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Kaufman’s Brooklyn: Six photos of ‘Public service organizations: healthcare’

August 18, 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 theme is “Public service organizations: healthcare.” Public service organizations of all kinds comprise a large category of my father’s work in Brooklyn that I haven’t displayed yet. Many of the organizations that you’ll see this week focused on healthcare, including services for those with all manner of special needs. Some services were aimed specifically at children or the elderly. For the most part, these groups relied on extensive fundraising to support their activities.

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My father worked for quite a few healthcare agencies, including the Red Cross, the Brooklyn Tuberculosis and Health Association, the United Hospital Fund, the Visiting Nurses Association and others. There were also a number of Jewish-sponsored efforts as well as non-health related services that I’ll come back to in future posts.

Today’s photos:

Today I’ll show a couple of scenes reflecting the two primary activities of almost all charitable organizations: raising money and providing services to their client group. In this case, the organization is the United Hospital Fund.

The UHF was founded in 1879 to organize charitable support for New York’s nonprofit hospitals. During those 140 years, it has been important in helping NYC deal with its many health issues, and has helped with the establishment of many other NY healthcare organizations.

Fundraising rally, Borough Hall, March 15, 1938

I decided to show these four different perspectives for their own sake, but also for those of you who want to see what the surroundings of Borough Hall looked like in 1938.

The scene is of a fund rally for UHF. Gathering a crowd always helps in fundraising, with an added attraction here of the horse-and-buggy display. As you can see if you look closely at the small sign in the first photo, the buggies were meant to represent the look of “The Family Doctor” on call in 1840. It’s a fair-sized crowd for a chilly winter day; I hope they met their fundraising goal.


Smiles for Christmas: Hospitalized children with their gifts, undated

Here’s what some of the money went to. Children in hospitals had little reason to feel cheery, but a couple of gifts, maybe delivered by a visit from Santa, could make a difference.

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 16: Photos of ‘Public service organizations: healthcare’

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