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.
The Costanzo family, below, shows what a jolly party their family can throw in their own New York restaurant.
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.
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!
However you may spend your December 31st, on the eve of a new year, may it be filled with joy and good fortune!
- Read a past New Year’s Eve blog post that emphasizes the bubbly.
- Browse other New Year’s Eve pictures from our collections.
- Read a letter from the partied-too-hard Alexander Graham Bell to Mabel Hubbard Bell, December 31, 1891, (or rather… he continued to work too hard…)
- Feel like mixed drinks instead of bubbly? Check out this blog post from the Science, Technology, and Business Division, which points you to some digitized early mixology books! But hopefully you won’t feel as sore as the fellows in the “after” shot below.