Back in the early 1900s, the Shell View Syndicate sold seashells by Brooklyn’s fabled seashore. These scallop shells with accordion folded booklets of miniature photos tucked inside are one of the most charming souvenirs of Coney Island that we’ve come across. Tied together with red ribbon and measuring just 1-5/8 x 1 x 7/8, the seashells are in the collection of the New-York Historical Society.
If you take a look at the photographs on the Society’s Collections page, you’ll see Steeplechase Park’s Ferris Wheel and Airship Ride, Luna Park’s Promenade, Circle Swing, and Elephant Ride, Stauch’s Restaurant and Dance Hall, and a Beach Scene.
A web search of “The Shell View Syndicate” turned up a few tidbits about the company. They had offices at 147 West 23rd Street in Manhattan in 1908. Their line of souvenirs included “New York in A Seashell, “Allentown in a Nutshell” and novelty postcards, but “Coney Island in a Seashell” is destined to remain our favorite.
Related posts on ATZ…
February 22, 2012: Rare & Vintage: 1930s Tin Litho Bumper Car Wind-Up Toy
December 23, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Subway Ad for “The One The Only Coney Island!”
March 22, 2011: Rare & Vintage: Souvenir of Frank Bostock’s Coney Island