Historical Family Photos: A Night on The Town, NYC Style

1950’s NYC: Blanche Harrison Wilton (1903-1954), is flanked by two of her nieces, daughters of Samuel H. Harrison III (1905-1973) Photo Courtesy: C.McD.

This photo show the ladies enjoying a lovely night on the town. A Rheingold beer carton or placard of some sort appears in the background on the counter. Also on the counter are a pair of gloves and a takeout box.

There are two great mysteries concerning this photo. For one, just who are the nieces pictured with Aunt Blanche? They are either Norma, Josephine, or Ethel. Interestingly enough, all of their names are homages to their female ancestors. Ethel-their mother. Norma-their grandmother (Hattie Norma). Josephine—their great-grandmother.

The second mystery is the location of this photo. Where were they? A supper club? A restaurant? A dancing establishment? One certainty is that they were in New York City. New York was the birthplace of Ethel, Norma, & Josephine; and, it had been Blanche’s new home since the 1920’s.

Other questions are what was the occasion of this outing? Was it a regular thing or was this a grand celebration? Another question begs, just when was this picture taken? I believe that it’s some time in the 1950’s. Given the facts that the nieces were born between 1932 and 1936 and Blanche passed away in 1954, perhaps this is within a year or so of that.

I’m very grateful to my cousin, Clyde (Blanche’s nephew), for sharing this photo. It is a treasure to see and share.

Have a look at your historical family photos today and see what you might discover. What questions can you ask and answer about them?

The Genealogy Situation Room

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