Larry Milliard, cartoonist

In 1957, Larry Milliard came to Coney Island looking for work as a sign painter. Playland owner Alex Elowitz was so impressed by his work that he was hired to do murals across the amusement area, mostly the recently demolished Playland Arcade space. His lettering was stylish and perfect, and he soon expanded his work to include cartoon characters and humorous narratives. Each inch of the Playland Arcade on Surf Avenue was covered with his pun-filled colorful murals, and he also did work at Stauch’s and B&B Carousell. Millard worked tirelessly through the next 3 years and then in 1960, he disappeared and was… Read More

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Henry Grashorn, hardware store owner

When you have a neighborhood full of amusements, carnival rides and arcades, you need someplace that has the nuts and bolts to make quick repairs. Grashorn Hardware in Coney Island was that place. In 1898, Henry Grashorn (1883 – 1939) changed a little hotel at Surf and Jones Streets into a hardware store that serviced 60 years of park repairmen. Henry Grashorn was a prominent Coney Island resident, serving as the Trustee to the Coney Island Hospital, director of the Coney Island Ban and founder and President of the Coney Island Mardi-Gras Association, of which the famous Coney Island Mermaid Parade is said… Read More

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Alex Elowitz and Stan Fox, Coney Island business men

Alex Elowitz began working as a change boy in a Coney Island arcade when he was 12 years old. He went to the army and upon returning opened the Playland Arcade in Coney Island with his brother, Stan Fox in 1949. The first Playland Arcade was on 20th Street and the Boardwalk in the Washington Baths building. Playlands at 15th Street and the Boardwalk and 12th Street and the Boardwalk (where Nathan’s is now) followed. They opened 4 and the last was demolished in 2012 after being abandoned for about 30 years. Alex and Stan bought the business from the surviving Katz… Read More

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Charles Denson, Coney Island Historian

Charles Denson is executive director of the nonprofit Coney Island History Project, which has created an oral history archive and sponsors educational exhibits, school programs and performances. He is the author of Coney Island: Lost and Found, named 2002 New York Book of the Year by the New York Society Library. Mr. Denson grew up in Coney Island and began documenting his neighborhood as a boy, a passion that continues to this day. A writer, photographer and art director, he began his career in 1971 as a photographer for New York magazine and has since worked as art director for numerous publications. (source: Coney… Read More

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