VICTORIAN-ERA ADS

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At the top of a grand old building at Broadway and Washington Place in Greenwich Village is a sign that says “Treffurth’s.”

Treffurth’s was a noted restaurant on Broadway at the turn of the century. The building, according to the book “A Walk On Broadway: A Journey Over Time” by David Dunlap, dates to 1882.

Closer view of the "Treffurth's" bas relief.

An enterprising Miss Weber had a millinery (hat shop) at 46 West 22nd Street, just off Sixth Avenue (which wasn’t called the Avenue Of The Americas when the ad was carefully stencilled on the bricks.) in the early 1910s. See Walter G’s New York City Signs for more information.

A building on East 24th Street near Lexington had its flank exposed by a demolition, revealing the word “Knickerbocker” and a faded picture beneath it. Could it have been an ad for Knickerbocker Beer? Was there ever a Knickerbocker Bank?

In any case, the ad has been mostly covered up again by a new building going up on the site.

For some reason, Chelsea is home to a great many advertisements of extraordinarily venerable lineage (they’re old.)

This ad, dating from the horse and buggy days, is possibly 110 years old. It says: TO LET: Carriages, Coupes, Hansoms. It’s on a brownstone on West 17th just off 6th Avenue.

The building was used as a livery stable from at least 1896. See Walter G’s New York City Signs for more information.

Its sister ad is easier to make out when the tree in front of it doesn’t have leaves on it, so I went back in April 1999 to reshoot it. It says…

Victorias,
light wagons
Horses
taken in
Board
By the month
109 (109 West 17th St)

It’s not especially legible, but on a venerable brick building on West Houston Street, just west of 6th Avenue, you can see the word “Factory.” that has just about faded away. The lettering style, as well as the period after the word, indicates that it dates from the late 1800s.

The actual name of the company on this ancient brick building on Prince Street just west of Wooster in Soho has been mostly blurred out, but ancient signs reveal that a paper company used to inhabit the building: “Manifold Books, Special Forms, Engraving” and “Stationery, Office Supplies, Paper & Twine.”

I took these pictures just after Forgotten NY was first profiled in theNew York Times. I got an email from a woman named Andrea who wanted to meet me. We met at a Starbucks, walked around town for a bit. Never heard from Andrea again.

Such is fame.

Almost rendered invisible by decades of bright sun is an ancient Dubrow’s Paper Company ad on Greenwich Street near Christopher.

A. Hupfel & Sons Beer, Jos. Wagners’ Scheutzen, ca. 1900

Westchester & Castle Hill Avenues, Bronx.

Schuetzen Park Hall, with indoor rifle range and bowling alleys, was listed iin 1871 on Third Avenue between E. 165th and 166th Streets.

Can the ad outlast the insurance and travel agency ads to its right?

 





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