Archive

1940




Extra! Weegee!, pp. 300-301

“Weegee” Lends a Helping Hand
New York — Down at the Bronx Terminal Market, 151st and Exterior Sts., to cover the picketing by retail dealers, photographer “Weegee” got into the swing of things and carried a placard for the picketers. Here, he holds up the sign denouncing black marketeers, all the while puffing on his big cigar and keeping his camera handy for a good picture. The market was picketed by dealers protesting the black market and tie-in sales.
5/29/45



PM, August 20, 1940

They’d Sooner Be at the Beach But, Heat or No Heat, Jobs Are Scarce
Weegee, the wag, finished up the day by taking his own picture in the darkroom. Note camera release in his hand.


PM, December 26, 1940 pp.16-17

Quakers March on New York with placards urging that America feed Hitler’s victims…

Christmas Pudding for these wounded British soldiers was served a few days early – so that this picture, sent from England by ship nail, could get here on Christmas day…

A Hitler Greeting of holiday ill-will toward England is loaded under a German bombing plane…

Loose Locomotive without a crew ran down spur in Chicago…

Nazi Troops are stationed in key spots throughout Rumania…

Union Label is the name of this strip act…

President Roosevelt Takes His Family and Guests to Church on Christmas…

Trans-Atlantic Greetings… are broadcast by Mayor LaGuardia and Lily Pons…

American Refugees arrive on S.S. Washington from the Orient…

First Aid fails to revive Paul Ryan, killed by a gas explosion in his apartment at 865 First Ave. Police said it was apparently suicide. The Christmas night blast shook the 17-story building and injured two house employees. PM photo by Weegee

PM, December 26, 1940 pp.16-17

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865 First Ave., December 25 or 26, 2012


865 First Ave., December 26, 2020


PM, December 24, 1940


(Only six hours, and one time zone, seperates Weegee Creek, OH, and Santa Claus, IN…)


Weegee, Naked City, 1945, pp.158-159

Not so long ago I, too, used to walk on the Bowery, broke, “carrying the banner.” The sight of a bed with white sheets in a furniture store window, almost drove me crazy. God… a bed was the most desirable thing in the world.

In the summer I would sleep in Bryant Park… But when it got colder I transferred to the Municipal Lodging House… I saw this sign on the wall there. A Sadist must have put u=it up. I laughed to myself… what Cash and Valuables… I didn’t have a nickel to my name, but I was a Free Soul… with no responsibilities…

Slumber-time in a mission… it’s Christmas.


PM, December 23, 1940, p.1

Boy Meets Girl – and that’s no posed meeting as he came home last night on Christmas furlough with 5000 other soldiers. That’s not anguish you read in the face of the woman at the right. The Christmas package in her hand as she waits for her soldier is the tip-off. She too, is overcome with joy. (See page 15.) Photo by Weegee
PM, December 23, 1940, p.1

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PM, December 23, 1940, p15. PM photos by Weegee

Home For Christmas Are the Soldiers From Alabama.
For nearly seven hours wives, girl friends, mothers and fathers swarmed into Pennsylvania Station to greet 5000 men returning from Fort McClellan, Anniston, Ala., on Christmas furlough. The special sections ran far behind schedule but the festive spirit of the crowd overwhelmed any feeling of boredom at the delay. The off schedules were caused by heavy traffic on southern routes of other trains distributing the new trainees throughout the country for the holidays. Then, too, special stops had to be made to take aboard more drinking water and sandwiches. Here, part of the crowd waits.

Marie Buoragura of 69 Marcy Ave., Brooklyn, trusts that there are not too many soldiers named John but the signal, written in lipstick on a newspaper carries her message.

What their names are is not particularly important. The picture of Him meeting Her is eloquent enough in its bliss and perfect obliviousness to thousands of others who gave and received similar greetings at the station. The soldiers will remain here for none days, then entrain back to Alabama.
PM, December 23, 1940, p.15.

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Grand Central Station, December 23, 2012

…People swarmed Grand Central Station… the Apple store overwhelmed any feeling of boredom. (Weegee, a wartime photographer…) Here, part of the crowd walks, waits, and photographs…



Grand Central Station, December 24, 2020


PM, December 23, 1940

These Pictures Are PM’s Gift to You…
They are being given to readers who give PM Christmas gift subscriptions. Page 7 gives details.

