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Dear Mr. Coney,

I have a picture of my husband’s grandparents taken when they were “courting” sometime between 1909 – 1911. The post card-photo was taken at Dream Studio in Coney Island. Is there anything you can tell me about the studio or proprietor: H. Tarr? They are in a car. she is behind the wheel on the right side of the auto, both are wearing hats) hers is a large flowery one, his is a straw hat and there appears to be a “fake” white dog on the hood of the “car”. Anything you can tell me about the studio. photographer or picture would be appreciated. I can forward a copy if that would help. Thank you.

Cathy Sperling



Hello Cathy,
Mr. Tarr operated a souvenir photo postcard business called the Dream Studio on Surf Avenue at West 6th Street below the Pike’s Peak Roller Coaster. The studio had numerous full size props including an early automobile and a Wright Brothers style airplane. We have many of his images in our archive and the little white shaggy dog is a constant in these photos. Many of the studios had silly toy props that were used to loosen up the subjects as their photo was taken. The Dream Studio was destroyed in the 1911 Dreamland fire but reopened shortly after with a new painted backdrop that depicted the burned out ruins of the park. The enclosed photo shows the Dream Studio below the Pike’s Peak Railway (circled). The entrance to Dreamland is at right and the Iron Tower is behind Pike’s. And here’s another photo of the little white dog!

One Response to “Dream Studio”
  1. Ross Day Says:

    I have been collecting RPPCs of studio portraits, presumably from Coney Island. I have wondered about matching the prop automobiles (and their fake license plates) to the specific studio. This is a great hint to the Dream Studio, thanks! Any chance of tracking down the others?

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