Wednesday, October 17, 2007

More From The Brooklyn Historian

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle's resident historian, John B. Manbeck, has given us another fine column on Coney Island history. The new column is a concise, readable history of the Wonder Wheel, from its creation in 1920, through these current days of Thor.

Manbeck- who was the official Brooklyn Borough Historian for nine years, and is a professor emeritus at Kingsborough Community College ('K' on the Bay)- is a valuable living resource for Brooklyn history. Kinetic Carnival is, of course, particularly interested in the Brooklyn History sub-discipline of Coney Island History. Manbeck's Coney related work includes the 1991 book Coney Island Kaleidoscope (a collaboration with photographer Lynn Butler), consulting roles on several Coney Island documentaries, and 'Swept By Ocean Breezes: A History of Coney Island,' a New York Council for the humanities funded lecture which is provided free to any New York non-profit organization.

Coney Island is an amazing historical landmark, for Brooklyn, for New York, and for our whole country. One of the key issues at play in the area's redevelopment is to make sure that the area's historical legacy is protected and honored. This doesn't mean halting all development, and trying to recreate what we see in the films from 1904, but it does mean that we need to be aware of the area's history, so as not to lose it all together. People like John B. Manbeck should be applauded for helping us to learn this history.

Historically Speaking:The Big Wheel [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]

Swept by Ocean Breezes: A History of Coney Island
A lecture by John B. Manbeck
This lecture is available from 4/13/06 to 4/1/09

Can be tailored to a high school audience
Visit The New York Council For The Humanities for information

- post by Ben Nadler

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