MONA COAL AND ICE, Hunters Point

by Kevin Walsh

I was tipped about this ancient sign at 49-10 Vernon Boulevard in the recent book by Bill Helmreich, The Queens Nobody Knows (sadly, Helmreich, who I met by serendipity on a tour in Fordham in 2018, passed away in 2020). The family of Italian immigrant Antonio Mona marks the spot at #69 Vernon Avenue, now 49-10 Vernon Boulevard, where Mona maintained his coal and ice business after immigrating from Italy in 1897. How long this sign has been here, I have no idea, but I never noticed it on previous trips down Vernon Boulevard, which have been often.

Notice the telephone exchange, HUnterpoint 0677. By 1940, the Monas were operating a clothes cleaning business at 49-10.

Much more from FNY’s Vernon Boulevard survey from 2019.

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



peter f battaglia August 31, 2021 - 10:34 am

fantastic info!!!

Mike Olshan August 31, 2021 - 3:44 pm

The sign says Mona but you say Mora, which is it and why would there be a variance between the sign and the family name?

Kevin Walsh August 31, 2021 - 6:12 pm

You got me. Fixed.

chaaad August 31, 2021 - 11:17 pm

I lived in this neighborhood when this sign appeared – or maybe more accurately, reappeared. They did a renovation on the building around 5-10 years ago and it was a “classic” type restoration. I wouldnt be surprised if they found this in the basement and decided it would kinda cool to put it up.

christopher thomas brady September 1, 2021 - 3:17 pm

I’m more interested in the 2 lamps.They wouldnt be reproductions,would they ?

Edward September 2, 2021 - 10:37 am

That sign looks to be in WAY too good condition to be as old as it would with a six-digit phone number (1920s? 1930s?). It has to be a reproduction. The typeface, particularly on the phone number, looks very 1960s vintage.

Ron+S September 2, 2021 - 3:18 pm

That reminds me–need ice for the icebox.

Bill+Tweeddale September 3, 2021 - 4:34 pm

I can remember growing up in Brooklyn in the late 40’s/early 50’s when the ice man lugged a block of ice up to our 3rd floor apartment and put it in the top of our ice box. A few years later my folks bought a house and the coal man would roll a big barrel of coal to a cellar window and empty it down a chute into the coal bin. I don’t think it was the same company, and it certainly wasn’t the same delivery truck!

Krasne Silvermart September 14, 2021 - 4:41 pm

Like the old “Mona Beauty Salon” sign on Avenue U: Neither owner could bring themselves to spring for an apostrophe & an “s”.


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