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Kaufman’s Brooklyn: 11 photos of ‘The top 50 and the man who made them’

October 28, 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:

Six months, 26 weekly collections, and nearly 700 photographs. That’s quite a tally. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to display my father’s work to so many of you Brooklynites and others. To me, and I hope to many of you, it brought 1930s and ’40s Brooklyn to life, and brought my father to life.

My focus has been on the first decade or so of my father’s career, his Brooklyn years, from the mid-1930s to the late ’40s. I’ve displayed the best from those years (and some that I snuck in from later and elsewhere), so it’s time to say thank you, and close with a week of looking at the highlights.

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Choosing 50 “best” is obviously a subjective process. I’ve picked photos that I especially love, but that’s just me and that’s just for now. Another time I’d certainly have some different choices. The 50 are not arranged in any particular order. I tried to make sure each day’s selection had some variety, but other than that it’s all pretty random.

My title for the week includes not just “Top 50” but also “The man who made them.” After each day’s 10 photos, I’ve added one more of Irving Kaufman at different times in his life and career.  He is, after all, responsible for all this, and he’s the one this project is meant for.

Thanks Dad.

Note: At any point in the future, you can search the Eagle for “Kaufman’s Brooklyn” and find these posts. Using the index at the end of any day’s selection will enable you to visit any of the 26 weeks of photos.

Today’s photos:

Each day’s selection includes ten photos from the ones that have been shown here over the past six months. An 11th photo each day features my father.

The classic: Midtown Manhattan skyline taken from Beekman Hotel roof, 49th Street and First Avenue, 1940


Shoppers at Fulton Fish Market, Jan. 1941


Nurses at lunch, probably Mt. Sinai Hospital, undated


Lone walker on an empty street, undated


Stairway to heaven, Manhattan Bridge, Feb. 12, 1948


Ladders galore: Test of new equipment, June 11, 1936


Two tots looking away from the camera, Feb. 1942


Brooklyn barge, bridges, buildings, c. 1935


Quiet day at school, 1252-1260 Prospect Ave., c. 1936


Crowded card game on the stoop, undated


The photographer with his camera: Irving Kaufman, c. 1960

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 26: Photos of ‘The top 50 and the man who made them’

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