Faded signs on the Lower East Side

T & J Auto Repairs is on Delancey Street in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.


 I love that they use the old OR phone exchange (for Orchard). OR remains in a handful of other old signs and faded ads up to East 14th Street.

The battered and weathered ad below is for two separate businesses. P. Zaccaro Real Estate was founded by Geraldine Ferraro’s father-in-law. J. Eis & Son sells (sold?) air conditioners.

And at the very bottom, there’s the Orchard exchange again.


Tags: , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “Faded signs on the Lower East Side”

  1. Johannah Says:

    I think in the first case, the auto repair shop, the OR stands for ORegon, not ORchard. In the second case, the photo of the sign of a much older establishment, the exchange clearly was Orchard.

    In the first case, the exchange is OR7. In the second case, the exchange is OR4. It makes a difference.

    I recognize that auto repair site! It appeared to be doing a lot of business in the 1960s and 1970s when I lived right around the corner of Delancy Street from the shop, in the projects on Pitt Street.

    At that time, my telephone exchange (same for some of my local friends’ telephone numbers) was OR7 (then 677) and in our day, the OR in those phone OR7 phone numbers stood for ORegon, not ORchard.

    Following is the likely explanation for the discrepancy:

    “. . . first “ORchard” in the Orchard Street area and later “ORegon” which covered most of the entire east side of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge at Chamber’s Street up to about 37th Street near Grand Central Station.”


  2. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    The answer to the question as to whether OR 7 was ORchard or ORegon would depend on when the sign was painted. An ORchard 7 exchange did exist in the late 1930s. It was discontinued, and an ORegon 7 exchange was started in the late 1940s. So it was probally ORegon 7, but not certain. Depends, as I said, on how old that sign is!

  3. Johannah Says:

    I just had a pleasant telephone conversation with the proprietor of T&J Auto Repairs, who related to me that T&J Auto Repairs opened in 1954 and confirmed to me that the telephone exchange was “ORegon 7.”

    I was thrilled to know that they’re still open for business, since I haven’t been by there in nearly 20 years.

  4. Bruce R. Gilson Says:

    As I said, the date determined it. In 1954 it certainly would have had to be ORegon 7. As I said earlier, ORchard 7 was in existence only for a few years in the late 1930s.

  5. What's the “ORegon 7-1222” on R' Moshe Feinstein's letterhead? [closed] | CL-UAT Says:

    […] ORegon/67 was an exchange in the Lower East Side. I don’t know why they decided to name that exchange “Oregon.” This database has multiple references to ORegon but no explanation. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: