In today’s world, we seem to have moved away from what we might call traditional or outdated entertainment.
With today’s streaming services, there’s a steady stream to watch on TV. Advances in video games can take players back into the universe, and into the times of history, where battles and life take you away from the emptiness of everyday life. Just ask parents who can’t get their children to stop playing and get out of their classrooms.
While I was teaching history classes in the classroom, during the pre-pandemic season, before I started class, I looked at my head in the sea looking at the phones, that no one was talking to the student about them. The art of personal conversation seemed to be lost among today’s generations.
Of course, there was always a suggestion to go out for some activities after one of your children came up with a well-used phrase saying, “There’s nothing you can do about it.”
I’m sure the same phrase was heard by my parents more than a century ago. Although the phrase may be the same, the forms of entertainment have changed.
Instead of the PlayStation 5, children may spend slides in the living room with their parents using a stereoscope (often called a stereoptic) that mimicked three-dimensional scenes. Many of these were international views, but the Broome County Historical Society covers more than 100 views from the late 1860s to the early 1900s. If you are unfamiliar with stereoscopic slides, and are over 50, think of Viewmaster with its image disc, insert it, and click it for a trip.
In addition to this entertainment, residents of all ages could go to a place like Stone Opera House on Chenango Street to take a show or go to a nearby magic lantern show, or visit a nickelodeon (this is more than a song performed by Teresa). Brewery).
All of these were similar forms of stereoscopic vision, where the audience could sit and see the images that were being shown on a screen (this is a pre-film). Maybe this was the form of their streaming services. However, the content was much smaller than what can be found on our TVs today.
The costs of these services were also lower than they are today, usually a nickel (so nickelodeon). That would cost more than $ 1.70 today. While that may not seem like much, salary levels were much lower than they are today; so it was an investment in entertainment to enjoy these grown-up ways of having fun.
Not all kinds of fun were found at home or in a small theater. No, you can find other places for other entertainment, such as playing billiards in a neighborhood store or in a neighborhood store. Billiards starting with “B” and rhyming with “P” (Sorry Merle Wilsoni). Billiards and pool games could be found throughout the region, which led to the twentieth century.
If you were in 1869 and spent a quarter of your time there, you could be entertained by a buggy on the road to Cardiff, Syracuse, and the road to Stubb Newell’s farm. There you would meet thousands of other people to see the petrified prehistoric man found on the farm.
Except for the fraud committed by George Hull of Binghamton. Hull’s Cardiff Giant was made of limestone, but to see that “giant” each brought in a huge amount of suckers who paid a quarter of it to bring $ 30,000 to Hull and his countrymen. He made even more money a few weeks later when he appeared in a newspaper interview with two sculptors when he appeared to be cheating, and then Hull himself.
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While it may seem silly to believe that a giant man has been found and to attract such an audience, think of some of the most poignant stories that have made waves in recent years and seen by millions.
Maybe we should go out and enjoy a catch-all game; this form of entertainment seems to have remained the same over the years.
Gerald Smith is a former Broome County historian. Email [email protected]