Six Schools in Hiroshima, 1945

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government, [Interior damage to steel frame of Honkawa Grammar School Auditorium, Hiroshima], November 8, 1945 (2006.1.629)
Ground Zero 1,100

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government, [Blast- and fire-damaged ruins of Takeya Grammar School, Hiroshima], October 28, 1945 (2006.1.600)
Ground Zero 3,800

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United States Government, The Effects of the Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, Volume I, May 1947 (2011.23.2)

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government, [Blast-damaged ruins of Temma Grammar School, Hiroshima], November 11, 1945 (2006.1.605)
Ground Zero 3,800

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government, [Remains of a school building, Hiroshima], November 17, 1945 (2006.1.178)
Ground Zero 4,900

Building, School. Shows 12 inch concrete fire wall with non-automatic steel roll shutters at opening in fire destroyed two story school building. Typed on verso.

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government,
[Blast-damaged trusses of Sendamachi Grammar School, Hiroshima], November 4, 1945 (2006.1.609)
Ground Zero 5,700

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Unidentified Photographer, United States Government, [Interior of Sotoku Middle School, Hiroshima, showing blast-distorted steel roof trusses], October 27, 1945 (2006.1.646)
Ground Zero 7200

On August 6, 1945, the United States detonated the world’s first atomic bomb over Hiroshima, a city of over 350,000 inhabitants. These once-classified US government photos, taken by the United States Strategic Bombing Survey’s Physical Damage Division, provided a comprehensive overview of the effects of a nuclear bomb. It is estimated that the number of people killed exceeds 200,000.

Hiroshima: United States Strategic Bombing Survey on emuseum.

All Fansinaflashbulb Hiroshima posts here.

Essential reading: “Hiroshima Lost and Found” by Adam Harrison Levy.

Hiroshima: Ground Zero 1945 from ICP on Vimeo.

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Weegee Wednesday: A Moondog Centennial

Two of the most significant composers and musicians of the 20th century, Moondog and Miles Davis, were born 100 and 90 years ago tomorrow, May 26. Moondog was born in 1916 and Miles in 1926.
To commemorate the Moondog centennial here are a few photos of Moondog (1916-1999) made by Weegee (both single-named individualists) in Greenwich Village in the 1950s. (One or two of these are unpublished and rare.) And an amazing radio piece, “Moondog: the Man on the Street,” made by Gordon Spencer, broadcast in July, 1971, that features interviews made in 1961 and 1970 with Moondog and his music (from And we begin with a photo from PM.

PM, January 19, 1945, p. 13 (photo by John De Biase from article written by Natalie Davies, titled, “The Man with the ‘Face of Christ'”)

About two years before Louis Hardin became Moondog, he was attending daily rehearsals of the Philharmonic in Carnegie Hall (after befriending conductor Artur Rodzinski) and living in the top room of a brownstone on 56th Street, (between 8th and 9th Avenues). Hardin came to Manhattan in November 1943 after studying music in Iowa and Memphis. A fascinating profile of Hardin by Natalie Davis, published in PM on January 19, 1945 concludes:

Did he have any plans for the next years?
He squatted on the sleeping bag again and laughed. “I’m going to write music,” he replied. “I’m going to write my fool head off.”
Did he see many people? Did he have plenty of friends?
“Oh, yes. I meet people all the time.” He threw back his head again, and laughed. “I’m somewhat of a wolf. I know many women. But my life is lonely. I have to maintain a certain independence, and put everything into my music.”
We stood up to go, and he stood up too. As we walked down the flights of stairs we asked what his favorite piece of music was.
“Mozart’s G Minor Symphony,” he said immediately.
He paused on the steps. “It seems to me a perfect blend of the classic and romantic ideal.”
Did he wish sometimes that he had been born in ancient or medieval times where he could find romance?
“No,” he said earnestly. “You can be yourself in any age. You don’t have to follow the herd.”



Weegee (1899-1968), [Moondog performing, with recorder and trimba], ca. 1955

In the liner notes to a 2005 CD, The Viking of Sixth Avenue, Moondog commented on the PM profile:

When I first got to New York they wrote me up as “a man with the face of Christ.” I put up with that for a few years, then I said I don’t want that connection, I must do something about my appearance to make it look un-Christian.” And so Moondog became a Nordic warrior; complete with spear and horned helmet: “the Viking of Sixth Avenue.”

