WCS Library, New York Aquarium Postcards

The New York Aquarium is the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States, having opened in Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. Since 1957, it has been located on the boardwalk in Coney Island, Brooklyn. The Aquarium has a long history as a beloved New York City attraction, and the 75 postcards on display here show off the sights that have dazzled its viewers over the years.

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A giant lobster
Back caption: A Giant Lobster. 38 inches long; weight 21 pounds. Captured off Sandy Hook, N. J. Received New York Aquarium Sept. 1913. The longest known specimen.
A small aquarium with water plants
Front caption: How to care for an Aquarium. Use pure water, which should not be changed; it is better to introduce water plants, which will supply oxygen for aeration. Put fine washed gravel or coarse sand in the bottom to hold roots of the plants. Keep the aquarium in the light but not in sunshine; it should be in a room where the temperature is uniform, 50 to 60 degrees. A ten-gallon aquarium is easier to manage than one of smaller size. Do not crowd the specimens; a few small fishes will thrive better than several large ones. A rectangular or round aquarium is better than a globe. Feed moderately as waste food will foul the water. It is best to buy prepared foods. Put in a few fresh-water snails to eat green moss off the glass, and a couple of tadpoles to help clean up waste food. Take out refuse with a rubber syphon. Destroy fishes which become diseased. Get an aquarium book and study important details; the New York Aquarium can supply "The Care of Home Aquaria" for 25 cents a copy.
Alligator and Snapping Turtle, or, Alligator and Spotted Turtle
Front caption: How to care for Turtles and Small Alligators. Cold-blooded reptiles such as turtles and alligators cannot thrive in captivity during the winter months without a temperature of 75 to 85 degrees. They require permanently warm water and also a dry place upon which they can crawl to enjoy the heat of the sun. Some kinds of turtles feed only under water, but for most of them the water need be only a few inches deep. Alligators and snapping turtles are flesh eaters and may be provided with minnows, frogs, tadpoles, worms, grubs, crayfish, shrimps, small crabs, either live or dead. They will also eat chopped meat, fish, clams and oysters. Many kinds of turtles will eat the above foods,as well as snails, small aquatic mollusks and insects. Others like tender green vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, celery and various water plants. The wood turtle, box tortoise and other kinds usually found on dry land, eat berries and mushrooms as well as many of the foods already mentioned. Turtles should be supplied with a variety of foods until those most suitable are ascertained. A Madagascar tortoise at the New York Aquarium has long been fed on bits of apple, peach and banana. Turtles and alligators will feed freely enough when their quarters are kept permanently warm. They need access to sand, earth, warm water and sunshine.
Angel fish, squirrel fish and spanish hogfish
Back caption: Angel fish, Squirrel fish and Spanish hogfish, at the Government Aquarium and Museum, Bermuda. Painted by Dr. Andrey Avinoff, eminent naturalist, entomologist, artist, and late Director of the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Aquarium, Battery Park, New York City
Front caption: Aquarium, Battery Park, New York City. Back caption: Aquarium--formerly known as Castle Garden. Located on the seawall of Battery Park -- Statue of Liberty in the background. Contains most valuable and complete collection in the world of over 7000 deep sea fish and other sea specimens. Admission free to the public.
Atlantic cowfish
Back caption: New York Aquarium / (Stage One, on the ocean front at Coney Island) / Atlantic cowfish / Lactophrys tricornis
Atlantic walrus
Back caption: New York Aquarium / (Stage One, on the ocean front at Coney Island) / Atlantic walrus / Odobenus rosmarus
Black angel fish
Back caption: Black Angel Fish. Florida and West Indies. Reaches a length of 2 feet. Migrates north to New Jersey.
Blue crab
Front caption: Blue Crab--New York Aquarium
Blue devils
Back caption: New York Aquarium / (Stage One, on the ocean front at Coney Island) / Blue devils / Chromis sp.
Broad-headed cichlid
Back caption: Broad Headed Cichlid. Aequidens latifrons. One of the better known aquarium fishes from South America. Although handsome, it is somewhat disposed to fight.
Brook trout, New York Aquarium
Back caption: Brook Trout. The most beautiful and best known of American trouts.
Butterfly fish
Front caption: Butterfly fish, New York Aquarium
Crescent fish
Back caption: Crescent Fish / Pterophyllum scalare. One of the most handsome of small aquarium fishes. A native of the Amazon River.
