Tag Archives: 1944

PM, September 6, 1944, p. 16

“Take heed! New York will be bombed tomorrow!” Thus called Mrs. Elizabeth Lassen, 54, as she sat nude on the roof parapet of her apartment house at 1 W. 30th St., with her legs dangling over the edge. A neighbor induced her to leave her perch by offering her a cup of coffee. She drank the coffee and returned to the edge, but was coaxed back to safety by police who took her to Bellevue for observation . Neighbors said Mrs. Lassen had expressed concern over the safety of her husband a merchant ship caption who is at sea. PM, September 6, 1944, p. 16

And so the 24‐year‐old Parsons graduate decided to find a niche of his own. “I’ve always loved environmental fabrics,” he explained. “When I was a kid, I had swatches’ pinned all over my room.” The fabrics led to pillows and Mr. Carrieri opened his Pillow Salon at 1 West 30th Street last year. NY Times, May 18, 1968.

Living Amid Office Buildings With a Legend of Lillian Russell

George Washington never slept at 1 West 30th Street. That’s one fact accepted by the tenants of one of Manhattan’s most romantic and most improbable apartment houses.
NY Times, May 18, 1968.


Fifth Avenue and Thirtieth Street Corner Sold for One Million Dollars — Deal for Grand Street Corner — Sales by Brokers and at Auction.

Frederick Fox Co. have sold the eight-story Wilbraham building at 284 Fifth Avenue, northwest corner of Thirtieth Street, opposite the Holland House. The structure, which covers a plot 40 by 125, was one of the first and finest bachelor apartment houses erected in the Fifth Avenue section, and was owned by Mrs. Emily H. Moir. NY Times, January 3, 1908.

PM, June 2, 1944, pp.12-13 (photos by Weegee and Arthur Leipzig)

Screenshot,, (photo by Ansel Adams)

(Just a name and a sliver of a silver gelatin print, “Woman Shot from Cannon, New York, 1943.”)

Screenshot from of exhibition checklist from

“My Man, 1941” – 95.1943 is online

“Tenement Fire, 1939” – 96.1943 is online

“Woman Shot from Cannon, New York, 1943” – 696.1943 is online

“Art in Progress: 15th Anniversary Exhibitions: Photography” at MoMA, May 24 – September 17, 1944

To be continued…



Art in Progress: 15th Anniversary Exhibitions: Photography
May 24–September 17, 1944
At MoMA, in NYC.

“FELLIG, Arthur (Weegee). American, born Austria 1900.
Brooklyn School Children See Gambler Murdered in Street. (225.42)
Oct. 8, 1941. Given anonymously.
*Tenement Fire, Brooklyn. Dec.14,1939. ILL. p.158. (96.43)
My Man, N.Y.C. 1941. (95.43)
Woman Shot from Can[n]on, N.Y.C. 1943. (696.43)
Above 3 prints Purchase Fund.
Opening Night at the Opera, N.Y.C.1944. Given anonymously.

All info and images from

Two years in a row: 1943, 1944 at MoMA, in NYC…

New York Herald Tribune, February 28, 1944 (Photo by Weegee)
Fire Destroys ‘the World’s Largest Scenic Railway’ at Coney Island
Firemen fighting the four-alarm fire which razed the Thompson Scenic Railway late Saturday Night. Minor damage was done to concessions in adjacent Luna Park and to ties of the B.M.T. elevated tracks, causing the rerouting of all trains on four lines.”

Weegee, Unknown Weegee, February 28, 1944, p. 40 (Photo by Weegee)

Daily Mirror, February 28, 1944 (Mirror Photo, presumably not by Weegee)
“FOUR-ALARMER IN CONEY ISLAND. Hundreds of firemen, coast guardsmen and wardens were called out to combat a spectacular week-end fire which reduced to these ruins Coney Island’s Scenic Railway, called the oldest and largest amusement device in U.S. Unused Luna Park property and adjoining concessions were damaged. The orgin of the blaze is unknown.”


