The one downside to the fact that so few people smoke these days? So few businesses hand out free matches as advertising vehicles.
But for most of the 20th century, matchbook ads were a popular way to get a company name and service out there—as these now-defunct Brooklyn businesses did in the 1940s.
The Hotel Half Moon was built in 1927 to rival the fancy new hotels going up in Atlantic City. Instead, it hosted conventions, became a maternity hospital in the 1940s, and was torn down in the 1990s to make way for a senior citizen housing.
In 1941, the Half Moon earned a place in mob history: Murder, Inc. turncoat Abe “Kid Twist” Reles plunged to his death from his sixth floor room there under mysterious circumstances.
Mayflower 9-3800! But why was Coney Island’s phone exchange called Mayflower?
Tags: Abe Reles, Coney Island history, matchbook ads, Hotel Half Moon, Loeser's Department Store, Brooklyn Edision, vintage matchbooks, Mayflower telephone exchange, Fulton Street department stores, Vintage Brooklyn businesses