Crimson sea anemone and channelled whelk
Back caption: Crimson Sea Anemone and Channelled Whelk. North Atlantic coast. The whelk spawned its string of egg-cocoons 17 inches long in 11 days. The mother whelk is 8 inches in length.
Eigenmann's gymnotus
Back caption: Eigenmann's gymnotus / Eigenmania virescens. A peculiar species which propels itself almost entirely by a long fin attached to the lower surface. A relative to the well-known Electric Eel, a native of South America.
Elephant seal, New York Aquarium
Back caption: Elephant Seal. Guadalupe Island. West coast of Mexico. A nearly extinct species. Reaches a length of 20 feet.
Feeding the crocodile
Front caption: Feeding the Crocodile -- New York Aquarium
Florida sea anemone & sergeant major
Back caption: New York Aquarium / (Stage One, on the ocean front at Coney Island) / Florida sea anemone & sergeant major / Condylactus gigantea and Abudefduf saxatilis
Flying characins
Back caption: Flying Characins / These small fishes, Gasteropelicus and Carnegiella strigata, are true flying fishes capable of skimming over the water for short distances. They are natives of South America.
Frogs and salamanders
Front caption: How to care for Frogs and Salamanders. These animals may be kept in aquaria or other vessels provided with sufficient water to cover them. Provision must be made for space upon which they can rest when out of water. Pieces of damp moss are excellent for salamanders. Frogs will rest on projecting stones or blocks of half submerged wood. Large salamanders require running water. Small varieties may be kept in still water changed daily in winter and oftener in summer, and maintained at a temperature of 68 to 75 degrees Fahr. Frog tadpoles may be kept in balanced aquaria, two to each gallon of water. Specimens fed live food can catch their prey better in shallow water. The common newt accepts food at all seasons of the year. Most salamanders and frogs are cannibals and only those of approximately the same size should be placed together. Frogs in the tadpole stage eat aquatic plants, also chopped fish, liver and meat. Adult frogs eat every moving object they can swallow- earthworms, grasshoppers, crickets, spiders, etc.-and in captivity will also take mealworms dropped in the water and strips of raw beef dangled before them on a stick. Very young salamanders thrive on the white worm. (Enchytraeus) and larger ones eat mealworms, earthworms, insects and small mollusks--snails, slugs, etc. When taught to eat from a feeding stick they will take chopped fresh beef, fish and shellfish.
Giant grouper
Back caption: Giant Grouper / Florida and West Indies. A good food fish. Reaches a weight of 400 pounds.
Giant leatherback turtle, New York Aquarium
Back caption: Leatherback Turtle. Captured at Belmar, New Jersey. Weighed 840 pounds--the largest on record.
Giant snapping turtles
Back caption: Giant Snapping Turtles. Lower Mississippi region. Largest fresh-water turtle. Greatest weight 150 pounds. Jaws very powerful. Used for food.
Glass fish
Back caption: Glass Fish / Ambassis lala. A remarkable, nearly transparent fish from the East Indies. The internal details of anatomy can be plainly seen.
Green and spotted moray
Back caption: Green Moray, Spotted Moray. Florida and West Indies. Active and voracious. Green Moray reach a length of 9 feet.
Green moray, New York Aquarium
Back caption: Green moray. Florida and West Indies. Active and ferocious. Reaches a length of 9 feet.
Hermit crabs
Back caption: Hermit Crabs / These crabs live in empty sea shells, which they carry with them, moving into larger shells as they increase in size.
How to care for salt water aquarium
Front caption: How to care for salt water aquarium. Water and marine plants must be used with marine animals. Loss through evaporation may be replaced with fresh water from the faucet as most of the original salts remain. Water may be aerated by removing a little and allowing it to fall back from a height of several inches, or may be siphoned off from the bottom and used again after filtering through cheesecloth. The best plants are sea lettuce and red algae. Sea lettuce should be buoyed with bits of cork to cover most of the surface and allowed to hang down on the sides nearest the light. Clean white sand or pebbles and a few stones should be / placed on the bottom. Round glass aquaria are best and an 8-gallon jar most desirable. No direct sunlight should strike the aquarium in summer, little in winter. Northern white coral, two or three each of brown and white anemones, prawns and minnows, will thrive, with a small clam to clarify, and half dozen mud snails for scavengers. Very small crabs and mussels may be introduced, also barnacles and tube-dwelling worms. Four animals to the gallon are enough. Desirable food is chopped clams, mussels, dried shrimp or dessicated codfish after soaking out the salt. Uneaten food should be siphoned off and dead animals and plants promptly removed.
