Posts Tagged ‘Vintage ads’

A 1983 art show on the Williamsburg Bridge

October 25, 2012

Could this May 1983 ad be the first sign of the coming artist colonization and eventual gentrification of Williamsburg?

Published in the now-defunct downtown arts monthly East Village Eye, it promoted an outdoor sculpture exhibition set up on the Delancey Street side of the empty and decrepit Williamsburg Bridge.

98 Bowery, a website that chronicles the East Village/Lower East Side arts scene of the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, has a writeup and photos of the Williamsburg Bridge Show, as it was known:

“The neglected promenade seemed like the perfect place for a large-scale sculpture show. For two years, the sculptors grappled with the strict requirements imposed by the city’s Department of Transportation, which administers the deteriorating bridge.”

“The opening coincided with the centennial celebration of the Brooklyn Bridge, a synchrony which attracted attention to the show. The works, however, also attracted vandals and thieves, and a number of sculptures disappeared before a week had passed.”

You might recognize at least one artist’s name: Tom Otterness. He’s the sculptor behind those whimsical brass figures and critters at the Eighth Avenue and 14th Street subway station.

The faded underwear ad of 28th Street

October 18, 2012

“Shirts Underwear Etc” this faded advertisement reads on the back of an old brick building on 28th Street near Fifth Avenue.

Perhaps the building housed an old Garment District wholesaler or manufacturer—long out of business, judging from the condition of the building?

Three-story faded ads towering over the city

April 9, 2011

In the 1930s, the Bendix company licensed a line of home washing machines.

Which means this enormous faded ad on an East 109th Street and First Avenue tenement could be about 80 years old.

The tagline “For Cleaner Clothes, Bendix Prescribes All” still survived on 23rd Street and in this location through the 2000s.

Cardinal Realty has moved over to Fulton Street since this enornous black and white ad went up in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

It’s in pretty good condition, but it could be more than 40 years old—the old two-letter phone exchanges were still officially in use through the 1960s.

NE for Nevins Street, on the other side of Prospect Park. Thanks to Ephemeral reader Sheena for sending in this photo.

Here’s an invaluable resource for decoding old New York City phone exchanges.

When indie video stores popped up in the 1980s

February 24, 2011

It’s August 1984, and while thumbing through this month’s edition of downtown arts newspaper the East Village Eye, you come across this New Wave–esque ad.

How exciting to see that a video store will be coming to East Ninth Street. I bet it did a pretty good business there for awhile too.

“Huge punk selection” at Trash and Vaudeville

May 20, 2010

Skinny ties, black jeans, beatle boots, and other punk/new wave must-haves were up for grabs at Trash and Vaudeville, which has occupied the same St. Mark’s Place address since 1975.

An Ephemeral reader clipped this cool vintage ad out of a March 1980 issue of Trouser Press, a New York-based music magazine. Check out back issues from the 1970s and 1980s.

Ghostly ads of the Garment District

April 26, 2010

One of the best concentrations of faded ads is in the Garment District, where clothing and accessories companies once—perhaps still—manufacture dresses, coats, belts, and other industry staples.

I love the 1960s-ish 45-single logo on this ad, for Baar and Beards accessories is on 37th Street. It’s close to their headquarters at 350 Fifth Avenue.

Vintage Robert Bestian handbags are for sale all over the internet, but other than that, there’s not much information this brand out there. The ad is on 33rd Street.

Does this really say “Style Undies” above a list of children’s clothes words like pajamas and play togs?

East Harlem’s faded Bloomingdale’s ad

March 29, 2010

Lexington Avenue at East 116th Street is a crowded shopping corner of mom and pop and local chain shops—and the site of a weathered old advertisement for Bloomingdale’s flagship store 56 blocks south.

The vintage typeface looks nothing like the one Bloomingdale’s uses on their ads today. Does anyone know when it might date to?

Vintage ads fading fast on East 17th Street

March 15, 2010

Considering how open to the elements this building overlooking Union Square is, the ads painted on the side are doing a decent job holding their own against the effects of time and harsh weather.

The Crown Coatfront Company (“civilian and military coat fronts”) ad is still pretty readable.

Too bad the one below it—I can only make out “H. Got”—is almost gone. In the upper right corner is the remnant of a Carl Fischer music ad. 

And on the lower right is something about “Importers of Japanese Goods.” Or Japanese Foods?

Brooks has more info plus older photos of these ads.

Female fashion flashback: Spring in the 1890s

March 10, 2010

Here’s what trendy urban ladies on the cusp of the 20th century were frolicking around in.

Butterick was a leading dress pattern company; The Delineator a general-interest and fashion magazine they put out for women. Think of it as the Vogue of its day.

Beauty in Boerum Hill: a 1960s faded ad

February 27, 2010

This vintage beauty ad, for Monique hair and skin products, is still readable outside a Dean Street building.

Faded ad blog has some cool info about the company and its Brooklyn roots.


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