Beach Chairs

Dear Mr. Coney Island...
I have two old Coney Island beach chairs "wood & canvas" the canvas on the top canopy is marked M&C. They were rented on the beach with similar marked umbrellas from concessions run by the parks department. Could you give me some info on them... when and where manufactured, how old, what do initials stand for and when when they discontinued? I have seen them in photos on the beach from the 50's.
- Paul M.

Hello Paul.

M.C. was owned by Bob Myers who had his headquarters on West 12th Street underneath Ward's Kiddie Park. Myers operated a concession, granted by the Parks Department, that rented beach chairs, umbrellas, and the rolling chairs on the Boardwalk. The business operated in Coney from the 1930s through the early 1960s at five locations under the boardwalk, from Sea Gate to Manhattan Beach.

Every spring, Myers would load up his 1932 Ford truck with his beach equipment and distribute it to the under-the-Boardwalk tin shacks where it was rented to the beach-going public during the summer. The rolling chairs could also be rented in the winter. They were stationary and lined up in front of the Ward's building, occupied by sun-worshipers who used them year-round.

You have a valuable piece of Coney Island history! 

Comments

I was a manager for M and C beach chairs for many years. I am now 74+. The M stands for Meyers and the C for Collins. I was a chair deliver "(lugger" was we were called) prior to my becoming a manager. At the height of the operation they had beach chair and umbrella stands located on alternate streets from Sea Gate to Brighton Beach. I also worked on the truck delivering the chairs before the summer and emptying the stands at the end of the summer. I also met my first wife at M and C, she was a cashier at the time.

I worked at M & C from 1966 to 1974 and served as manager the last 6 years. It was a great experience and I have wonderful memories. I also worked on the truck which was tough work. Does anyone know what happened to the family - Bob, his wife Helen, his son Sandy, his daughter Sue, and his son-in-law Dave?

Phil Rosenthal

I also is a lugger then manager from 1972-1976. Bob Myers and his wife Helen used to tell us many stories of Coney Island. I recall doing the season setup and end of season routine. The warehouse where the chairs and umbrellas were stores was on Cropsey Avenue. As a lugger of chairs we used to receive tips which were put into a "Kitty Bucket" and at the end of the day, the manager or cashier would divide the kitty and the luggers would get an equal share. Much to my suprise, when I received my first pay check there was no money in my enevlope. When I checked with Bob he told me that we feel under amusment park wages and any tips were deducted from our pay.

What wonderful memories.

For the life of me I do not recall seeing the rolling chairs up on the boards but I do remember the chair and umbrella rentals under the boards. I do recall however at some point those rental stands were either boarded up or the window counters and doors were bricked off. I spent lots of time snooping under the boards all times of year till it started to become a haven for perverts. Now you can not even walk under the boards since the city took the sand that was dredged up from the bay and shot under the boards. It was fun to jump down off the rails to the sand below.

The home office for m. and c. beach chairs ,umbrellas and rolling chairs was located on w. 12th st.. in a sub boardwalk storage area. On a good day they were rolled lop side for people to rent and enjoy.
hyk

I also have a stationary Coney Island beach chair that is numbered. Do you know what it is worth?

I am Bob and Helen's grandson Peter Vapnek. My mom is Susan and Dave was her husband. Sandy Is my uncle. My great grandfather, Alexander myers started the chair and umbrella in business in the 1910's and stayed within the family as M&C through late 1970s. Was so nice to hear your wonderful memories and remembering my family. Coney island will always remain close to my heart.

Happened to have come across your site. My father, Bob Myers was the owner of M&C Beachairs and rolling chairs. They were wonderful summers. I recognized some of the names that have responded to you, especially Phil Rosenthal. I live in Delray Beach, Fla. for many years. Recently went to C.I. and was surprized at how it looked. Any questions, please contact me.

I Do Remember Seeing Some of Those Chairs around in Coney Island! does anybody have a picture of the wooden folding chair or on the beach with somebody sitting in it! I distinctly remember the lettering M & C burned deeply into the wood, like with a branding-ion! what could these 80-year-old+ chairs be possibly worth? And How and Where Could You Possibly Purchase Any?

My grandfather was bob myers. My mom is Susan and my father was David, who passed away in 1993. Susan and sandy are great. We enjoy hearing old stories. I spent many summers on west 12th street and try to visit as often as I can. I still have two beach chairs and umbrellas but would love to purchase a rolling chair. I enjoy hearing stories of my family and have a whole scrapbook filled with photos and memories. Thank you for keeping my family legacy alive.

The beachchairs were manufactured by Telescope Folding Chair Corp, which is still in businees in upstate New York. They weighed about 7.5 pounds. The rolling chairs actually rolled (during good weather conditions). Otherwise they were stationey through-out the year.Both were the same chair.
The company founder, in addition to his son Albert (Bob) had two daughters , Lillian Rosenfeld and Helen Hecht, both of whom were very actively involved in the day to day operations.
After the death of the founder's widow the women were no longer involved with the business.
I am sure Hy Kasindorf can provide additional details.

An additional note, The Coney Issland operation was Alexander's last venture. He previously had a like business through-out New England after starting in Revere Beach Mass. Albert was a born in Ireland

I too was a lugger when in high school. They were fun days. Favorite moment: Someone asked me to lug their chairs and umbrellas to the sunniest spot on the beach. I walked them around until I found it :-)

I worked at M&c while in high school at sheepshead bay high school. I remember carrying huge loads of chairs and umbrellas in Coney Island and Brighton beach during the heat of the day. The Nell of knishes were everywhere. The beach was longer in brighten beach and the tips were not as good. I made some great friends back then from Lincoln High School. Paul Weiner was one of them who also became a physician. I have lost youch with all of yhemmyesrs ago. I also remember Bob Meyers smoking his cigarettes every morning assigning the jobs...which beach you would work on. I also remember Sandy Meyers. I have some photos of the friends I had while working at M&C in the early 60's ....great memories,,,!!! Mel Wichter

What ever happened to Shatzkins knishes?.

We just went thru photos from my mother-in-law. There are several (falling apart) that show what is labeled on the back as "Uncle Winfield's egg rolling swing - Steeple Chase Park - Coney Island."
It is an egg spaped or tear drop shape steel frame on a short rail system. There is a swing inside that would stay upright as the "egg" rolled along the short distance, like a ferris wheel.
Anyone heard of this?

does anyone remember the first italian restaurant in Coney island on the boardwalk back in the early 1900s? It was my great grandfather's and I am looking to find out the name

I love reading all these comments. Brought back amazing memories. I started as a lugger making 75 cents an hour while the cashiers were making $1.05. All the luggers were male while all the cashiers were female. But in 1963, after working several years as a lugger, Bob Meyers allowed me to become the first male cashier. So I suppose in my own small way, I played a role in the fight for gender equality!

Hi: I worked at M & C in the summers of '62 and '63 while I attended Lincoln High and moved to Los Angeles with my parents towards the end of that summer. Bob might have called us "Luggers" but I always recall being called a "schlepper". At that time Paul Wiser was my best friend and I knew Mel Wichter and would love to reconnect. I have photos somewhere of working on the old 1930's Ford truck delivering the chairs to the stands at the beginning of summer and bringing them back to storage at the end of the season. It was my first "real" job and I got quite an education both on the beach and hanging around Coney Island waiting for the sun to come out and being assigned a stand.
Bob would sternly check out the crew and assign booths first to the seasoned workers and then the newbe's make a hissing sound between his front teeth as he exhaled. I remember imitating him and getting caught and being assigned to a less than desirable low volume stand. Needless to say, I never did it again, at lest not in ear-shot.

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