Posts Tagged ‘vintage phone exchanges’

An old Bronx phone number on a wood milk crate

March 5, 2018

It was up for sale at a New Jersey antiques market: a vintage wood milk crate stamped “Hygrade Milk,” a Bronx milk company founded in 1914, according to data from Bloomberg.

But the best part of the crate is the phone number beneath it, with the old two-letter phone exchange “LY.” But what’s LY?

The Hygrade Milk and Cream Company apparently existed at 2350 Hermany Avenue, in the southeast Bronx.

This in depth guide to old phone exchanges only lists a LY in Manhattan; it stood for “Lyceum” and covered part of the Upper West Side.

Longwood? That’s a nearby Bronx neighborhood. Or Lafayette Avenue, a street not far from Hermany? Someone must be able to solve this vintage phone exchange mystery.

In the meantime, here are more of these old timey two-letter phone exchanges spotted on signs and in ads around the city, which were all replaced by digits in the 1960s.

Two more old Manhattan phone exchanges

June 8, 2011

This first one was spotted on a building off Lafayette Street near Bond Street.

Strangely, it has the EM for Empire that indicated a Brooklyn or Queens phone number.

I guess the alarm company was located in one of these boroughs (kind of scary if you were stuck in the elevator, having to wait for someone to come rescue you from across the East River).

The Little Wolf Cabinet shop, launched in 1956, is still located in the East 80s, one of the last of German Yorkville’s old-school businesses.

RE is for Rector or Regent.

A remnant of “Little Ukraine” in the East Village

March 24, 2011

A handful of Ukrainian storefronts and signage are still hanging on along lower Second Avenue.

There’s Ukrainian soul food standby Veselka and the Ukrainian National Home, both off of East Ninth Street. Taras Shevchenko Place and St. George’s Church are around the corner on East Seventh.

But the East Village’s Ukrainian presence is a shadow of what it was in post–World War II New York, when Ukrainian immigrants poured in, reportedly topping 60,000 in the 1950s.

Here’s a piece of ephemera from that once-thriving community. Stephan Kowbasniuk was a well-known lawyer in Little Ukraine; in this ad he offers to handle passports, shipping, real estate transactions, and citizenship papers.

It’s tough to date the ad, but considering the vintage Algonquin phone exchange, it must be pre-1960s.

[Thanks to frequent Ephemeral commenter Mick Dementiuk for the Ukrainian translation]

More old signs with old phone exchanges

May 18, 2010

Raskin’s Fish Market, on Kingston Avenue in Crown Heights, looks like a remnant of another era, thanks to the old-timey sign and phone exchange.

That’s SL for Slocum.

But this kosher fish store, open since 1961, is no throwback—they even have their own Facebook page.

Abramson Brothers is a real-estate management company with properties across Manhattan.

This plaque is affixed to a handsome building at 333 West 52nd Street.

MU—for Murray Hill, of course!