Vintage ads that are fading fast

Check ’em out now because they won’t be legible much longer. First up is Omega Oil on West 53rd Street. Oil for cooking? Oil for your hair? A magic health elixer? The answer may be lost to the ages.

This Necchi Sewing Machine ad welcomes passersby to the small-but-surviving sewing machine district, loosely based in the 20s between Fifth and Seventh Avenues. It’s hard to see, but beneath the lettering is a faded sewing machine on a thin-legged table.

The Leonard Furniture Company gets it directly from the manufacturer, according to this Gramercy ad. It’s hard to make out the wording above it, but I think it says Ball Engraving Co.

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5 Responses to “Vintage ads that are fading fast”

  1. succulentshe Says:

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    That solves the mystery of Omega Oil, thanks! Great website too.

  3. Helcat Says:

    I live nearby and read that years ago, the El actually turned down 53rd headed west. I think that Omega Oil ghost sign was painted so high to catch the eye of El passengers. (Just a theory – there aren’t any other ghost signs on the block)

  4. Jerry Cass Says:

    Omega Oil was a wintergreen mint oil that you rubbed on sore knees, elbows, etc.
    My grandmother used it.
    Her big purse always smelled slightly of it.

  5. PizzaBagel Says:

    Regarding the hard-to-read wording at the top of the Leonard Furniture Company sign: It appears to read “HUMAN HA—–OOPS” Several letters are missing because of the window that was put in there. I’m assuming that it says “HUMAN HAIR” — as in wigs — but what the rest might be, I have no clue. I’m trying to put it into context. Perhaps “LOOPS.”

    Right below that, I think you nailed it with “BALL ENGRAVING CO.” There’s some other writing in white letters, but I can’t make it out. But notice that on top of all that stuff, in red letters and in the same style as below, it says “LEONARD / BEDROOM / FURNITURE.” Again, some of the letters are now gone because of another window added. (What? They didn’t have enough windows in this building when it was constructed?!!!)

    BTW: I’ve only scratched its surface, but I love your blog! Keep up the great work! Capture whatever you can before it’s gone, all in the name of “progress.”

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