Posts Tagged ‘Miss Brooklyn’

Who was crowned Miss Brooklyn in 1939?

March 2, 2015

All spring, the contest was heavily advertised in the Brooklyn Eagle. Any single woman born in New York City and currently living in the borough between the ages of 16 and 23 could enter.


Interestingly for a beauty contest, beauty was not necessary, according to the Eagle. “Judging will be on the basis of poise, personality, and appearance,” the guidelines stated.

MissbrooklynrulesThe judges, a group of business leaders, were tasked with looking for someone who exemplified the “typical local girl.”

Hundreds of women entered the competition that year, with several deemed finalists (and getting their photos in the Eagle) before the winner was revealed during Brooklyn Week at the World’s Fair in May.

So who won? The crown went to Miss Elinore Bertrand, 16, of West 2nd Street, who attended Bay Ridge High School.

Missbrooklyn1939She was awarded $25 and the chance to compete for Miss New York later that summer.

Bertrand (at right) seemed to be a bit of a sore loser. After she failed to grab the Miss New York title, she was so upset, she ran away to Philadelphia!

Miss Brooklyn wasn’t the only beauty contest of the era. Miss Rheingold, running until 1964, may have been even more popular.

And Miss Subways, which existed from the 1940s to the 1970s, was huge citywide.

When Miss Rheingold ruled New York City

October 17, 2009

Miss Harlem. Miss subways. Miss Brooklyn. The list of long-gone local beauty contests is filled with small-time titles and pageants. 

But one mattered so much to residents, it reportedly attracted almost as many city voters as a presidential election at the time did: Miss Rheingold.


A promotional jackpot for Brooklyn’s Rheingold Brewing Company, the Miss Rheingold pageant ran from 1941 to 1964. 

Every summer, grocery stores would be stocked with ballots featuring six finalists. The winner spent the following year on Rheingold billboards and in magazine ads. (Tippi Hendren, a 1953 finalist, above, didn’t snag the title.)

Miss Rheingold helped make the beer New York’s most popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Rheingold goes way back in the city; it opened in 1883 in Bushwick on the nabe’s famed “Brewers Row,” which earned its moniker because so many German-American beer companies began there.

Alas, they shut down in 1976, but the brand was revived in the 1990s. A new Miss Rheingold contest was also reinstated recently, but the contestants are all female bartenders.