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20 Amazing Vintage Photos Show What Coney Island Looked Like at the Turn of the 20th Century_Ha

In the late 19th century, Coney Island began its rapid development into what is now an iconic tourist destination in New York City. By 1868 — just a few years after the end of the Civil War — a guidebook listed Coney Island as the “best beach on the Atlantic coast,” and the popular waterfront brought in up to 30,000 visitors every weekend.

By the turn of the 20th century, Coney Island reached its peak in popularity. Visitors flocked to both Coney Island’s beaches and newly built amusement parks, which offered magical wonders for people of every socio-economic class to enjoy. And here’s what Coney Island looked like 100 years ago:

Coney Island started to flourish as a resort town in the 1860s, and by the 1890s — pictured — its first amusement park opened, drawing even more visitors to its sandy beaches and boardwalk.

Coney Island in 1898.

Women enjoying frozen custard on the Coney Island boardwalk in 1900.

Women eating lunch at Coney Island in 1900.

Two women ride the Ferris wheel at Coney Island in the year 1900.

Amusement rides at Coney Island in 1900.

Visitors attending a show at Coney Island in the early 1900s.

Four people watching the ‘Shoot the Chutes’ amusement ride at Luna Park, Coney Island, ca. 1903.

Luna Park at Coney Island in 1905.

People in the ocean at Coney Island in 1920.

Bathing suit beauty contestants on the boardwalk at Coney Island in 1922.

A century ago, Coney Island was home to an annual “Bathing Beauty” contest. In 1923, these contestants posed for a photo at Steeplechase Park.

Beachgoers playing ball games at Coney Island in 1923.

Dancers on the beach at Coney Island in 1925.

Beachgoers at Coney Island in 1925.

Man greasing chain of the Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster in Coney Island, 1927.

Crowded boardwalk at Coney Island in 1927.

The beach at Coney Island with the amusement park in the background in 1928.

These competitors lined up while participating in 1928’s beauty contest.

Sunkist Lemonade and Tally-Ho Beer billboards at the Coney Island boardwalk in 1929.

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