Our boardwalks and beaches are still open

Some NJ shore towns recently banned short-term rentals and closed beaches and boardwalks in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus, but housebound thalassophiles* will find our postcard views of the Jersey Shore are still open.

Our postcard collector friend Harlan, who obviously has too much time on his hands, has scrutinized his vintage postcard collection and noticed something. He speculates that the same photographer took all 3 of these photos at the same time period one sunny, summer day at Stone Harbor.

Beach view, Stone Harbor, NJ

The first postcard above is our starting point. Note the persons assembled up on the boardwalk. Slowly scan left to right starting with the baby carriage, bench #1, person holding an umbrella, and last, the 2nd bench. (Curiously this photo has had the lamp posts up on the board removed.)

96th St. and boardwalk, Stone Harbor, NJ

What do you see in the above slide that you saw before?

Boardwalk, Stone Harbor, NJ

In the scan above, we are on the other side of the boardwalk facing the beach and the ocean. Do you see umbrellas and two benches? And most importantly, there’s that baby stroller.

A.M. Simon at 32 Union Square, New York produced all three postcards. The typography and layout designs are identical.

In the absence of a copyright date, a postmark can often give the collector an approximate idea of when the photographer captured the image.

These dates are AUG 6, 1919, AUG 15, 1918, and MAR 26, 1946 respectively. The message on the back explains the reason for the 20+ year gap in mailings.

The Oakland, CA sender of the card postmarked 1946 hoped to convince the Columbia, SC recipient to swap or exchange postcards for their collections. Pretty clever.  See, there’s a story with every post card.

Harlan’s SH postcard map

Only a guy who sequentially orders his collection and indicates their subjects’ locations on a town map would connect the dots and notice this.

Do you think that Harlan got it right?

Have time for another postcard oddity?

What is going on with these two postcards?

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Abracadabra – the boardwalk’s now gone! The reason?

It would appear that the Hurricane of 1944 took out the entire boardwalk but left everything else intact including people, the lady’s beach hat is still nicely in place on her head and the beach umbrellas (see polka-dotted one in center) are all intact and not even affected by the terrific winds of that mighty storm!

We are thankful to collectors like Harlan Radford and others who have generously shared scans of their vintage postcard collections so that we may display the hundreds of scenes of the region on our IMAGES page.

*A lover of the sea, someone who loves the sea/ocean.

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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