Is This Picture Worth 1000 Errors?

Aug 1, 2021 | History

While strolling along the Bradley Beach boardwalk with my nephew, he glanced at this picture from the early 1900s and noticed something wasn’t quite right.

I sent the information about the picture to the Bradley Beach Historical Society and Museum who then posted it on Facebook to see if others noticed anything unusual about this picture.

To our surprise, there were multiple errors found and what could have been the start of “Fake News” or at least “Fake Postcards.”

  • Was there a clothesline on the bottom left of the picture or was it just towels hanging from the “ropes” that were supported by poles, going into the ocean?
  • Was there a stairway to nowhere? There didn’t seem to be an opening to the boardwalk on top of the stairs. I’ve heard of a stairway to heaven, but this stairway has no entrance to anywhere!
  • Was the postcard in reverse? Should it have been looking north towards Asbury? What would Tillie say?
  • Was the postcard even taken in Bradley Beach? Where the heck was this photo taken? Could it have been Avon? Seems like the boardwalk is much lower in Avon. (Or, at least it is in 2021!)
  • Is the zeppelin too low? Is it moving towards the crowd? Should it be going west? Is it the Hindenburg? Did they have Shark Week back then? Hmmmm…wondering if there was really a zeppelin at all in the original photo.
  • The water and the boardwalk were not parallel. I’m sure they didn’t have Photoshop on their iPhones back then!
  • Who are all these people? This is a huge crowd for the early 1900’s and there were very few blankets or chairs. Looks like standing room only for many folks there.

There were also some unidentifiable findings:

  • Reports of a lady holding a jar of “Jiffy” peanut butter, strange animals and high lifeguard seats… Was this just your imagination running away again?

What was first noticed on our walk was that with all the hundreds of people on the beach and boardwalk, it didn’t look like anyone was looking up at the huge blimp!!! You would think people would be so interested that they would be looking and pointing at such a large blimp right above the beach. But no!!!!

We may all see things differently but one thing we can agree on is that this particular postcard was certainly quite odd!

By Bette Blum