Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Moment Back In Time: "Respectfully Yours..."

Brooklyn family

140 Wycoff Street


The site where 140 Wyckoff stood approximately once upon a time.
The site is now part of the Gowanus Housing Complex.

I came across this wonderful old photograph of six children standing in a Brooklyn doorway a while back and had always planned to seek out the address of photographer B.J. Mulligan, who took the photo in the early 1900's.
A stamp on the back indicates that Mulligan had his studio at 140 Wyckoff Street active at the turn of the last century. I found no other mention of him online, but there is a mention in the New York Times of a John Mulligan having died at 140 Wyckoff Street in 1903.
I finally took the time to check out the address,but the building is long gone, having been replaced in the late 1940's with the Gowanus Housing Development.

A handwritten note on the back says:
"In the upper row William Adelaide Elizabeth.
In the lower row from left to right- David Joseph and Jane. Some time later Neville sent Agnes' likeness and it will give me great pleasure to send a likeness of their mother. Respectfully, D.A. McShane"*

There is no indication of where the photo was taken, but the children may have posed in front of the studio on Wycoff Street. In any case, I would love to know more about them, the photographer and McShane. Don't you?

*At least, I think this is what it says.



Brooklyn Flaneur said...

When I moved to Wyckoff in 1977 I knew people that remembered before the projects were built.
I seen old photographs of this period that showed businesses on every corner like grocery stores,taverns and tea shops.

Katia said...

Hi Broooklyn Flaneur,
I love your online name.
If you come across one of those photos, please think of me. I would love to see it.

Anonymous said...

I love all this muck from the refuse pits of the plowed under history of a dear, vanished boro. That family probably spent a week's wages to preserve their mugs
for a loving souvenir.

SMS said...

Hi, Katia,
I think the message is that at some time later "we will send" Agnes' likeness. It's a wonderful find. My grandmother definitely used the term "likeness" and I swear my aunt still uses it these days. I agree with Anonymous that, to have that photo taken at that time was probably quite an investment and source of pride, and I'm so glad that family is getting some show here on PMFA.