Interior view -- New York Aquarium
Front caption: Interior View -- New York Aquarium
Large green turtle
Front caption: Large Green Turtle (Weight 313 lbs.) -- New York Aquarium
Large groupers
Back caption: Large Groupers. Florida and West Indies. Yellow-fin, Red and Nassau groupers. All important food fishes. Greatest weight 50 pounds.
Largest walrus in captivity
Back caption: Largest walrus in captivity / Olaf, an Atlantic Walrus, was born on the ice near Greenland in the spring of 1956 and came to the New York Aquarium that fall. He weighs 1,900 lbs. and may eventually reach a maximum of 3,000 lbs.
Main floor view, New York Aquarium
Back caption: New York Aquarium. Open daily. Free. 9 A.M. to 6 P.M. April-October. 10 A.M. to 4 P.M. November-March. Closed Monday forenoons. Reached by elevated, surface of subway lines running to South Ferry.
Manatee or sea cow
Front caption: Manatee or Sea Cow -- New York Aquarium
Mexican swordtail
Back caption: Mexican Swordtail / Xiphophorus helleri. One of the better known species of small aquarium fishes which gives birth to active young. The male is distinguished by a long sword-like process on the lower part of the tail.
Mud springer
Back caption: Periophthalmus koelreuteri. A remarkable fish that spends much of its time out of water in pursuit of insects. It is here shown with its eyes protruding from the water in a frog-like fashion. A native of West Africa.
Muskallunge
Back caption: Muskallunge. Northern United States and Canada. Largest of the pike family.
New York Aquarium at Seaside Park, Coney Island, N.Y.
Back caption: New York Aquarium at Seaside Park, Coney Island, N.Y. Located between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk near 8th Street. The Aquarium contains tropical and fresh water fish, aquatic mammals and birds.
New York Aquarium on the ocean front, Coney Island, New York
Back caption: The New York Aquarium on the Ocean Front / Coney Island, New York
New York Aquarium, Battery Park
Back caption: Opened as an aquarium under city management in 1896. Transferred to the New York Zoological Society in 1902. Averages about 5,000 specimens of 200 species. Average daily attendance since 1902, 5,500. Attendance 1927, 2,239,305. Open daily. Free Hours 9 A.M. to 4 P.M., October-March; 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., April-September.
New York Aquarium, Battery Park
Front caption: Erected 1807, by U.S. Government as a fort, called Southwest Battery. After War of 1812 called Fort Clinton. In 1822 ceded to N.Y. City and used as place of amusement, called Castle Garden, seating capacity 6000. Gen. Lafayette received here in 1824, President Jackson 1832, President Tyler 1843, Louis Kossuth 1851, Jenny Lind first sang here in 1850 under the management of P. T. Barnum. Used as landing place for immigrants from 1855 to 1891. Opened as an Aquarium, under city management in 1896, and transferred to N.Y. Zoological Society in 1902. Largest Aquarium in the World; contains 7 large floor pools, 94 wall tanks and 25 smaller tanks. Average daily attendance 4,551. Open daily. Free. Hours 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. Winter; 9 A.M. - 5 P.M. Summer. Closed Monday forenoons.
Octopus
Back caption: Octopus. All temperate and tropical seas. Largest known specimen 28 feet across the arms. Changes color instantly.
Octopus -- New York Aquarium
Back caption: Octopus or Devil Fish. From Bermuda. A Pacific species--is 28 feet across the arms.
Parrot fish
Back caption: Parrot fish, at the Government Aquarium and Museum, Bermuda. Painted by Dr. Andrey Avinoff, eminent naturalist, entomologist, artist, and late Director of the Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Pearl danio / striped danio
Back caption: Zebra and Pearl Danios / Brachydanio rerio and albolineatus. These two species, native to India, are among the most popular of small aquarium fishes.
Pike killie
Back caption: Pike Killie / Belenesox belizanus. A ferocious but small fish which gives birth to active young. Sometimes kept in home aquaria. A native of Central America.
Piranha
Back caption: Piranha / Serrasalmo rhombeus. A small but dangerous species. In its native habitat it is known to attack human beings in packs. The teeth are so sharp that it is enabled to bite large chunks of flesh with ease.
Porcupine fish
Back caption: New York Aquarium / (Stage One, on the ocean front at Coney Island) / Porcupine fish / Diodon hystrix

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