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Title [Bowling alley group portrait]
Object Name Print, Photographic
Photographer Bear, George
Date ca. 1885-1895
Description Original B&W print on beige cardboard mount. Group portrait of fifteen men, seated and standing in three rows in front of a structure resembling a castle, with a building partially visible behind it. Two sets of bowling pins are set up in front of the group, with a pile of bowling balls in the center. Seven men are seated in the front row; seven men are standing in the second row; and one man stands in the third row, holding a bowling ball. All of the men are wearing suits and hats; some hold cigars. A sign is mounted between the towers on the castle: "BOWLING ALLEY." Stamped or printed inscription at lower left: "G. Bear." A sheet of paper glued to the top of the mount has a key identifying two of the men: the fourth man from left in the second row is identified as "Chas. Beinert"; the fourth man from left in the front row is identified as "Hein, of Willy & Hein / Wheelwrights, Canal St."
(Keywords: New York)
Print size 7.625 x 9
Ownership and History Bowling was a popular pastime on Staten Island in the late 1800s. A regular "Bowling Notes" column in the Richmond County Advance newspaper reported on the activities of the numerous local bowling clubs and leagues. Although the name of the bowling club seen in this photograph is not identified, perhaps it was the Stapleton Bowling Club, of which the photographer, George Bear, was treasurer in 1893.

George Bear (1856-1945) opened his studio on Beach Street in Stapleton, Staten Island, around 1881. He had apprenticed as a photographer in Germany and immigrated to the U.S. in the 1870s. Bear's clients were drawn primarily from the German-American community of Stapleton and frequently included factory workers, laborers, and tradesmen.
Earliest Date 1885
Latest Date 1895
Subjects Bowling alleys
Group portraits
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Associated People Beinert, Charles
Bear, George
Catalog Number PH01.1263
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, June 2016.
Legal Status Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.