Think about the receipts you’ve carelessly stashed in your junk drawer or wallet. If they survived the next hundred years, what would they say about how New Yorkers lived in 2011?
I’m sure the homeowner who left these receipts under the floorboards of his Clinton Hill townhouse about a century ago had no idea that they would shed light on which industries thrived in turn of the century New York.
Ferrell & Ruth were dealers in the seven major food groups for well-off New Yorkers. And hey, 176 Bedford Avenue is smack dab in the center of hipster Williamsburg today, the site of the Salvation Army thrift store.
Of course, ice companies still exist. But obviously refrigeration has drastically reduced their numbers. I wonder if 600 pounds of ice for $1.30 was a bargain?
The ice industry was actually pretty dirty back in the day.
Ship plumbing, now that’s a specialized trade. Fred Buse’s operation was on Old Slip off the East River, where the city’s maritime industry thrived.
[Special thanks to J. Warren for loaning me these bits of ephemera]
Tags: 176 Bedford Avenue Brooklyn, 32 Old Slip, American Ice Company, egg and butter industry New York City, Ferrell & Ruth, Fred Buse, New York ephemera, old New York industries, Old Slip East River, ship plumbing, vintage New York receipts