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Uncle Moses: a novel, By Sholem Asch, p.134, 1918


Weegee, PM, July 22, 1940

“The entire beach, as far as the eye could see, was inundated with wet, barefoot, half-naked people. Bodies, bodies, bodies everywhere… ‘And here we are now, all lying naked on Coney Island beach.'”

Large number of similarities between this passage from Sholem Asch’s “Uncle Moses” and Weegee’s text and photo…

According to the NY Times, from a review of a re-release of the 1932 film: “‘Uncle Moses,’ which is based on a 1918 novel by Sholem Asch (originally published in The Jewish Daily Forward in serial form), offers today’s audiences a glimpse of Maurice Schwartz…” (Maurice Schwartz! Another Weegee connection…)

The book can be read, downloaded, etc. here

There were a number of attempts by Weegee to make the famous Coney Island photo…
Here are some of them:


PM Daily June 17, 1940, pp.16-17
(The first draft of the first draft of the first draft of history…)


Weegee’s photos of the crowd at Coney Island, taken before July 22, 1940 (perhaps in chronological order)…

The number of variants, or number of exposures, or photos that Weegee made of the same scene is something that interests us a great deal. The version of this photo that was published in PM Daily on July 22, 1940, is not the same photo that appears in the all of the Weegee books, from Naked City to Weegee’s World… A prominent photo agency has a number of variations on their web site…

An early “version” of, or attempt at, this photo was published in PM Daily on June 17, 1940, in a trial or test version of the paper, a day before PM started publishing, a day before Volume one, Number one…