I’d say there are relatively few New Yorkers who haven’t picked up an TV set or an air conditioner at P.C. Richard, or at least knows a friend who has. The company was founded as a hardware store in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in 1909 by an immigrant from Holland, Pieter Christian Richard. It was his son, Alfred J. Richard (A.J.) who built it into a multimillion dollar franchise that has outlasted competitors such as Stevens and The Wiz. In the 1980s and 1990s,, A.J. Richard’s smiling mug was recognizable in all the company’s print ads. He first worked for his father in 1923 at age 14, and he continued as chairman of the board until his death in 2004.
This painted ad, at Liberty Avenue and 96th Street in Ozone Park, probably marks the location of one of the company’s smaller outlets, as most Richard stores now occupy a large footprint. Amazingly, it’s faded just a little from when I first saw it here back in 1999; it’s likely a few decades older.
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