Weegee Wednesday: Hat’s Off!

Weegee, [Robert Redwing brought in for questioning by New York police in Albert Langford murder case], June 1945 (2333.1945)

LANGFORD MURDER. BIG CHIEF REDWING who was imported from WASHINGTON DC BY THE NY DAILY NEWS & WHO posed for exclusive pictures for them (NO DOUBT for a nice consideration) covered up for the common photographers from other papers.” [Written and typed caption adhered to verso.]

Weegee, A minor witness questioned in Redwood murder in New Jersey, 1937 (2332.1993)

[Norman Redwood, leader of striking “sandhogs” (tunnel excavators) on a project in Manhattan, was murdered in front of his home in Teaneck, N.J. on February 20, 1937. “A Mystery of Labor Politics: Who Murdered the Sandhog Leader?” Life, March 8, 1937, Vol 2, No, 10, pp.9-13. “Murdered in Jersey” by Gerald Tomlinson. “Open Files” by Jay Robert Nash.]

Weegee, Girl arrested at Anna Swift raid, New York, 1941 (2063.1993)

Weegee, [Waxey Gordon, arrested, New York], ca. 1942 (14009.1993)

Weegee, [Top Hats in Trouble: Charles Sodokoff and Arthur Webber using their top hats to hide their faces, New York] January 27, 1942 (2067.1993)

“Hiding their (above) behind toppled top hats. Charles Sodokoff, 28, and Arthur Webber, 32, both Brooklynites, get a free ride to Felony Court. Boys were tippling at Astor Bar when they decided to slide down banisters. Cop was called and they attacked him. Sodokoff (above right) lights ciggie for Weber in court. They were released on $1,000 bail.” New York Daily News, January 27, 1942, p. 19

Weegee, Intermission, November 25, 1941 (1060.1993)

I made this at the opening of the Met Opera Season… I wanted to get something different than the usual… Society celebrities.. Noting a lot of men in military uniforms mingling with the high hats… during intermission… I saw this row of hats in one of the cloak rooms… So I photographed it… [Typed caption adhered to verso]

PM, Nov. 25, 1941, Vol. II, No. 115, p. 22

“This season the opera opening was not all high hat; there was a showing of gold braid and a generous turnout of plain khaki. The fancy peaked cap above is a captain’s, the other just a lieutenant’s.” PM, Nov. 25, 1941, Vol. II, No. 115, p. 22

Weegee, [Hats in a pool room, New York], 1943 (15595.1993)
[Names and dates: “Jimmy Parisi, 4/41, NAVY,” “Leo Negrcurio, 4/9/43,” “Freddy Battaglino /43” written on paper and adhered to hats nailed on a mural of boats and water on the wall…]

The stories and mysteries, crimes and connections, behind and below a hat: a bizarre yet banal unsolved murder of the husband of a wealthy heiress in the Hotel Marguery, 270 Park Ave. at 47th St., above the Restaurant Marguery, “Where French Cooking is an Art,” (now it’s the JPMorgan Chase Tower and was previously the Union Carbide Building, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill) and a man, perhaps a native American, named Robert Redwing; a violent labor dispute that included an “unsolved” murder of a labor leader, a man named Norman Redwood, with a box of strawberries in his car in Teaneck, New Jersey; prostitution and a madam named Anna Swift; drugs and a gangster named Waxey, born Irving Wexler, who died in Alcatraz. A working Wednesday is almost over, perhaps at the drop of a hat, I can pull a blog post out of a hat, although a rabbit would be a lot more fun. (After I toss my hat in the ring, I’ll eat my hat if this becomes a good post). This is a tip of the hat to the often hatted (and sometimes hated) Weegee and his photos of people using their hats to shield, cover and conceal, their faces from Weegee’s camera. And it’s a tip of the hat to soldier’s and sailors’ war time hats on a wall in a pool hall. (As always, I’m talking through my hat…) Do the innocent cover up?

Weegee, [Body of Dominick Didato, New York], August 6, 1936 (2070.1993)

“It’s Bad Luck to Chisel in on Lucky
The body of Dominick Didato, who called himself Terry Burns, is shown where he was shot down in front of a restaurant in Elizabeth Street. The fourth gangster to die within two weeks. Didato’s death resulted, police say, from his attempts to break into Lucky Luciano’s rackets.”
New York Post, August 7, 1936

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

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1 Response to Weegee Wednesday: Hat’s Off!

  1. Max Meunier says:

    robert redwing is my great grandfather. i’ve been doing a lot of research on him and he’s quite the character.

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