New York Times, February 28, 1944 (Associated Press, presumably not Weegee)
“Coney Island Scenic Railway After it Was Gutted by Flames
The L.A. Thompson landmark – called one of the oldest and largest amusement devices of its kind in the country – was destroyed by fire on Saturday night. It is adjacent to famed Luna Park and four alarms were turned in before the blaze was under control.”

PM, February 28, 1944, (PM Photo by Weegee)
“Plug for Wimpy by Weegee
An auxiliary fireman handing coffee to rain-soaked firefighters at the Thompson Scenic Railway fire at Coney Island yesterday poses long enough to give Weegee this picture.”

(It’s fascinating that while photographing the tragedy of a large fire at Coney Island, Weegee also made this funny foto of a coffee-toting fire-buff goofing around with Wimpy the hamburg-loving cartoon character and friend of Popeye. And that this is the photo that PM published of the fire…)

Weegee’s People, 1946

Irrelevant: Popeye, Amusement Park (1947), from youtube – here… “It’s marvelous…”

New York Daily News, November 10, 1944 (unidentified photographers)

Speaking of Frank Pape… we made these photos a few years ago of the Daily News on microfilm at NYPL… There’s no direct Weegee involvement in these pages…

The Game That Cost A Life
… “I said, ‘Wanna’ play tie-up?’ The kid said, ‘Okay.’ I took him to the cellar and got rope.'” Seemingly unmoved, 16-year old Frank Pape stares at the ropes he used in “commando” strangling of 4-year-old Billy Drach as he answers questions of Bronx Assistant District Attorney Sylvester Ryan after confession yesterday. The boy told how he took the Drach lad to the basement of 825 Eagle Ave., Bronx and there reenacted a scene from a movie he had just witnessed…”
New York Daily News, November 10, 1944

825_eagle_ave2 copy
825_eagle_ave1 copy
825 Eagle Ave., Bronx, NY, Google street view and maps

[Perhaps the scene of the crime is a vacant lot according to Google.]

PM, October 12, 1944
Explanation: Sinatra Opened at the Paramount
“Frank Sinatra began an engagement at the Paramount Theater here yesterday. He reached the theater at 6 a.m. yesterday, but by that time, a long line – about 1,000 kids, mostly bobby sox girls – had already been waiting for hours in the chill air of morning. While they waited and Sinatra rehearsed inside the empty theater with Raymond Paige and his orchestra. Rehearsal lasted until 8 a.m. and at 8:30, the doors of the theater were thrown open to the madly rushing, crowding, shoving, elbowing followers of The Voice. They had been playing cards, eating sandwiches from paper bags, and drinking hot coffee from thermos bottles while they waited. Some of the girls refused to have their pictures taken, covered their faces with their hands. They were playing hookey from school and jobs, and planned to stay in the Paramount all day and all night to see each of Sinatra’s five appearances on stage.”

“While he rehearsed and his followers waited, weary-eyed Sinatra drank milk, learned his cues, went through his paces at the mike with out singing, relaxed as much as he could.”

“Outside, meanwhile, the lines grew longer as the Bobby Sox Brigade converged on 43d St. and Broadway. At 7 a.m., when this picture was made, the line extended halfway to Eighth Ave.”

“Although 25 City policemen were on duty to keep the kids in order, special New York guards had their hands full keeping the entrance to the Times building on 43d St. clear.”

