Just a bunch more superannuated ads you can find walking around Manhattan. Not only do some of them show off now-forgotten products, they play up the stark changes that have come over the Manhattan streetscape through the decades.

West 185th Street, near Broadway

This one has two ads, both at least 50 years old, one printed on top of the other. The most visible one is:

A Pure Delicious Product

Newbrook Ice Cream

…at the bottom, Liggetts Drug Store, where you could find the ice cream. Liggetts used to be a large chain store, like Rite Aid or Duane Reade.

There’s also an

Evangelist Church

ad, probably the older of the two, since it appears beneath the ice cream ad.

Huge ad for Wellner Motors, featuring an old GMC logo, on Greenwich Avenue at 8th Ave.

Hotel Irvin, West 30th Street near 8th Ave. It was a women’s hotel in business from 1925 to the mid-1950’s. More details at Walter G’s New York Signs page.

No, you can’t have a room for $2.50 a night anymore, anywhere.

6th Avenue and 25th Street.

I’m kinda stumped here. The ad on the left has a Jos. F. Grotta, probably a lawyer or realtor.

The one on the right has big O followed by little x, z, a.

Forgotten Fan Robert De Lange suggests this may be an ad for a 1930s dishwashing soap known as Oxzadol.(I always thought it was Oxydol, but maybe the spelling got changed. The ‘xz’ combination isn’t unprecedented…think of Noxzema hand cream.

2003: There’s a lot of real estate being developed in the 20s on 6th Avenue these days, so this building may be in jeopardy. Condos for the rich are sprouting like dandelions along 6th between 23rd and 29th.

Republic Air Lines, which was bought out by Northwest in 1986, turned up in 2001 at 3rd Avenue and 59th Street.

As a building that has stood for about 127 years comes down as the 21st Century begins, a vivid ancient advertisement is revealed…

Photo: Frank Jump

Young & Schmuck

Fine Wines, Liquors and Cigars

Pool & Billiard Parlor

This ad is on 8th Avenue and 47th Street, but not for too much longer. (9/00)

The New York Times F.Y. I. column on August 27, 2000 reported that the building the sign was painted on (772 8th Ave.) was built in 1873 and was owned by Fred Schmuck. The building directly next to it (776 8th Ave.) was built in 1897, so the ad had to have been painted sometime during the 24 year period between 1873 and 1897, since 776 has covered the ad since 1897.

ABOVE: Another image courtesy of Forgotten Fan Peter Farrell.

No trace of the ad, or the building it was on, remained as of December 2000.

Lamston's stationery

Also on 8th Avenue a block south of the Young & Schmuck ad, you find a notice for Furnished Rooms 1 2 3, Steam Heat, Housekeeping, Hot & Cold Water.

Both these ads are just a bit north of the Theater District.

In the vicinity, it’s not an ancient ad, but McHale’s, and its aged neon signs, have been here for at least fifty years.

2005: McHale’s has announced it is closing in January 2006 and its building is tom be demolished.

And speaking of neon…

Another venerable venue, Lanza’s Italian Restaurant, has another ancient neon sign at First Avenue near 11th Street.

But hey…what’s that stuff on the wall behind the neon sign?

Severely faded now, but incredibly surviving after 90 years, is a long, tall ad for P&N Corsets.

I can’t read the writing toward the top, but the bottom says in part, ‘You Want Good Corsets?”

Corsets were confining gear used widely up until World War I to give women hourglass figures. They were quite uncomfortable, but comfortability in clothing wasn’t a factor in that era.

P&N must have been a popular brand since other P&N ads survive in the Bronx.

In the shadow of the Queensborough Bridge.

Mercer Street, Soho

Liberty Beer

Lafayette and Canal Streets

“Importers and Bottlers of Beer” Imported Pilsener etc.

6th Avenue and Bleecker street

Hygrade’s all-beef franks

Looks like 1950s

Talamini Real Estate, 6th Avenue near 10th Street

Note the old style phone number:



10th Avenue and 13th Street, Bass and Guinness. Looks rather old, 1920s-30s

East 35th Street near 7th Avenue

“More men and women wear clothes with this label: Bonds”


Simoniz and S&E Motor Parts, 19th Street and 10th Avenue across the street from Chelsea Piers. “Motorists Wise Use Simoniz”

If you’ve been around long enough you remember the Three Stooges’ Simoniz commercials from the early 1960s. Of course, I haven’t been around long enough, but I’ve seen them.

Photo: Gary Fonville

Odeon Theater, East 145 St, near Powell Blvd.

The theater is now a church.

Looks like 1910s-20s.

Interesting mishmosh at Lafayette and Bond Streets.

Probably once a variety of automotive ads, but a scene from Michelangelo was painted on much later.


Charles Ruegger’s Bazar Francais, on 6th Avenue and 22nd St. –666 6th! A Swiss, Ruegger and his family had a hardware store in this location from 1929 to the mid-70s. Details on Walter G.’sNew York Signs page.

Built in 1929, now the site of Golden Lime Gourmet.

Thanks to Avi Argaman for help with this page.



Categorized in: Ads

Comments are closed.