Bring back some good or bad memories


December 3, 2023

Positively Camera Shy at O’Reilly’s Bar on Third Avenue, New York City, ca. 1942

Photojournalist Marjory Collins snapped these two women at O’Reilly’s Bar on Third Avenue, New York City in 1942 while documenting a night out for the Office of War Information (many sailors there were enjoying a final night of leave). The sign reads, “Positively no gentlemen served in booths unless accompanied by a lady.  – The Management.”

It’s possible the women are covering their faces to avoid being seen out in public at a bar –– or, perhaps, in the day before selfies and cellphones, they simply didn’t want their picture taken. Marjory didn’t identify them, but then she only captioned the photo as “O’Reilly’s bar on Third Avenue in the ‘Fifties,’” not giving the exact name or cross street.

Marjory Collins (1912–1985) covered the home front extensively in World War II, having studied at Sweet Briar College and the University of Munich. She started her documentary photographic career after selling her wedding silver to buy a camera. From 1942-1943, Collins traveled the United States, completing 50 assignments that captured American life.


Post a Comment



Browse by Decades

Popular Posts


09 10