Daily photographs by HANS VON RITTERN, with humorous, artistic and social commentary on life in the big city.

Posts tagged “George WaSHINGTON

Postcard story from New York – “THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE – ‘THE JUMPING OFF PLACE‘ ” post card sent with a George Washington connection!


Postcard story from New York – “THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE – ‘THE JUMPING OFF PLACE‘ ” post card sent with a George Washington connection!

New York, June 02, 12:30pm, 1906

To: Miss May McCorkle

Davis & Wiley Bank.

Salisbury, North Carolina

“The jumping off place”

A macabre sense of humor or did the sender really jump? No records have been kept of early day suicide jumps off the Brooklyn Bridge, so we will have to guess: joke or jump?

The addressee is rather an astonishing distinguished surprise! Miss Elizabeth May McCorkle of North Carolina, was wife to ruling church elder Mr. Orin Datus Davis.

Mr. Davis has served the church in various ways, including the guardianship of its invested funds. He has been its representative many times in Presbyteries and Synods, and was a Commissioner to meetings of the General Assembly in Lexington, Virginia, and Bristol, Tennessee. He also was founder of the Davis and Wiley Bank of North Carolina which dates back to the mid 1800’s.

In his married life Mr. Davis was fortunate as in other matters. Seeking guidance from the “Giver of all Good“, he selected Miss Elizabeth May McCorkle as his helpmate and companion in life aka wife. She is the eldest daughter of the late James M. McCorkle, Esq., a leading lawyer of the Salisbury Bar, and a lineal descendant of Colonel Richard Brandon of Revolutionary fame. Colonel Brandon’s daughter, Elizabeth, it will be remembered, was the “little woman” who provided a hasty breakfast for General George Washington on the occasion of his visit to Salisbury in 1781 ! So Elizabeth May McCorkle is the daughter of the “little woman” who served George Washington breakfast. Amazing the things you discover when researching old postcards!!


1939 WORLD'S FAIR collage


August 10, 1pm, 1939

To: F. W. Woolworth Co



Hell-o Everybody! Surely having a nice time. Waited 1 hr 40 min. to get General Motors Building. I am sitting here where I can see millions of peple waiting to see Billy Rose Aquacade. We are  going to tour N.Y. City to-morrow. Will see you soon. How is the kitten?


Description: Demonstrating a new form in theater construction, the Hall of Music uses the flowing lines of functional construction throughout. Two and a half thousand spectators daily fill it’s auditorium to hear and see many of the great musical presentations of our times. Architects – Reinhard and Hofmeister. 

– Bellefontaine, (Logan County) Ohio in 1939 had a population of 9,800 people. Today it has approx. 13,200.

– The 1939 NY World’s Fair opened on April 30, 1939, a very hot Sunday. The April 30 date coincided with the 150th anniversary of George Washington’s inauguration as President in New York City. President Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein gave opening speeches.

– Television was seen my most people for the very first time in a transparent set to show it wasn’t trickery and really technology.

– The General Motors building Katherine waited so long in line for was actually called ‘Futurama’ and showed life in the future 1960 with vast automated highways and expressways all done in a futuristic art deco-like style.

– At the World’s Fair Music Hall a visitor could be entertained by Bill “Bo Jangles” Robinson and a cast of more than 200 other performers in Michael Todd’s “Hot Mikado.”

– The famed Aquacade show was produced by Broadway celebrity Billy Rose (once married to Fanny Brice) “a brilliant ‘girl’ show of spectacular size and content.” The amphitheater seated 10,000 people and looked out over the water towards a stage 200 feet deep and 311 feet wide. Eight thousand gallons of water a minute poured into the making of a man-made Niagara which stretched 260 feet and rose forty feet in height. The art deco 11,000 seat amphitheatre was at the north end of Meadow Lake. The pool and the 300 by 200-foot (61 m) stage could be hidden behind a lighted 40-foot (12 m) high curtain of water.

– The inaugural Aquacade that Katherine saw starred Olympians Eleanor Holm, Johnny Weissmuller (later replaced by Buster Crabbe) and newcomer Esther Williams. The show contained 500 dancers, actors and swimmers. Gertrude Ederle, a Flushing Queens resident and the first woman to swim the English Channel  was an Aquacade star. Queens Borough President Donald R. Manes dedicated the pool to her in 1978.

– The New York State Marine Amphitheatre was sadly torn down in 1996 because of local opposition to renovating the asbestos-contaminated structure as a concert venue.

– The Woolworth Bellefontaine, Ohio location is today a Footlocker.

– And . . . how was the kitten doing that the workers at the local Woolworth‘s had taken in??

Here is a rare silent video of the 1939 show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na3z6K1j83w



Photo of the day: THE GRAVES AT THE WORLD TRADE CENTER – With the advent of the final spire being lifted and set in place at The New World Trade Center, Thursday May 2nd, here is a more uncommon view of the Trade Center taken from the graveyard of St. Paul’s Church. It dates back to 1766 and is one of the oldest graveyards in New York. St. Paul’s has always been known as the church George Washington attended, his pew is still inside. But today it is also known as ‘The Little Church That Stood.’ Despite it’s age and being right across the street of the former Twin Towers, the church did not have one chip in the stone, nor one crack in the glass while all the other buildings in the immediate area suffered damage. It is ironic that this old graveyard would come to be an unusual vantage point of what is now yet another grave site across the street.

Photo of the day: SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR $10. BILL!

Hamilton_Grange 2012

SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOUR $10. BILL! – Take a look at an American $10. bill and you will have Alexander Hamilton staring right back you! So what would you give your dad on his 258th birthday? For Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, it will be a couple of open house celebrations in upper Manhattan.

Born on January 11, 1755, on the Caribbean island of Nevis, Alexander Hamilton, ascended from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential figures in United States’ history. He was a protégé of the country’s first president, George Washington. But in his own right, Hamilton was a distinguished statesman, soldier, economist, newspaper founder, lawyer and the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury, therefore his place of honor on our $10 bills. A scandalous extra-marital affair clouded his reputation; a political rivalry led to his violent death in a deadly dual with our third vice president Aaron Burr, sound just like politics in 2013! He is buried in the cemetery at the oldest Episcopal church in New York City the Trinity Church located at the entrance to Wall Street.

On Saturday, January 12, Alexander Hamilton’s birthday looms over two great uptown houses. As one would guess, the Hamilton Grange National Memorial (seen above, his summer home) will toast its original owner on West 141st Street between Convent and St. Nicholas Avenues. But a concurrent tribute will take place at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, at West 160th Street between St. Nicholas and Edgecombe Avenues as well. It is there that both men planned their defeat of the British. So happy 258th birthday Mr. Hamilton, you don’t look a day over 40!

(Did you know you can’t xerox/photocopy money, newer copy machines have some sort of block built into them.)