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PM, August 31, 1941

Holiday Accidents took their toll as motorists started their Labor Day week end. Early yesterday Joseph Morris and his brother’s wife, Charlotte, were killed when his car overturned in Bronx Park. The driver, Anthony Morris, Navy purchasing agent, was overturned was injured. Three other auto deaths had been listed last night; the Motor Vehicle Bureau says about 40 will die before Tuesday7 in New York State. PM, August 31, 1941


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.


WEEGEEWEEGEEWEEGEE, September 6, 2020

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, moma.com, (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 moma.com

“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…


PM, May 31, 1943, p. 26 (Photo by Weegee)

“The can-can girls in the When Paris is Paree Again number of the new show at Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe.”

Billy Rose Retreats Into the Future

By Louis Kronenberger

Having purveyed nostalgia and Gay-Ninetyish frou-frou at the Diamond Horseshoe for several years, Billy Rise about-faced Saturday night and marched into the future…
Whatever its shortcomings, the thing has pace, color, and looks. At Diamond Horseshoe prices, it’s a good buy.

Billy Rose’s new show in the late spring of 1943, at his Times Square Diamond Horseshoe venue, was called “Post-War Preview,” (“The Musical Shape of Things to Come”).

It was in four or five parts: “The Night of Unconditional Surrender,” a post-war Broadway; “When Paris is Paree Again,” a post-war Paris; a post-war Vienna; the fourth part featured a post-war poet, Bob Hall; and the final “The Victory Ball” (in Washington) featured performers wearing masks of FDR, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek, and Stalin, and an international cast.

It was a wildly successful, and well-reviewed, musical revue that played for over 10 months. Performances were at 8 PM and 12 AM; dinner from $3.50, (same buying power as $51.28 in April 2020).

And most importantly, a review in PM featured an obscure, almost unknown, not-published-in-77-years Weegee photo… A good example of his seldom-seen, war-time, home-front work…

Some of the performers included: Three Ross Sisters, Bob Hall, Herman Hyde, Billy Banks (died in Tokyo in 1967), Rosalie Grant, Vivien Fay, Four Rosebuds, Vincent Travers, and significantly Bobby Davis, (tap dances and “Puts one table on top of another and several chairs on top of the tables, leans down, takes a bite of the tables and lifts them up above his head with his teeth.” Brooklyn Eagle, June 1, 1943)

…There were no glasses, of course, on any of the girls last night. They are beautifully costumed in pink, blue and other colors, and Billy Rose told me that there wasn’t a single costume that cost him less than $360, which is considerable when you consider the amount of the gals that isn’t covered.
A radio announcer’s staccato voice starts the ‘Post-War Preview.”It is the Night of Unconditional Surrender and the announcer says that crowds in New York are dancing in the streets, 50,000 lights are aglow, and people are tearing up their ration cards into confetti… (The New York Post, June 1, 1943.)


The New York Post, May 28, 1943


PM, May 28, 1941 (One Weegee photo made in Times Square)

World War Two (and Murder Inc. and bird) news… (Important day in the history of WWII and the U.S.)


PM, May 25, 1941, p.20

The latest in Aimée Crocker, Murder Inc., and pigeon news…


PM, May 25, 1941, p.51 (by Robert Rice)

How N.Y. Prepares to Defend Itself From Bombers

New York City prepares for war. (About seven months before they entered the war.)


PM, May 25, 1941, p.51


PM, May 25, 1941, p.52

Emergency Services are Ready for Action


PM, May 25, 1941, p.52


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53

Museum Therapeutics
As far as property damage from bombs goes, opinion is that such large buildings as hospitals and museums would be extremely vulnerable. Museum tycoons, however, are not making extensive plans to stow their treasures for the duration. Only small, movable stuff would be transported. The rest would be left both because moving it would be much too difficult and because museums provide a popular form of escapism during a crises.”


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53 (police headquarters, 250 Centre St.)

Won’t Be Caught

The co-operating organizations are innumerable, ranging from specialized bodies of engineers, doctors, architects and so forth, specifically devoted to defense to all kinds of civilian organization which have nothing but time, energy and good to contribute.

To sum up: The City Fathers are by no means unaware of the possible dangers to New York in the event of war, and they are preparing to meet them. Probably a larger part of the plans have not yet been made public, Some of them never will be. But if the ominous buzz of enemy aircraft ever sounds over New York the city won’t be caught with its guard down.”


PM, May 23, 1941, p. 10

There’s something for everyone on this “Record of a New York Day”… Bowery news, bridges, scattered pies, dough, ice cream, crime in Brooklyn, the Bronx, hot weather, tenements, the Lower East Side, kids, a kitten, euthanasia… And more apple news… If the Civil War ended in 1865, then… in 1941 the Civil War was more recent, more contemporary, then 1941 is to us today, in 2020. (A mere 76 years versus 79 years ago…)

A photo that is similar to Weegee’s photo of kids and kitten on a fire escape appears in Weegee’s recently republished book Naked City


Naked City, pp. 22-23

(Speaking of a Naked City:)


PM, May 23, 1941, p. 13 (Photo by Gene Badger)

“Scene: East River. Time: 3 p.m. Temperature: 90.7

Yesterday’s 90.7 degrees made it the hottest day of the year… The Bronx was bombarded by a freak hailstorm… Cvek, the convicted strangler asked Sing Sing officials why the prison wasn’t air-conditioned.”