“After the doors were thrown open at 8:30, and the kids had been seated, and the feature picture had been run (during which the kids screamed “We want Frankie”), Sinatra brought ecstasy…”

“…to his legion of patient admirers. Photos by Weegee, PM

Great post and responses on “Frank Sinatra at Paramount Theater”

From the NY Daily News

IF THEY had to do it over again, the managers of Times Square’s Paramount Theater perhaps would not have arranged for Frank Sinatra’s $25,000-a-week engagement in the fall of 1944 to begin on Wednesday the 11th of October, which was the day before Columbus Day, a date on which Sinatra’s teenage fans were unencumbered by the obligation to attend school, and 30,000 of them headed for the theater, where their sheer mass literally broke the box office. Moreover, once the lucky few thousand got inside, they proved so exuberant that the stage band had to strike up “The Star-Spangled Banner” in the futile hope that this might cool them down for a few minutes. “Sinatramania,” cried the newspapers. Sinatrauma. Swoonatra. Long buried were the rumors that this skinny Jersey kid didn’t have any real fans at all, just girls who were slipped a few bucks by a savvy press agent to act as if they cared. That might have worked with 30 girls. Not 30,000. Whatever it was called and whatever its genesis, all this bubbling excitement caused some concern for the New York Police Department, which hastily redeployed hundreds of officers from the Columbus Day Parade to monitor squealing bobbysoxers around Seventh Ave. and 43rd St. Sinatra himself was not wholly displeased by the turnout, as a display of public adoration on this scale can have very helpful implications for a singer so ambitious as himself. BY OCTOBER 1944, Sinatra was already the kind of sensation unseen since Rudolph Valentino or Bing Crosby, and maybe not even then, and he wanted to be even bigger. He had been a star since the night of Dec. 30, 1942, when, after putting in several years with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, he appeared at the Paramount as an “extra added attraction” on a bill topped by Benny Goodman and filled out by four other acts and the patriotic film “Star-Spangled Rhythm,” which starred Crosby. Still young and humble, Sinatra was so thrilled by this big-time, $150-a-week engagement that he traveled to Times Square at 7:30 the morning of Dec. 30 to make sure his name was really on the marquee. He was still nervous hours later when Goodman announced to the crowd: “And now, Frank Sinatra.

” They answered that with a roar that nearly bowled Goodman over. “What the hell was that?

” he blinked. These 22 months later, America was getting a little closer to answering Goodman’s question, though many remained puzzled at exactly how this skinny guy with the oversize bow ties and the wise-guy twinkle in his blue eyes was driving hundreds of thousands of young women into unladylike frenzies. “He knows his feminine audience,” observed Down Beat magazine, “and fires romance – moonlight moods – at them with deadly aim.

” When Sinatra arrived for rehearsal on opening day, more than 1,000 girls had been waiting on the Paramount line since the wee small hours, defying Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s nighttime curfew for juveniles and cutting school to boot. When the doors opened, 3,600 fans tumbled in and screamed so loudly that Sinatra threatened to leave the stage if they didn’t pipe down. The next day, more than 10,000 fans had queued up before the first show. Then 20,000 more began to arrive. Besides the 700 cops on the street, the Paramount had put in 50 extra ushers, who proved no match for teenage hormones. The ticket booth was pushed in, windows smashed. Here was nothing less than a teen riot. Only in Sinatra’s lifetime had his primary audience, teenagers, become a factor in the popular music equation. Through the 1920s, a radio or a phonograph was a major investment, purchased as a living room centerpiece with its programming controlled by the family breadwinner. Therefore, popular music was designed for adults. But when the Depression hit, record companies introduced budget lines, which opened the market to kids, and by 1935 they were showing their clout by jitterbugging so happily to Goodman’s music that they launched the Big Band Era. So when Sinatra went solo in 1942, the teenagers were there. The Paramount riot of October 1944 made it clear how thoroughly so many observers had miscalculated when they assumed earlier that Sinatra had “passing fad” tattooed all over his bony forehead. Just because his fans were teenagers, it turned out, didn’t mean that in two weeks they’d be back swallowing goldfish. In fact, by the time Johnny came marching home from the war a year later, solo vocalists like Sinatra were the stars and teenagers like the Paramount bobbysoxers were increasingly whom they sang for. MUCH OF popular culture would take note of this. What the hell was that, indeed.