by Kevin Walsh

This isn’t the first time I have put 7 pictures on a “One Shot” page, and it won’t be the last; I usually reserve 5-7 photos for Forgotten Slice category, but in this case, I don’t know much about the history about Willow Pharmacy on Willow Avenue and 9th Street in Hoboken, other than it was founded in 1921. I just like the signage.

In 2014-2015 I walked many of the north-south routes in Hoboken—I always admired the city, used to have friends there, and was a frequent patron at Maxwell’s (named for the Maxwells coffee factory, formerly in Hoboken) music venue. It has a small town atmosphere or at least did in the 1980s when I discovered it (it’s been discovered and rediscovered many times since I did, to its detriment). And, I worked in Hoboken for most of 2016 at Pearson Education when its offices were there.

I dig painted glass signs. The form is rarely used anymore, as it must be a pain in the neck to produce.

These are likely not the original 1921 painted signs. I can infer that because the phone number is all numbers and doesn’t have the alphanumeric exchange letters seen before the 1960s.

The signs must be very attractive at night. You can see that they are illuminated by old fashioned incandescent lights.

I imagine the interior is similarly attractive. You can see that the ceiling lamps have vintage looking glass bowls. I really should have stopped in for a box of cough drops or something.

The building is one of Hoboken’s older housing stock, with twin oriel windows on the upper four floors. I enjoy these windows because you can sit in front of one and see three separate views of Willow Avenue.

Unfortunately the city of Hoboken has standardized its street signage and removed most of its metal-enamel street signs like this one; there’s just a one-way sign now where these signs used to be.

The city can’t remove this pair of longtime signs, since they’re mounted on a building.

More classic signs

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



Doug Douglass July 21, 2020 - 6:48 pm

Willow Pharmacy’s original exchange was OLdfield 9.

Brian McCloskey July 22, 2020 - 8:35 pm

Just go inside and talk to Frankie, he can tell you about David and his father Doc Seligman and show you the penny scale,,a little research would had made the story interesting, it does have an interesting past..


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