[Civil defense blackout in a sideshow, Coney Island, New York]
|Location||New York United States|
|Dimensions||Image: 13 1/4 x 10 11/16 in. (33.7 x 27.1 cm)
Paper: 14 x 11 1/4 in. (35.6 x 28.6 cm)
|Print medium||Photo-Gelatin silver|
“Blackout … Came the zero hour, 9 P.M. ‘Lights Out’ and they did go out. … In Coney Island the freaks inside the museums got a well-earned rest … what with doing a show every fifteen minutes inside, and the bally outside.” (Naked City)
When Dreamland Park was gutted by fire in 1911, manager Samuel Gumpertz built a new showcase for his Congress of Curious People and Living Wonders of the World, on Surf Avenue (next to another of his Coney establishments, the Eden Musée [7213.1993]). The new venue, Dreamland Circus Sideshow, attracted up to 30,000 visitors a day in the 1920s and its success spawned other freak shows at Coney Island, featuring performers like Zip the “What-Is-It” and partner Pip.
© International Center of Photography
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Bequest of Wilma Wilcox, 1993