Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Perth Amboy Vintage Photos

I enjoy playing detective trying to figure out where and when a photo
in Perth Amboy was taken. 
Today, I got in the mail a photo that I had won on E-Bay. 
Was not sure if it was from Perth Amboy or Sewaren.
There was no writing on the back or a photographers stamp. 
Just from looking at the picture, I could tell it was 
JJ Kelly Cafe (bar) 
Address was 434
The first thing I did was to scan the photo and make it into
a digital image.
I then used a program called GIMP to enlarge the photo. 
Gimp is a great photo editor. It is free. 
You can get it here:
I enlarged the photo to 200 percent and  was able to see some of the 
little details in the picture.
No year, but found out it was the 
Grand Opening of Sewaren Beach. 
The next thing I found was a Street Sign. 
Now I was almost certain it was Perth Amboy.
Took out my 1949 City Directory 
and looked up the address. 
It was 434 High St. at the corner of Washington St. 
Now the only thing I had to find out was when
the picture was taken. 

There were two partial Movie Signs in the Window.
One from the Ditmas and the other from the Crescent (Royal) .
I deduced the Wm..Fair was most likely William Fairbanks. 
So I went to Google and searched his movies. 
He did a movie called the "The Sheriff of Sundog" in 1922.
Also looked up 1922 movies and found a movie called 
"Wasted Lives" 
Now I knew where it was and when it was taken..
The last thing I did was go to Google Maps
and see if I could get a picture of what it looks like now. 
I was able to copy the picture from Google Maps and 
make it to a digital image. 
2011 High Street and Washington St.

Start looking through your old Amboy photos and see
what you can discover.


  1. Fran, Great Job on this Blog! Love it!

  2. Fran,
    It was very enjoyable and instructional to see how you did some detective work with the background posters to arrive at the year that photo was taken.
    i just knew that someone in the Seawarren & Perth Amboy area would find
    "use" for this photo. So glad it wasn't shoved back into the old box of photos!
    Kudos! on your BLOG :-)

  3. Thanks so much! It is a lot of fun trying to figure out where the picture is located.

  4. Wow! Great detective work and Thanks for this great blog spot---I just came across blog site today. Love it. My whole family lived in Perth Amboy (mid 1910s-1980's) I'm into genealogy and history. Loved your blog, and I saw that photo on ebay---I'm so glad you won it--I wondered about it.

  5. Thanks Lisa. We love doing it. Perth Amboy is my hometown. Worked there as a teacher until I retired this past July. Bill and I knew each other from High School and when we reconnected thru various sites found out we both shared a passion for the History of Perth Amboy and decided to create this site. If you don't mind me asking what was your families last name? If you have any questions about Perth Amboy, please contact either Bill or myself. If you click on our names,you can send us a message.