New Year’s Cheers

Whether you observe the end of a year or the coming of a new one, you probably have a way you like to celebrate. I spend my New Year’s Eve cozy at home with a good cup of cocoa, but others may choose sequins and bubbly. A glimpse into our collections shows a whole panoply of decorations, libations, and merriment from New Year’s Eve celebrations over time.

Below, the Wright brothers captured family friends Carrie Kayler, Belle Kayler, and Clo Barnes as they saw the year 1900 come to a close, nearly three years before the first flight.

Carrie Kayler, Belle Kayler, and Clo Barnes, December 31, 1900. Photo by Wilbur and Orville Wright, December 31, 1900. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00490

Carrie Kayler, Belle Kayler, and Clo Barnes, December 31, 1900. Photo by Wilbur and Orville Wright, December 31, 1900. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00490

Carrie Kayler, Belle Kayler, and Clo Barnes, December 31, 1900. Photo by Wilbur and Orville Wright, December 31, 1900. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00491

Carrie Kayler, Belle Kayler, and Clo Barnes, December 31, 1900. Photo by Wilbur and Orville Wright, December 31, 1900. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00491

The Costanzo family, below, shows what a jolly party their family can throw in their own New York restaurant.

New York, New York. Gypsy woman who is habitue of Marconi's Restaurant on Mulberry Street. She dropped in for a bite to eat New Year's Eve, and did a spontaneous dance to entertain the Di Costanzos family party. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d23920

New York, New York. Gypsy woman who is habitue of Marconi’s Restaurant on Mulberry Street. She dropped in for a bite to eat New Year’s Eve, and did a spontaneous dance to entertain the Di Costanzos family party. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d23920

New York, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Di Costanzo at the bar of their restaurant on Mulberry Street on New Year's Eve. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d23918

New York, New York. Mr. and Mrs. Di Costanzo at the bar of their restaurant on Mulberry Street on New Year’s Eve. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d23918

New York, New York. The Di Costanzo family, owners of a restaurant on Mulberry Street, hold their annual family dinner in the restaurant on New Year's Eve. There are few customers on that night. At left is a flag and picture of their son who is in the United States Army. Two of the Di Costanzo girls at their New Year's family party. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d11649

New York, New York. The Di Costanzo family, owners of a restaurant on Mulberry Street, hold their annual family dinner in the restaurant on New Year’s Eve. There are few customers on that night. At left is a flag and picture of their son who is in the United States Army. Two of the Di Costanzo girls at their New Year’s family party. Photo by Marjory Collins, December 1942. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8d11649

And for those who prefer to raise a glass at a big shindig, these party photos give us a glimpse of some festive glamour in a group setting. In the first image, attendees don’t seem to be enjoying themselves as much as might be expected.

Cafe, New Year's Eve. Photo by Bain News Service, between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.15029

Cafe, New Year’s Eve. Photo by Bain News Service, between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.15029

In contrast, the photo below shows an enthusiastic crowd. I especially enjoy the spirit of the woman raising her glass in the bottom left corner, as well as the lady in black to the far right, who appears to have her mouth open wide to led out a hearty cheer!

Reestaurant Martin. Photo copyrighted by Montauk Photo in 1907.//hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b13928

Restaurant Martin. Photo copyrighted by Montauk Photo in 1907. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b13928

However you may spend your December 31st, on the eve of a new year, may it be filled with joy and good fortune!

Learn More:

"The Old Year Out...The New Year In". Photo copyrighted by U.S.G. Clemens, April 15, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b06756

“The Old Year Out…The New Year In”. Photo copyrighted by U.S.G. Clemens, April 15, 1908. //hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3b06756

 

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