During this discussion, Susan Van Scoy, Ph.D. will trace the fascinating and largely unknown history of the “Long Island Duck” — a fixture on the menus of fine dining establishments around the world.
“The first duck farm, Atlantic Duck Farm, opened on Long Island in Speonk in 1858; however, raising ducks did not take hold until the Pekin duck breed arrived from China in 1873,” according to Van Scoy.
Van Scoy points out that “by 1940, nearly 100 duck farms were concentrated mainly between Eastport and Riverhead. Today, [however,] due to environmental regulations and soaring costs, only one Long Island duck farm survives — Corwin’s Crescent Duck Farm in Aquebogue.”
Despite this lack of duck farms, “many influences of the Long Island duck industry remain, such as the Big Duck, a duck-shaped building conceived by Martin Maurer in 1931 that was used to sell poultry and duck eggs, inspiring the famous term ‘duck’ architecture,” according to Van Scoy.
Susan Van Scoy, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Art History at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue and specializes in the history of photography and public, site-specific art. Images in the book are drawn from the photography collections of the National Archives, Suffolk County Division of Historic Services and The Post-Morrow Foundation, as well as numerous local families’ private collections.