Here’s some more examples of ancient signage found by FNY’s Gary Fonville…
As a sign enthusiast, my eye always wandered to this building on Second Avenue near 116th Street in Spanish Harlem, Manhattan. Fischer & Co., who sold pork products, felt it was worth it to spend probably a lot of money for this terra-cotta beauty.
[The bottom of the sign says "The Better Kind"]
Riding past on the el, this ancient sign for Orloff’s, established, as it says, in August 1902 at 2211 86th Street in Bensonhurst, had always been always partially obscured. For the present, in 2011, it was in full view. Gravesend historian Joseph Ditta: According to an advertisement from the program for the Annual Fair of the Epworth League of the Cropsey Avenue Methodist Episcopal Church, August 19-21, 1909, Orloff’s sold dry goods, gents’ furnishings, and shoes.
For some reason, this wooden optometrist sign endured until recently at this location on Livingston Street near Hoyt Street in Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn. Thank goodness I took this shot to record it. Guess what? It’s gone!
Chinese food is generally consumed these days in NYC via take-out. However, back in the day, Chinese food could only be eaten in a sit-down venue. This sign on Nostrand Avenue between President & Union Streets in Crown Heights, Brooklyn indicated that Chinese food could be gotten here.
[Chow mein, or stir-fried noodles, it seems, was the popular fare of choice in the old days, but other Chinese and Asian fare has surpassed it. The side facing the street says AIR CONDITIONING and dates from a time when it was hardly universal]
Directly across the street (Nostrand between President & Union) was the Normandy Bake Shop. Suprisingly, this sign is in pretty good condition and with a little tlc, could be reactivated fairly easily.
If I had taken this photo in July instead of March, it would be impossible to see. This sign caught my eye as I traveled southbound on the Gowanus. Naturally, I made a mental note of its location and came back later to take this picture near 25th Street at Third Avenue in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Moore McCormack Lines ceased to operate as a shipping company in 1982.
Shell Road south of the Belt Parkway in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn was the home of the Brighton Laundry Company.
One of the most unusual signs ever chronicled in FNY, Equitable Steel (formerly Harris & Glachman) on Park Avenue near 174th Street in the Bronx host this sign with letters made of protruding bricks. Kinda different. Huh?