1920s Philadelphia ‘Evening Ledger’ News-vendor Coaster Wagon

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In the summer of 1916, panic struck the Jersey Shore. A shark sunk its teeth into Charles Vansant, the 25-year-old son of a Philadelphia businessman, out for an evening swim in the resort town of Beach Haven on July 1. A lifeguard pulled him ashore, but he quickly bled to death. Five days later, and 45 miles to the north, in Spring Lake, New Jersey, Charles Bruder, a young bellhop at a local hotel, met a similar fate.

 Then, something even stranger happened. The rogue great white traveled 30 miles north of Spring Lake and into Matawan Creek. On July 12, Lester Stillwell, 11, was playing in the creek 16 miles inland when the shark attacked. A young man named Watson Stanley Fisher attempted to save the boy, but was fatally injured in the process. 

Joseph Dunn was luckier. The teenager, the shark’s fifth victim, was bitten in the creek less than a half-hour later and survived.

The shark’s ferocious spree is said to have served as inspiration for Jaws—both Peter Benchley’s novel and Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film. In 2001, however, Benchley denied the connection in a correction to a New York Times article). Ichthyologist George Burgess calls it the “most unique set of shark attacks that ever have occurred.” *

1920s Philadelphia ‘Evening Ledger’ News-vendor Coaster Wagon


According to the inscription under the wagon, it was owned by S Nugent, of 212 Ardmore Ave, Haddonfield, NJ








The Popeye cartoon was serialised in the newspaper. The cut-outs above were give-aways in the newspaper during a promotion in the 1920s. The newspaper delivery truck below was sold by Trusco Toys.




Jaws story with thanks to – http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-shark-attacks-that-were-the-inspiration-for-jaws-15220260/#bo3U8lyzmZ18ASRq.99