Skip Navigation

Surf Avenue, Coney Island

Irving Underhill

This 1906 image shows the trolley service that since the 1890s had run from Park Row in lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge, inaugurated in 1883. The trolley provided an additional easy and relatively cheap trip for many working-class and immigrant visitors to Coney. (The construction of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 and the Manhattan Bridge in 1909 further facilitated the journey.) The subway would eventually replace the trolley. Here the trolley is shown running on Surf Avenue, Coney Island’s main street and transportation hub, parallel to the beach. The photograph shows the Loop the Loop, one of the first mechanical rides on the island from 1883 and a precursor to the roller coaster. Note also the many electrical lines, which supplied energy for illumination and the running of the amusement parks.
MEDIUM Gelatin dry glass plate negative
DATES 1906
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 1996.164.8-B10221
CREDIT LINE Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION Irving Underhill (American, 1872-1960). Surf Avenue, Coney Island, 1906. Gelatin dry glass plate negative Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Museum/Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection, 1996.164.8-B10221
IMAGE overall, 1996.164.8-B10221_glass_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.