vintage, nostalgia and memories


October 16, 2017

Extra! Weegee – Striking Vintage Photographs Capture Everyday Life in New York City in the Late 1930s and Early ’40s

No photographer came close to capturing the sensations, scandals, and catastrophes of 1930s and ’40s New York like Ascher Fellig, a.k.a Weegee (1899-1968). His striking images—captured through his uncanny ability to be on the spot and ready to shoot when things happened—have become part of the visual vocabulary through which we understand the period.

According to Retronaut, in 2012, a forgotten trove of Weegee images was found in a Midwest storage facility. Those photos have been collected in a new book, Extra! Weegee, edited by Daniel Blau.

In this book, we see new angles on many of his familiar subjects—from the hardened police officer to the loud-mouthed crook; the midnight boozer to the dancing jazz musician; a dramatic conflagration to the celebrations at the end of World War II—but we also get a glimpse of an unknown side of Weegee through surprising photographs of happy people enjoying themselves. The works are complemented by a fascinating account of the rediscovery of the archive, which had been missing for decades.

c. 1939: "Nobody Works on Labor Day!"

c. 1939: "St. Martins Church."

Dec. 15, 1939: Henrietta Torres and her daughter Ada outside a deadly tenement fire in Brooklyn.

Jan. 1, 1940: “Ice Sheathed Firemen at Coney Island New Year’s Eve Fire."

1940: Buddy the bulldog hangs out among the milk bottles in the lobby of 850 Park Avenue.

April 29, 1941: A black cat found dropped in a mailbox on West 42nd Street with some pretzels and clams to snack on.

Oct. 27, 1941: "Flood Halts Bronx Subway."

March 29, 1942: "Almost a Nosedive."

April 16, 1942: "Crash Victim."

1943: “Fireman holding Torahs saved from a fire."

April 28, 1943: “Hep Cats in a Hurry — Hurry, Hurry, Hurry — Only 6000 Seats Left.”

Sept. 8, 1943: "It'll be a Pleasure."

1945: Military personnel wave from the portholes of a ship.

June 14, 1945: "Keeping Cool."

July 27, 1945: "The Critic."

Aug. 14, 1945: Sailors celebrate VJ Day.

(Photos by Weegee, via Mashable/Retronaut)

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