Vintage photos of New York City's most famous beach in its glory days

For over a century, Coney Island has been attracting New Yorkers and tourists alike to its sandy beaches, fun carnival foods, and amusement rides.

Coney Island opened with just one roller coaster in 1895, but by 1904 had three amusement areas with many different rides: Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park.

When the New York subway connection to Coney Island was built in 1920, the neighborhood became a place that people of all races and social status could visit, which upset the crowd of wealthy people who were previously known to migrate to that area.

Over the years, Coney Island has undergone many changes, yet it still remains a popular place for tourists and locals.

Below, see vintage photos of the popular amusement park:

Vintage photos of Coney Island
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Vintage photos of Coney Island

The boardwalk was built to accommodate visitors in 1926. On some days, the park was so packed that there were no places to sit — even on the sand.

 July of 1940

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Cyclone roller coaster has been operating for almost 90 years. It officially opened in 1927.


Photo Credit: Getty 

The amusement areas at Coney Island — Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park — made it the largest amusement area in the nation from the end of the 19th century through World War II.

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Parts of the original Luna Park burned down in 1944, and it was officially closed in 1946.

(Photo by Schenectady Museum; Hall of Electrical History Foundation/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

None of the three original amusement areas are currently there, thanks to several fires and closures. A newer version of Luna Park opened up in 2010.

Photo Credit: Getty 

Many of the roller coasters that were burned down now have newer versions — such as the Thunderbolt, which was originally built in the 1920s and reinvented in 2014.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The beach has always been a place where people flock to during the hot summer days. Here's a scene of a particularly crowded day.

Photo Credit: Getty 

The Wonder Wheel is the oldest ride in the area. It has been operating since 1918 and is now known as a National Historic Landmark.

(Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

Coney Island is also home to many popular food locations, like Nathan's Famous, which opened its first location in Coney Island in 1916.

 (Photo by George Heyer/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Frozen custard was invented in Coney Island when ice cream vendors Archie and Elton Kohr found a way to make ice cream stay cold for a longer period of time.

(Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)

Today, visitors can still enjoy a number of rides, walk along the boardwalk, and take a swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

(Photo by Paul Bernius/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)


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