Gordon Spencer of WBAI in New York presents a program about Louis Hardin, more popularly known as Moondog. From the 1940s up until 1974 Moondog made his living as a street musician and poet in New York City and was typically found near the jazz clubs on 52nd Street. Blind since an accident when he was 16 years old, Moondog was always recognizable in his Viking helmet playing a variety of instruments, some of his own design. In this program Moondog talks about his interests, his influences and his experiences. From

Weegee (1899-1968), [Moondog], ca. 1955

A few links:
NY Times: “Sidewalk Hero, on the Horns of a Revival” – By John Strausbaugh, October 28, 2007.
NY Times: “Louis (Moondog) Hardin, 83, Musician, Dies” By Glenn Collins, September 12, 1999
NY Times: “Moondog Returns From the Hippie Years” – By Allan Kozinn, November 16, 1989.
WNYC: “Moondog – Adventures in Sound” – By Tony Schwartz, August 13, 1970.

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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Rembrandt, [Unidentified women in a question mark], ca. 1915 (2006.62.1)

I (heart) this photo (of possible punctuated paramours).

The Rembrandt photography studio that made this unquestionably lovely photo was located at 314 N. Main St, Decatur, Illinois.


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“This is Sammy…”

Weegee (1899-1968), This is Sammy of Sammy’s on the Bowery, ca. 1945 (14308.1993)

Sammy greets all his patrons at the door. I noticed he frisked some of the Bowery ones. He told me that they were the “bottle” babies and he could spot them by the bulge in their hip pockets. They would try to smuggle in a bottle of “smoke into Sammy’s place to drink in the washroom because if they drank out in the street or hallways the cruising patrol wagons would pick them up.

Weegee (1899-1968), [At Sammy’s on the Bowery], ca. 1945 (14307.1993)

Sammy is wise to all the tricks of the Bowery chiselers but he is also a friend and always ready to lend a helping hand… lending money so a man can get cleaned up, food and a rom while he is getting over a hangover, I know Sammy gave $100 without being asked for it for a woman in the neighborhood who died and there was no money for the funeral. He also takes care of his customers’ valuables. I saw one woman at the bar give Sammy her wrist watch and thirty dollars to save for her till the following day, and I also saw him turn men away from the bar, telling them not to drink till their day off.

Weegee (1899-1968), “At midnight both the elite and bums have left Sammy’s on the Bowery; only a milk-drinker remains while Sammy counts the receipts.” 1945 (14304.1993)

Sammy is known as the “Mayor of the Bowery” and his ambition is to become Mayor of New York City. And when that happy day arrives Sammy promises free drinks in every gin mill in town. Naked City, p. 139

PM, April 1, 1945, p.m2

Lisette Model speaking about Sammy Fuchs at ICP.

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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Weegee Wednesday: Carrying a laughing musician and her violin, a cute puppy named Ritz, and two very small kittens. Lantern Slides 13, 14 and 15.

Weegee, [Firefighters carrying a musician and her violin to safety during a fire, New York], January 28, 1943 [Weegee Portfolio 16], Lantern Slide 13

Weegee, Ritz, a puppy belonging to William Kinsman, was one of the causalities of the two-alarm blaze at 157 W. 74th St. yesterday, February 1, 1944 [1056.1993] Lantern Slide 14

Weegee, [Policeman holding kittens rescued from fire, New York], March 2, 1943 [15155.1993] Lantern Slide 15

This post presents photos for projection and as printed. The above lantern slides were used in what must have been colorful and lively, entertaining and funny illustrated talks by Weegee. Below are how the images first appeared in print, in the newspaper PM.
And in conclusion a photo of Ritz, a very cute puppy.

PM, January 28, 1943, p. 3

Blaze Makes 200 Homeless, Kills One and Injures Seven
A four-alarm fire swept the upper floors of the six-story apartment house at 552 Riverside Dr., near Claremont Inn, during the snow storm early yesterday morning. By the time the fierce blaze was brought under control, 200 people were homeless, one tenant had been suffocated, another was cut by glass, and six firemen were hurt.
Many of those forced to the street in scanty attire were students at the nearby Julliard School of Music. Tenants in nearby buildings sheltered many of the homeless. A tailor around the corner on Tiemann Pl. converted his shop into a refuge, and 60 of the younger tenants were taken to Knickerbocker Hospital for the night. The Red Cross precinct disaster service swung into action, supplying clothes and funds for those who needed them.

