Category Archives: HONR 201B

Markets in the Early Twentieth Century

I have been re-reading Jane Ziegelman’s 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement.


It is a great book for learning about the foodways of tenement dwellers and the connections between food, lifestyle, and identity.

The following is an early Edison film of “A Ghetto Market” (1903)

This is a fish market, and I especially like the vendors tearing up newsprint to wrap customers’ purchases. New York markets were especially well supplied, if somewhat chaotic and run down.


Dancing and Amusement Parks at the Turn of the 20th Century

As we have been reading Kathy Peiss’s Cheap Amusements in my Honors 201B class I decided to post some brief video of popular dances and amusement parks mentioned in the book.

Here is Edison’s 1903 film of a Tough Dance (Speiling)

Here is another short of the Bowery Waltz

Here are Vernon and Irene Castle performing the Castle Walk in 1915

For a view of Coney Island see “Rube and Mandy at Coney Island” (Edison, 1903)

Here is another early Edison film, Boarding School Girls at Coney Island, 1905

These early films are amazing sources, allowing us to visualize the dances and amusements Peiss describes in the book.

Just for fun, here is a clip from Downton Abbey showing the “Grizzly Bear” being danced in the servant’s hall.