Vintage photos of Americana in N.J.

“Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet” – Chevrolet commercial first aired in 1974

The term “Americana,” which covers a diverse range of things, is often the result of the mixing of cultures that make up America. I say it’s something that makes you feel “at home.”

As far as I can tell, even if something wasn’t truly born in the U.S.A., but makes you think “homegrown,” it qualifies as “Americana.”

For instance, it has now been pretty much conclusively established that Abner Doubleday did NOT invent baseball in Cooperstown in 1839; the game evolved from ball games played in England, France and Germany.

Hot dogs are, of course, frankfurters named for the German city where they originated. Apple pie has been baked anywhere apples grow as long as there have been pies; according to yara.com, China outproduces U.S. growers, and supplies 40% of the world’s apples.

And since I’m on a roll, Louis-Joseph Chevrolet was born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, and developed his mechanical skills in France. Hot dogs WERE first put ‘on a roll’ in the U.S.; at least there’s that.

Americana? If it takes place in the country and makes people feel good, it can be almost anything at any time.

In this gallery, we’ve touched on just a few of the countless ways ‘Americana’ could be illustrated. If you’ve got photos that you think would do the job, send them in — Americana comes from everywhere.

And here are some links to other galleries you might like.

Vintage photos of N.J. Americana

Vintage photos of how things have changed in N.J.

Vintage candid photos from N.J.

Greg Hatala may be reached at ghatala@starledger.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregHatala. Find Greg Hatala on Facebook.

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