To paraphrase Yogi, you can observe a lot by looking. I was walking up Broadway after getting a new tour guide license when these painted window signs for Izquierdo & Vila, fabric exporters, manifested themselves at Franklin Street.
The elaborate lettering for the word “Fabrics” seems to point the ad toward the 1920s, 30s at the latest, but I think the synthetic fabrics, rayon, nylon and dacron signs were added after that. Rayon and nylon were in the language by 1940, while dacron seems to have originated in 1950.
The signs are on the Bernard Semel Building, and there’s undoubtedly a story behind that for another page.