This girl musician is laughing hysterically. She saved her precious violin, but dashed to the street in nightgown and without shoes. PM, January 28, 1943, p. 3

PM, February 1, 1944, p. 12

Ritz, a puppy belonging to William Kinsman, was one of the causalities of the two-alarm blaze at 157 W. 74th St. yesterday. Noticing the dog had a broken leg, a fireman wrapped him in a blanket and took him to the street.PM, February 1, 1944, p. 12

PM, March 2, 1943, p. 16

When fire swept the five-story loft building at 372 E. Houston St., Manhattan, the policeman, above, rescued these two kittens from a hallway. Later he gave them to Miss Sally Strumfeld, 218 Delancey St., who promised to give them a good home. Some small manufacturing firms and the Congregation Israel Anscheigal Icie Minhagsford occupy the Houston St. building. Holy scrolls were carried out by members of the congregation. PM, March 2, 1943

Weegee, Ritz, a puppy belonging to William Kinsman, was one of the causalities of the two-alarm blaze at 157 W. 74th St. yesterday, February 1, 1944 (1056.1993)

Weegee Wednesday is an occasional series exploring, or just enjoying, the life and work of Weegee.

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Handwritten notes on: Supervue Map and Guide Co., New York Souvenir Album – Camera Masterpieces, The Golden Guide To The Metropolis, 1937 (2009.34.10)

The handwritten notes add a delightful narrative and personality to this beautiful publication:

“Me” on “Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, one of the world’s busiest traffic centers. Here streams of people from all over the universe meet in passing New York’s famous shops and sights.” Patience and Fortitude are just out of sight on the upper right corner.

“Where we got our [marriage] license” – “Through the stately portals of the Municipal Building are seen the beautiful Woolworth Tower (792 feet high), the City Hall and Court House.”

“Where Roy works, 13th floor” – “They call it ‘The Flatiron.’ The Flatiron Building, famous because of its odd shape and its being New York’s first important skyscraper. It stands at the junction of Fifth Avenue, Broadway and 23rd Street.”

“We are 1/2 block from this building” – “Central Park has 10 1/2 miles of auto roads, 31 miles of walks, and 4.77 miles of bridle paths. Here area few of the later.”

“Where Mr. Prima took us along this drive” – “Riverside Drive is New York’s waterfront show place extending along the Hudson River on the west side of the city. Beautiful apartment houses and monuments extend along its way and the Palisades and Hudson River to the west add to its beauty.”

A person could easily feel nostalgic about not working in Manhattan or not living in the (apparently) more photogenic New York of the past, but perhaps it’s more productive to embrace a changing New York (FYI: NYPL’s Changing New York).

New York In Camera Masterpieces

This book has been produced with all the care, expense and artistic endeavor of a $3.00 volume.
It is the first time that such a superbly illustrated guide to New York has been sold at so modest a price.
You will be proud to send it to your friends or keep as a priceless memento of your visit to this fabulous city.
Every picture in it is a masterpiece of the photographer’s art, and they have been compiled with the purpose of showing in an orderly manner all that is best to see in the great Metropolis.
Here you are taken on a visit through the city with all the interest of a personal sight seeing tour.
You are shown, intimately, the city from the air, its famous skyline, Broadway at its beginning, the busy people, the remarkable buildings, bridges, squares, streets, parks, colleges, churches, museums and other places of great interest.
These magnificent photographs have been reproduced through means of the finest process known to the printer’s art.
The book has been created with the co-operation of leading photographers; The Mayor’s Art Commission, President of the Borough of Manhattan, Department of Parks, Department of Plants and Structures, Army and Navy Air Corps, Port of New York Authority, Long Island Park Commission, all Museums and Churches, the Aquarium, the New York Zoological Park and many others. To further learn about New York get “Every Place to See and Everything to Know About New York” and “The Supervue Map and Guide to New York” in colors. Both of these are on sale at News Stands, Department stores, etc., or by mail, 20 cents each.

Supervue Map and Guide Co., New York Souvenir Album – Camera Masterpieces, The Golden Guide To The Metropolis, 1937 (2009.34.10)

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Anonymous Autochromes

Unidentified Photographer, [Marzipan], ca. 1911

Unidentified Photographer, [Fruit stand], ca. 1911

(This new series, #Fansinaflashbulb’s #FavoriteThingsFriday, of blog posts will present photos and things that we love and are seldom seen, perhaps unique, beautiful and/or thought-provoking. It’s Fansinaflashbulb as a cabinet of curiosities. Photos for ogling and rubbernecking. The title, #FavoriteThingsFriday, is a reference to John Coltrane’s many versions of the Rodgers and Hammerstein song “My Favorite Things.”)


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