The lost paper makers of the far West Village

The far western border of the West Village (or is it Hudson Square? Creeping Tribeca?) is a goldmine of faded and forgotten ads.

Several are for paper companies; with easy access to the Hudson River and an El chugging along Greenwich Street, the neighborhood became a hub for manufacturing and selling paper in the early 20th century.

This Beekman Paper Company ad is in pretty good shape, considering that it may date back to as early as 1926.

Beekman also had a location in the West 30s—and interestingly, that faded ad is still legible too.

The word paper in this ad on Washington Street is pretty clear—it’s the company name that’s too weathered to make out.

The U.S. Cordage Company Inc. made rope and twine.

Coy, Disbrow & Co. also made twine, in addition to paper, in their Greenwich Street factory.

This Greenwich Village Historic District Extension report, from 2006, sheds light on more of the neighborhood’s manufacturing and community life.

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4 Responses to “The lost paper makers of the far West Village”

  1. Jimbo Says:

    “El chugging along Greenwich Avenue”

    I think you mean Greenwich Street.

    Also, Hudson Square is Trinity Real Estate’s brand name for that area. It is completely faux and contrived.

    Most of us locals call it West SoHo, or the West Side.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    Ah yes, I will change Ave to Street. Thanks for pointing it out. I dislike the Hudson Square moniker too, but strangely it seems to be gaining acceptance.

  3. Josie Says:

    The faded-out company name in your second photo is Heller & Usdan. By discerning the “Heller” part of it on your photo I was able to google and find a clearer (must be older) photo by Walter Grutchfield on Flickr, here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wgrooch/3305124103/.
    The photographer also displays a link to more information on the paper company, Helle & Usdan.

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