How to Have a Full Day of Fun for 50 Cents (If You Lived in Brooklyn in 1897)
You and a friend are stuck at home and have absolutely nothing to do. The soul-sucking boredom you are both experiencing inspires you to rifle through the couch cushions to see what’s there and (surprise!) you find 50 cents.
How much entertainment value do you think the two of you could manage to squeeze out of that windfall?
If you were living in Brooklyn, NY, in 1897, 50 cents was enough for a full day of thrills, sun, and fun at the all-new 15-acre bayside Steeplechase Park on Coney Island!
This place had everything.
- 50 midway attractions with exciting names like Shoot the Chutes and Arial Racing Slide
- Amusement halls like the Blow Hole Theater
- A wild spinning wooden platform called the Human Roulette Wheel
It seems like quite the deal for 50 cents – until you realize that back in 1897, 50 cents was equivalent to $15.55 in today’s dollars. Which now makes me wonder just how often people searched their couch cushions 123 years ago for coins of any denomination.
These are just a fraction of the many interesting facts I found while doing my research for this assignment. Do a little sleuthing of your own and see what you can discover.
America has had a love affair with entertainment and amusements for a very long time.
If you have a similar love affair with retro advertising art and can’t resist the charms of turn-of-the-century poster design, consider this tutorial your entertainment hook-up, your very own personal Coney Island, Steeplechase Park experience.
Don’t forget to invite a friend along to share in the fun! Step right up!