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PM, December 26, 1940, p15

Weegee Covers Christmas in New York… In Pictures and Words…

By Weegee

Early Christmas Eve I received a phone call from Wesley Price, one of PM’s picture editors. Price told me he wanted a good holiday picture, something with plenty of OOMPH. Lots of Christmas spirit in it. in other words a masterpiece. Jokingly I replied you just couldn’t order a picture like that, like you would a box of cigars. It had to happen. However, I asked him if he had any suggestions. He suggested that I get the picture in for the first edition.

I left police headquarters in my car at 2:30 Christmas morning. I turned the two radios on. One the regular broadcast receiver, to get some holiday music to put me in the mood; and the other radio, a police short wave receiver to get the police signals so I would know what was going on.

The first police call I picked up was for West and Bank Sts. When I got there I found a car with a Jersey license, turned on its side, with a cop on top of it. Nobody seemed to be hurt. Soon a towing wagon arrived to take the car away. I made a shot of it and was on my way.

Then I picked up six fire alarm signals. They were all false. I didn’t think Santa did that.

Then I stopped at the All Night Mission at No. 8 Bowery. [Not the still extant Bowery Mission.] Every night in the year about 100 hopelessly beaten and homeless men sit on benches and sleep as best they can.

Except for a Christmas tree in front, everything was the same. The same despair and hopelessness. I tiptoed in at 4 in the morning, being careful not to disturb anyone. Everyone was asleep. The place was as usual playing to “Sitting up” only. The same electric sign was lit with the illuminated big letters, JESUS SEES, the only source of light in the place. I wondered if He approved…

On the way out, along a big stove near the door, I noticed a pair of stockings, turned inside out, hung to dry.

Next I picked up a police alarm for 102nd St. and Lexington Ave. When I got there I found a man had been stabbed to death and was lying on the corner. From the St. John’s Episcopal Church, on the opposite corner, came the sound of organ music and the singing of the Christmas worshipers. I made a shot of the scene and started back to police headquarters.

When I arrived at my home, in back of Police Headquarters, I found a package wrapped in fancy paper outside my door. It was a present from my Chinese laundry man, Willie Chu, of 95 Elizabeth St. It contained a pound of tea and a half pound of lichee nuts. I had been looking for the Christmas spirit all night long. And had found it, on my doorstep. Lichee NUTS to you, Santa Claus…

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Weegee’s Christmas day journey (on a Google Map), might look like this.

A soon-to-be classic New York City Christmas story…


PM, December 26, 1940, p15


The New York Times, October 18, 1948


5500 New Yorkers Will Spend Christmas Like This… … Sleeping in Flophouses, Eating in City Dining Halls (PM Sketches by Willard Arnold)
[Palace Hotel, 315 Bowery… formerly, CBGBs, etc.]


There’s No Christmas Truce in Labor’s War with Ford… (Photo by Alan Fisher)
The Levines (Who Own This Building) Came From Podolsk to Orchard St. (Photos by ?)


They Have a 4-Room Apartment Full of Things They Admire… … But They Spend Nearly All Their Time at the Store (Photos by ?)
PM, December 24, 1940, pp. 16-21


[141 Orchard St., 2017]


New Yorker cover, August 6 and/or 13, 2018 and/or Weegee, Naked City, pp. 178-179

You’re based in London. Where did you get this vision of a beach day?”

“The spark for this idea came from a 1940 photograph by Weegee, which shows Coney Island beach completely covered with people: a whole city decamped onto the sand. In London, we have a similar thing with parks, which fill to bursting point when the hot summer weather comes.”
Tom Gauld’s “On The Beach”, By Françoise Mouly, July 30, 2018, newyorker.com

Coincidentally and irrelevantly… 75 years ago today:


PM, August 1, 1943
“Sketched on the spot, by Grant Reynard, July 1943.”


PM, November 6, 1940

The Lower East Side Watches Its Champ Win
“Thousands of the people who most love the President jammed East Broadway on the lower East Side last night to cheer his third-term victory. They are reading election bulletins flashed by the Jewish Daily Forward in this remarkable photo. Photo by Weegee
PM, November 6, 1940