3D Photos of Brooklyn in 1933 – Series 2

There is little debate among the cultured intelligentsia over the simple fact that Brooklyn is the greatest borough in New York City, and that NYC is the greatest city in the United States. That’s just the way it is. If you have not yet done so, I urge you to take a quick peek at Brooklyn Series 1, which was featured on this blog back in December. Background on these series, 15 initial images, and anaglyphs are found there.

Here, I present the second, and far more scarce, 1933 Brooklyn filmstrip. While I own two copies of the first, and have seen a dozen more floating around over the years, I have only seen two copies of this one – mine, and a severely scratched-up copy selling (or, probably not selling) on eBay for $100. This one came, unexpectedly, in an unlabeled box in a box lot. This was December past, and having found the second roll, I decided to post the first one. And now I’ll regale you with its continuation – including such sites as the Grain Terminal, Prospect Park, and the world-famous Gowanus Canal!

The title slide for “Brooklyn, N. Y. Series Two” from Tru-Vue, 1933, as well as the internal title slide.

I’m not sure why so many fewer rolls of this filmstrip were produced – my copy, at least, was from a negative made on December 19th, 1933 – over a month after both of my Brooklyn Series 1 strips. Perhaps Series 1 was produced in greater numbers simply because they were both given the axe shortly after Series 2 debuted? It’s unclear as of now, but anybody with information should certainly step up with it! The images are of no better or worse quality, and I hope you will join me in admiring them:

Perhaps the dreadful grammar got this set nixed? This caption is missing a comma, as well as two instances of the definite article. Silly Tru-Vue captioners! Still a great stereoview, however.
Sadly, this has been replaced with a much more modern structure – but it has continued in its role as the nation’s oldest Children’s Museum.
Fortunately, the Litchfield Mansion has been preserved – and is still the office of the Parks Department, 86 years after this roll was shot.
The Red Hook Grain elevator is still standing at the mouth of the Gowanus Canal, albeit in a state of abandonment for over half a century.
The Gowanus Canal is one of Brooklyn’s most unique treasures. A mere 2.5 blocks from my flat, I can catch a scent of it from my porch on a hot summer’s day. With its shimmering, iridescent rainbow appearance, it is quite unlike your typical body of water. Also, your typical body of water has not been officially diagnosed with the clap. A Superfund site, the canal cannot support most lifeforms due to the pollution that occurred while it was still a big shipping route – though if all goes according to plan, in a century, it once again will. The industrial buildings pictured here are long gone, as Park Slope invades the neighborhood of Gowanus from the East, and Carroll Gardens from the West.

Maybe this is why Tru-Vue stopped producing this roll? Maybe they were worried that the plebeians viewing their filmstrip would see the wonders of the Canal and swarm into Gowanus in record numbers, ripping out industry and putting in glass-fronted condos? Could this be why this filmstrip is so rare?
I’ve just founded a new neighborhood near a body of water, and I’ve got the most BRILLIANT name for it: “Sheepshead Bay”. Because who doesn’t like a good sheep’s head now and again?
Henry Ward Beecher’s church, which was attended by Abraham Lincoln and many others, was designated as a historic landmark in 1961.
The 1786 Erasmus Hall Academy in Flatbush was once among the most prestigious private high schools in the country; its alumni list includes Clara Bow, Bobby Fischer, Barbara Stanwyck, and Mae West. By the time this photograph was taken, it was a public school, and by 1994 its abysmal performance caused it to be shuttered and broken up into numerous, smaller institutions.
The Botanical Garden is still one of Brooklyn’s feature attractions, and a must-see for anybody visiting the Borough.
Yep, this was actually a thing.
The Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument was designed by Stanford White, an architect notable for several things: Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe installation on Long Island, the Washington Square Arch, and his philandering ways – the last of which got him shot by the mentally unsound killer Harry Thaw on the roof of Madison Square Garden. This shooting was motivated by White’s affair with Thaw’s wife, model and chorus girl Evelyn Nesbit, and led to what was known as the “Trial of the Century” – in 1906.
The 19th century Hotel St. George has sadly been converted to housing for NYU students of exceptional means – though located one subway stop away from Manhattan!
It must have been a sight to see the Soldiers and Sailors Monument Arch of Prospect Park long before it was overshadowed by the objectively horrid traffic circle which dominates Grand Army Plaza.
Prospect Park is, and always has been, overflowing with beauty. Clearly, this photographer’s schedule on the day he photographed Prospect Park was not overflowing with time.
Seriously, Tru-Vue? You have the greatest park in New York to photograph, and you give us this?

So okay – Brooklyn Series 2 might contain just a tad of filler material right at the end there. How you could take boring images in Prospect Park is just beyond me. There are all sorts of trails and ponds and bridges and so on and it’s basically just the best park ever – and these photos do not do it justice. So please – if you’re not from Brooklyn – come visit just to see for yourself!

And in any case, this strip has a lot of great history on it. The long-gone smokestacks and cranes and a glimpse at the vibrant industry; multiple commissions by Olmstead and Vaux, and architectural treasures galore. Oh, and don’t forget the canal with gonorrhea. Never forget the canal with gonorrhea. Because having that canal is just so… Brooklyn!

One of the NRA 1933 filmstrips that was seemingly not produced beyond a small initial run. This one came from negative D, created on 19 December 1933.


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