by Kevin Walsh

We were prowling around on a Sunday noon around lunchtime looking for a diner that didn’t have a line out the door (apparently Joe Junior, which I heard had premium burgers, has a wide reputation) and, on the way west on East 20th between Park and Broadway, spotted a large “faded ad” I hadn’t encountered before for M(ichael) Handin and (Moses) Drapkin, FURS, at #23.

Though their painted sign has survived over a century now, the firm was in existence only from 1907 to 1914, and in this building only from 1909 to 1911! After that, the partners split up and ran several businesses separately.

The “faded ads” from the Garment District and the blocks south of it as far as the Villages are fascinating because in many cases the businesses they advertised were only around for a decade or two, and yet, their ghosts are still impaled on the top floors of the buildings where they were located. 

Dates and other info from the Indispensable Walter Grutchfield.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Lurissa January 22, 2020 - 10:49 pm

My great-great-grandfather was Moses Drapkin, who along with his sons owned furriers. We’ve always known my family was in this business, but until a year or so ago did not know that the advertisement from 100+ years ago remained. Ironically, I now work full time in Manhattan at 27th & 5th Avenue, not far from this building. I look forward to stopping by it soon and taking a picture myself!


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