1930 - 1939

Grew up in Coney Island in the 1940's
Ralph was born in Coney Island on July 19, 1934, twenty-two years to the day after his mother in the same house. He lovingly describes growing up in Coney Island in remarkable specifics, including stories of local individuals, their diversity, their...
Content type: Oral History Item
Moved to Coney Island in 1934
Minnie describes meeting her husband on Coney Island beach and her job at a frozen custard stand on the boardwalk.
Content type: Oral History Item
Got stuck on the Parachute Jump
David was born in Sea Gate in 1935 and, except for his time at Brooklyn College and in the army, has lived in Coney Island or Sea Gate all his life. One of his strongest memories is getting stuck on top of the Parachute Jump for 15 minutes and using...
Content type: Oral History Item
87-year-old remembers the Nickel Empire
Joseph Albanese returns to Coney Island after seventy years to talk about his memories of growing up there. He used to steam at the Washington Baths with his family, eat at Nathan's, and go on all the rides (including the train to get there)...
Content type: Oral History Item
Lived through the Great Depression in Coney Island
The History Project returned to an 85-year-old Goldie Durlester in July of 2010. In this interview, Goldie recalls more of the details of her daily life as a child during the Great Depression and as a teenager at the start of the World War II era....
Content type: Oral History Item
Lived in Coney Island from 1938 thru early 1950's
Harry spent his formative years in Coney Island and has many memories of the sights and sounds from his youth. Before being drafted into the military during the Korean War, he had various part-time jobs including a stint at Silver's Bathhouse...
Content type: Oral History Item
Grew up a daredevil in New York City
Corinne describes visiting Coney Island in the 1940's as a girl with her family and even taking the train with other children to spend the day. She rode the Steeplechase horses and even the Parachute Jump, which she first tried out at the 1939...
Content type: Oral History Item
Juilliard trained musician whose family owned Washington Baths
Jose Beth Smolensky describes growing up working for the Washington Baths, her family's Coney Island business. Her father, Harry Smolensky had high standards for cleanliness and kept the baths open for a longer season than most. Both of these...
Content type: Oral History Item
Depression-era resident and survivor of the 1932 fire
Goldie Durlester, daughter of a ladies' coat and suit pattern maker, was born in 1925. In the period prior to the start of the second World War, Durlester lived in a half-dozen or so locations around Coney Island and the West End. A survivor of...
Content type: Oral History Item
Radio broadcaster and Coney Island native
Freda Aron, née Umansky, was born in Brooklyn in 1915 and grew up in Coney Island in the 1920s and '30s as the child of Russian immigrant parents. After attending Bay Ridge Girls High School, she graduated from Lincoln High School's first...
Content type: Oral History Item