I rarely find myself on the BMT Broadway-Myrtle Avenue el (J, M) and it was with a shrug of resignation that I once again passed by a Forgotten NY talisman seen from the Seneca Avenue platform, the 1910s-era Planters Peanuts ad featuring Mr. Peanut himself and the friendly peanut man who sold the hot treats from the peanut wagons. He used to, anyway, but now his likeness is gone.
Of course, such an elaborate ad, and the smaller ones at the roofline, were movie props painted for (so I’m told) the movie version of Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs in 1986. However, by lasting as long as they did, they became de facto ads for Planters and might as well have taken its place among the ranks of classic painted ads, some of which have lasted over 100 years.
When I first encountered it in 1999, it had already been there for 13 years. Mr. Peanut and the friendly peanut man were still very much intact as was the company slogan. However, several generations of taggers have continued their relentless work, and except for the word “Planters” and the roofline ads, it’s unrecognizable. Sick transit, Gloria!