Help me put a date on this photo of Ralph Avenue and St. Johns Place - Brooklynian

Help me put a date on this photo of Ralph Avenue and St. Johns Place

Good morning! I recently tracked down a photograph of a candy store my grandfather owned in the late 1950s. It was located on the corner of Ralph Avenue and St. Johns Place, and I'm told this photo was taken between 1959-1963. I'm looking for any hints that might help me narrow down that timeline. Does anyone recognize the other businesses in the image or notice any other indicators that might speak to the timing? Thank you!Photo

Comments

  • edited April 2015
    Cool photo.

    The candy store (aka Fountain Cigars) place seems to be 1647 St Johns, which is now a liquor store.

    Here's a recent photo:
    http://goo.gl/maps/zphXf
  • DJFDJF
    edited April 2015
    Quite an aesthetic contrast, huh?
  • I especially like the traffic signal
  • Yep, the old two-light traffic signals. That could be why this came from a batch of accident scene photos. 
  • The fellow at the far right side of the photo is wearing a very narrow tie, which I believe came into fashion towards the latter end of the four-year period you mentioned.
  • edited April 2015
    Yep, the old two-light traffic signals. That could be why this came from a batch of accident scene photos. 
    That does explain why all of the pedestrians appear to be looking at the photographer. ...they are actually looking at the accident behind the photographer.

  • Exactly. My next step would be to look up newspaper articles from that period of accidents on that corner. A little tougher to do from Chicago, where I now live. 

    And thank you, Booklaw.
  • edited April 2015
    The fellow at the far right side of the photo is wearing a very narrow tie, which I believe came into fashion towards the latter end of the four-year period you mentioned.
    @booklaw -
    Was "Leave It To Beaver" accurate in showing people in suits much of the time?

    ...or was this likely taken on a dress up day, like a Sunday?


  • edited April 2015
    Well men wore ties a lot more. To ball games, to Broadway shows, hell, even when people flew they dressed up. Maybe because people took a lot less for granted and things that were out of the ordinary were a little more special.
    Hell, I had to wear a tie every day to school until I got into the 9th grade.
  • I am also surprised that there are window A/Cs in DJF's photo.

    For some reason, I didn't imagine them as being common place until the mid 60s. The fact they are in the windows indicates to me it was summer, despite everyone being in long pants.

    My sense is that men rarely wore shorts when they were not at the beach.
  • I lived a couple of blocks from here (EP between Ralph and Howard) until 1957. I was still around the neighborhood on a fairly frequent basis after that because both my grandparents and my aunt and uncle lived right nearby until the late 60's. I can't say that I recognize that candy store since there was one on Ralph just south of EP that I went to. The fact that one man is wearing a topcoat over his suit and another person is wearing a hooded jacket makes me believe this was not the summer. The man in the suit and coat is black and since he's apparently walking a dog, I'd guess he lives around there. I remember that blacks started to move into the neighborhood about the mid-1950's, but the first black people who moved in were a little more affluent, so my guess is that the pic is from 1959-60 at the latest. I wish I could contribute more. 
  • That makes sense. So, let's say Spring or Fall.

    It is kind of interesting that the only woman in the photo seems to be inside, looking out her window at the accident.

    DJF, for tax purposes, the city used to take photos of properties throughout the city. They were dated. So, if you were to obtain one of those you might be able to figure out whether your photo was taken before or after it.
  • Thank you for that perspective, @morralkan. That's very helpful. In truth, I'm hoping to learn that this photo was taken in 1959. 

    I didn't realize that, @whynot_31. Great idea. 
  • @morralkan Do you happen to recognize the restaurant at the edge of the photo, on Ralph?
  • Are you referring to the one with the sign that appears to end in "ORS" ?
    I really cannot say that I do. Are you sure it's not "Liquors" ?
    I really only remember some of the buildings on Ralph between EP and Lincoln Place. At that corner, on the same (west) side of the street, I believe, was an old-fashioned kosher deli. On the corner of Ralph and EP was Atkins Florists (though that was a newer addition; they were originally located in ENY). Across the street, on the NE corner of EP and Ralph was Kuller's pharmacy. 
  • Welcome, DJF. By the way, why would you like this photo to have been taken in1959? Just wondering.
  • Welcome, DJF. By the way, why would you like this photo to have been taken in1959? Just wondering.
  • DJFDJF
    edited April 2015
    Yes, I'm pretty sure the 1645 address is a liquor store. I'm referring to the one on the other end of the photo -- with a magnifier it looks to start with a G or J, and end with a y's. I also know there was a diner on the opposite side of the intersection, probably near where the photographer is standing.

    Thanks for the welcome, @morralkanI'd love for it to have been taken in 1959 because, based on the only picture I have of my grandfather, I believe that may be him right in front of the store. He passed away in late 1959.
  • To "magnify" on a PC, hold ctrl and press +.
  • I hadn't paid attention to the other side of the picture since it was really on the St John's side, not Ralph. Then again, I could be wrong; I guess you would know the location of your grandfather's store. . I My guess is that you are right and that it is a restaurant, perhaps Joseph's  or George's Restaurant??? Still, I really don't know it. We moved away when I was nine and, while I was back in the neighborhood a lot till the end of 1965, I was rarely up this way at that point. Mostly I remained on the south side of EP, probably because my grandmother lived on Union St and my aunt and uncle lived on Pitkin (though physically on the same block as EP. All of my former school friends would also have been on EP and south since the north side was not zoned for PS 189. I wish I could help you more, but I was really too young to have paid much attention to places I would have only seen casually. Good luck in your search!
  • welcome -- I wish I knew more. Sorry
  • I am looking at the man to the left of the traffic light.His jacket looks more like the 1960's.
  • In the 50's ties were skinny, but we don't know when the guy  bought that tie last lol. I think it was taken in the early 60's
  • I can't help you with the year, but I suggest you try and discern what they're selling in the store to the left of the fountain -- could it be produce? books? (Those bins are curious.) Also maybe the ads off to the right. See the one with the face? I'd wondered if it was something for an election.

    If you can figure out the names of any of the stores (the one on the right seems visible) old phone books are a resource you might consult. Unfortunately Yellow Pages hadn't come out by the period of this shot, so you need names.
  • Thank you, @lmlac. I've tried to discern all of that with little luck. Maybe now that some time has passed, though, I should give it a fresh look. :)
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