theme continues from last week’s: “Parks and Recreation.” Summer has arrived and with it, even with the limits necessary in our awful situation, we’ll be getting out to use the parks (very broadly defined) available for many forms of recreation. I’ve got lots of pictures for you of what some of that looked like in Brooklyn long ago.

My father didn’t do a great deal of work with recreational spaces. But enough of it came along so that many dozens of interesting shots accumulated. After posting 20 of them last week, I’ve got 20 more lined up for this week. The scenes this time include water ballet, a traveling circus, and Brooklyn’s iconic combination of Coney Island and Steeplechase.

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

Today’s photos:

More beauty in the water and more festivity to close the week.

Another lovely arrangement, summer 1940

The title says it all.


More revelry, May 26, 1939

Steeplechase certainly was a place of many amusements! These photos are from its annual Roller Skate Day. And indeed, many people are wearing skates, on the roller rink or not. But there are celebrities around, it looks like adult “dress-up” day, there’s a bicycle (maybe several), a horse and carriage, all the regular Steeplechase rides and attractions, and an overflowing bar and refreshment stand.

In case that isn’t enough, two of the women in this photo show two more activities not on display; apparently there was a selection process for “Miss Steeplechase” and somewhere off-camera there is a Steeplechase Baths.


End of season, September 21, 1936

And we close the week with virtual fireworks, compliments of Irving Kaufman and the Coney Island entertainment committee (or some such) from 1936. The view shifted southward to catch the glitter, but Dad was still on top of the Half Moon Hotel, and the crowds you can see on the beach and the boardwalk were not looking at the moon.

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 collections 9 and 10: Photos of ‘Parks and recreation’

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment