Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City used to be the playground of America. It is the basis for the streets in the board game Monopoly- St. Charles Place, Marvin Gardens, Boardwalk. Now a hotspot for the casinos and outlet shopping, it used to have beautiful hotels lining the boardwalk like Hotel Traymore and the Marlborough Blenheim, and was a major attraction because of the beach.

The next three paragraphs are from the website “The late 1800’s were a growth time for the city. Nearly 2/3rds of the city’s 6,500 dwellings in 1899 were cottages. These cottages were elaborate 2-3 story private homes, many the summer homes of prominent doctors and businessmen from Philadelphia. Beautifully coifed lawns and magnificently decorated interiors, made these homes a symbol of the glory days of the city. At the same time, along the boardwalk, amusement piers began popping up. With names like Million Dollar, Steel, Iron,…, the piers of Atlantic City were a major draw. Everyone could find some sort of entertainment to meet their tastes from the Diving Horse, Dr. Couney’s Premature Infant Exhibit, marathon dance contests to side show acts. Despite the variety of draws to the city, one issue remained…how to extend the tourist season past summer. That question was answered by a 16 yr. old girl from Washington in 1921 who was the first Miss America. The pageant, which was held intermittently from 1930-1935, became synonymous with Atlantic City when it began being held at the Convention Hall in 1940.

Atlantic City became “the’ place to go. Entertainers from vaudeville to Hollywood graced the stages of the piers. Glamorous Hotels like Haddon Hall, The Traymore, The Shelburne and The Marlborough-Blenheim drew guests from all over the world. Atlantic City’s future seemed bright, until World War II. After the war, the public seemed to stop its love affair with The World’s Favorite Playground. Possibly because of the publics access to national air travel, the shift of the population westward, the general deterioration of the city, or a shift in the public’s taste for more sophisticated entertainment, Atlantic City lost much of its shine; and most of its tourists.

With the passage of the Casino Gambling Referendum in 1976, Atlantic City began an upward battle, not unlike one it had started two hundred years before, to use the glorious resources it has been given by nature, to make it once again a world renown tourist Mecca.”

The above postcard features the Steel and Auditorium Piers. Auditorium Pier was later known as the Steeplechase Pier, which is now gone. This postcard opens in the center and features an accordion booklet of views of Atlantic City.

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