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 18. (Photo by Weegee, PM)

Potatoes au Bay Rum

If you think the potatoes you buy during the next few days smell like hair tonic, chances are they are part of the batch of 17,000 pounds Mayor LaGuardia, the cops, Market Dept. inspectors and the Office of Price Administration found in a midtown barbershop. Yesterday the jobber who brought them here agreed to sell them. They are being taken to Bronx Terminal market for distribution to retailers. The jobber is out on $300 bail for having put the potatoes in bags labeled wheat, oats and bran. PM, May 20, 1943, p. 18

Speaking of apples… Seventy-seven years ago today:

Potatoes with Cologne and Aftershave Lotion
might be a contemporary version of the title of this story. (“Bay rum is the name of a cologne/aftershave lotion. Other uses include as under-arm deodorant and as a fragrance for shaving soap, as well as a general astringent.” Wikipedia.) Why in the world were there tons of starchy, perennial nightshades in a midtown Manhattan barber shop? Why did Weegee take a few photos of the edible tubers leaving a midtown Manhattan barber shop? The Charles Barber Shop was at 1221 Sixth Avenue. And why was this newsworthy?

We wanted to get to the root of this potato mystery, or at least chip away at the truth. After spending a fruitful few hours planted in front of a microfilm reader at the NYPL in Midtown Manhattan, we now (our salad days) know a little more about the spuds in sacks on Sixth…


Daily News, May 20, 1943 (front page of two different editions)


Daily News, May 20, 1943 (NEWS foto)

Next! Some 18,000 pounds of tough-skinned potatoes, that haven’t even been shaved, get the vagabond’s rush from a barbershop at 1221 Sixth Ave. yesterday. The spuds, headed for a Bronx market, eventually will have their eyes picked out by New York housewives. City bought them. Benjamin Caplan, custodian of the potatoes, won a parole… $49.95 profit.


New York Herald Tribune, May 20, 1943, p.20, Herald Tribune-Acme

Sixth Avenue Barber Shop Loses Its Potatoes
Some of the 17,000 pounds of potatoes found in the barber shop of Charles Falcone at 1221 Sixth Avenue on Tuesday being removed yesterday by Bronx Terminal Market wholesalers for resale to the city’s closed markets.

The wayward potato story was front page news in The Daily News and New York Herald Tribune, while The New York Post covered the story, sadly it was photo-free. The Herald Tribune’s coverage was more digestible as it was a little more factual and less tongue-in-cheek. (The photos published in the News and Tribune are not credited to a photographer, were they made by Weegee?)

Apparently the potatoes, described as “scarce, more valuable than diamonds, and vital to the war effort” by Magistrate Anna Kross, were bought by Benjamin Caplan from a farm outside of Plattsburgh, New York, for 2 cents a pound (about 29 cents today) or $343.75 (about $5,036.21 today), where they were at risk of spoiling. Anthony Zubinsky drove them down to Manhattan, for $120 (about $1,758.10 today). Caplan asked his friend Charles Falcone, the barber, if he could store the spuds in Falcone’s barber shop while he tried to sell them, presumably legally, and not on the black market.


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 19

Apparently unloading 157 bags of the scarce, luxury food, in mislabeled bags, in the middle of the afternoon in midtown Manhattan caught the eye and ire of passersby who notified the authorities. The authorities came raining down on the Charles Barber Shop. Mayor Fiorello La Guardia (1882-1947), with a chip on his shoulder, the Commissioner of Markets , the Commissioner of buildings, (due to the weight of the potatoes, the barber was charged with violating a building code), fire and police departments, and members of the press, descended on the Charles Barber Shop, on Sixth Avenue, near 48th Street.

Mr. Caplan appeared before Magistrate Anna Kross at the Jefferson Market Court. In the end, the Office of Price Administration exonerated Benjamin Caplan, he sold his spuds for a legal price, they were brought to the Bronx Terminal Market, and were sold at the city’s markets below the maximum of 6 cents a pound.

A quote, almost like dessert, from The Herald Tribune, May 20, 1943: “You probably never want to see another potato,” a reporter said to Mr. Caplan.
“I’ll be back up there tomorrow,” he replied wearily, referring to his upstate source of supply, “and if there aren’t any potatoes, I’ll get apples.”


PM, May 20, 1943, p. 19

PM, March 14, 1941, pp.12-14 (photo by Steve Derry)


New York Herald, March 1896


New York Herald, March 1896


The Sun, November 1897


The Sun, June 1898


The Sun, July 1899


The New York Press, October 1902


Evening Telegram, December 1908


The New York Press, March 1913


Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 1914


The New York Press, March 1915


New York Call, March 1915


Evening Telegram, March 1915