Poster stamps of the city’s top draws in 1915

I’d never heard of poster stamps until an Ephemeral reader told me about them.

Popular in the mid-19th century into the early 1900s, these advertising labels, each a little larger than a postage stamp, were a trendy collectible at the time.


They generally featured products and services—and in the case of these poster stamps, found in a thrift store and dating to about 1915, the product was New York City.


The reader who brought them to my attention was kind enough to send me images of 15 stamps, all by acclaimed poster artist Franklin Bittner.


Many are of the tourist attractions found on postcards today: the Statue of Liberty and the Plaza Hotel, for example.

Yet some feature places and buildings that don’t necessarily make it on the double-decker bus tours these days . . . or no longer exist at all.


The Hippodrome, once on Sixth Avenue at 43rd Street, is gone, and Times Square’s Astor Hotel no longer exists either.

St. Paul’s Chapel on Lower Broadway is mostly known now for its role as a relief center on and just after September 11, 2001. The Washington Square Arch is still there and must-see for out-of-towners. But no cars anymore.

Thanks to Lisa for sending them over!

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5 Responses to “Poster stamps of the city’s top draws in 1915”

  1. Lori Parkinson Says:

    Love these! Thanks so much for sharing them.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    You’re welcome–I love the style and colors.

  3. Chip Says:

    Oh those are beautiful!

  4. Upstate Ellen Says:

    These are really cool!

  5. Robert C. Bradbury Says:

    There are 24 of these New York City poster stamps in this set. Published in 1915. Artist is Harold Bittner. See Bradbury, Robert C. United States Advertising Poster Stamps, 1912 – 1915. (Worcester, MA: Bradbury, 2014)

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