Where and when was this photo made?
Wee are still tracing its publication history (it’s funny how some of Weegee’s most famous and iconic photos have ambiguous origins, like Simply Add Boiling Water)…. perhaps the first publication was in PM, November 10, 1946, (in a publication – Weegee’s People – announcement) and perhaps the second publication was as the untitled front endpaper for Weegee’s People, November 1946.
In Louis Stettner’s 1977 Weegee the Famous (pp. 42-43) the title is “Summer, the Lower East Side, 1937. (Of course many of the titles and dates are incorrect in this otherwise great book.)
In the 1982 Weegee’s New York, “Summer on the Lower East Side…” p. 178, is juxtaposed with “… a cop stops the fun, 1937” p. 179.
(The photo on page 179 was made on the Lower East Side, and probably has nothing to do with the photo on page 178, “Summer on the Lower East Side…”) (Of course many of the titles and dates are incorrect in this otherwise great book.)
In Weegee’s World, the photo appears as “Summer, the Lower East Side, ca. 1937” following a few images of people sleeping on fire escapes… and it is the oldest photo in the Lower East Side chapter (or the one with the earliest date), with two photos dated ca. 1939, and one or two from 1940.
Most of the photos in Weegee’s People were made in 1945 and 1946.
Some were published in PM, some might have been published elsewhere, and some were previously unpublished.
Wee don’t think there are any photos in Weegee’s People that were made in the 1930s.
Perhaps the photo was made in the summer of 1946, or the summer of 1945.
And perhaps it was not made in the Lower East Side, (the architecture in the background doesn’t look like the Lower East Side) perhaps it was made around Manhattan Ave. and 107th St.
In a 1946 caption the photo has the title: “Weegee’s People at Manhattan Avenue and 107th St.“
(I don’t think it was made exactly here, Manhattan Ave, and 107th St., but there’s an amusing coincidence, that there’s a guy on a fire hydrant…)
These pictures are from Weegee’s People (Duell, Sloan, Pearce, $4), which will be published on November 11. Weegee says of the new book. “Unlike my previous book, Naked City, this is New York in a happier and gayer mood. I went looking for beauty and found it. My formula – dealing as I do with human beings, and I find them wonderful – leave them alone and let them be themselves – holding hands with love-light in their eyes-sleeping-or merely walking down the street. The trick is to be where people are.” Weegee’s next venture will be movie-making”
PM Weekly, November 10, 1946, Vol. 7, No. 123, pp. m10-11
And so it was…
TO BE CONTINUED!