Posts Tagged ‘old ads’

Manhattan building ads fading before our eyes

July 28, 2011

We’re losing them—the white (and sometimes color) ads painted on the sides of buildings left over from an older, non-digital New York.

I can make out the “Sable Bros” part of this one, on 36th Street. But to figure out what the white letters fronting the blue background, I had to consult the wonderful 14 to 42 website, which photographed the ad when it was in better shape back in 2004.

This next one, in the 20s off Seventh Avenue, is too far gone to even try to research, except for what seems to be the word “paper” at top.

If anyone can figure it out, please send it in!

Miss Weber’s 22nd Street millinery shop

June 14, 2010

A faded ad painted in brick on a Chelsea building is all that’s left of Miss Weber, a hat maker who ran a store at 48 West 22nd Street.

“Take elevator”: If instructions were necessary, I’d guess that elevators were relatively new at the time the ad was painted.

So when does it date to? Well, Frank Jump posted a photo taken in 1997; he dates the ad to 1910.

And 14to42 says an Ida Weber ran a hat shop here from 1911 to 1913 before decamping to the millinery district on 39th Street.

Some very faded vintage advertisements

August 3, 2009

These three white-on-red brick ads are especially tough to decipher because one, if not all, of the words have fallen victim to the elements.

This one is in East Harlem on a building at Second Avenue and 109th Street. Hartketcher? Hoffketcher’s? It’s a total mystery.


At least the “Tea Co.” part is legible in this Tribeca ad. But whose company was it? The small type on the right looks like it could say “in Holland.”

 Tribeca (the name wasn’t coined until the 1970s) used to be the center of dry goods distribution in New York City.


Could the bank name in this ad be the Corn Exchange Bank Trust Company? Founded in New York City, it dates back to 1852. In 1954 it merged with Chemical Bank, and eventually the Corn part was jettisoned.


Faded ads from the 1940s

May 24, 2009

A couple of blue-and-white mid-century ads appear one on top of the other off Lexington Avenue in Murray Hill. They’re strangely (yet nicely) preserved, probably because a neighboring building covered them up for decades.

DoehlerfurnitureDoehler Metal Furniture owned the building these ads appear on, on 32nd Street. Based on a look through online newspaper archives, they seem to have had a lot of contracts with the army during World War II. Manningbowman3

Manning-Bowman had a showroom on the seventh floor. The Connecticut-based electronics firm made things like waffle irons and coffee makers. 

“The world’s most exciting models”

September 22, 2008

Models of cars, that is. Well, the New York International Automobile Show had to do something to pack in the crowds. This first ad, from 1966, shamelessly milks the double entendre:

This next one, from 1970, plays it straight. No more New York Coliseum; it was torn down in 2000 to make way for the Time Warner Center. These days, the Automobile Show is held at the Javits Center.

A couple of Brooklyn phone exchanges

July 6, 2008

HY is for Hyancinth, in Williamsburg, but it’s unclear where that name came from.

The very faded NE in this moving-shipping-storage ad on Atlantic Avenue and Bedford stands for Nevins. Too bad there isn’t a city agency to help preserve the faint numerals.

“Tweezers, nippers, manicure sets”

April 23, 2008

As advertised by the Griffon Cutlery Works, 19th Street and 7th Avenue. This sign looks like it dates from the 1930s or 1940s.