In Memoriam: The Atlantic City Boardwalk [Updated]

October 29, 2012


A look back…


The first iteration of the Atlantic City boardwalk opened in 1870 and it was the first boardwalk in the United States.. No commerce of any kind was allowed within thirty feet of the boardwalk and for the first several years, the boardwalk was taken apart and stored during the off-season.

The boardwalk experienced several overhauls, each larger and longer, until an 1889 hurricane brought about the 24-foot wide, 10-foot high, and nearly 4 miles long boardwalk with railings on both sides. It was improved and expanded in 1896 and is (was?) currently the longest boardwalk in the world.

Atlantic City, early 1900s

Early Thomas Edison film of people walking along the boardwalk, 1904

Rolling chairs on the boardwalk, between 1905 and 1920

“Keep Smiling” 1906

Lucky Strike, 1925


Atlantic City Inter-City Beauty Contest, 1926


The New York Times in 1929: “A magnificent proof of America’s newly found wealth and leisure. It is an iridescent bubble on the surface of our fabulous prosperity.”

Easter, April 12, 1936


Woman dressed up on the boardwalk, 1940


Women on the boardwalk, 1945

Flickr: jhsum-commons

Atlantic City, 1951

“Put your makeup on, fix your hair up pretty / And meet me tonight in Atlantic City” – Bruce Springsteen, 1982

September, 2012.

R.I.P., boardwalk. Flickr: billvarney

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