Cortlandt Street 1908 via Detroit Publishing Co. collection held at the Library of Congress. (click to greatly enlarge)
Our view made by the Detroit Publishing Company is looking east from the corner of West Street along Cortlandt Street towards Broadway. Unlike some of their photographs, this one is copyrighted 1908 and that can be confirmed by advertising in the background.
The street is named after one of Dutch New York’s leaders Oloff (Olaf) Stevense Van Cortlandt. Continue reading →
A Group Of New York Bootblacks At City Hall Park – July 1863
A group of eight bootblack boys line up near City Hall for this stereoview photograph.
Taken by the pioneering stereoview firm of E. & H.T. Anthony of 501 Broadway, the view is entitled, “Brigade Of De Shoe Black, City Hall Park.” There is no date attached to the photo, yet, the timing of this photograph is of historical significance. How do we know?
The fence behind the boys is covered with broadsheets advertising several theatrical productions.
From the information on the advertisements we can narrow down the date the photo is from. Continue reading →
Bad Timing, Just a Few Months Before the The Crash Of 1929
This ad appeared in the 1929 World Almanac
Here is the snappy, convincing text form the ad.
I used to know him when he was a kid—we went to grammar school together. Then his father died and he had to go to work, Got a job with Brooks & Co., but couldn’t seem to get ahead. Then something seemed to wake him up. We could all see that he was doing better work.
“Then Old Man Brooks became interested—wanted to know how Ned happened to know so much about the business, Ned told him he’d been studying through the International Correspondence Schools. ‘H’m,’ said Mr. Brooks, ‘I’ll remember that.’ .
“We did too. Put Ned out on the road as a salesman for a year or so and then brought him into the main office as sales manager.
“He’s getting $6500 a year now and everybody calls him ‘the new Ned Tyson.’ I’ve never seen such a change in a man in my life.”
An International Correspondence Schools course will help you just as it helped Ned Tyson. It will help you to have the happy home—the bigger salary—the comforts you’d like to have.
At least find out how before the priceless years go by and it is too late.
Mail the coupon for the free booklet.
In 1929 it was a grand salary.
This advertisement is similar to what online colleges do today. Just take courses through a correspondence school. The inference is that you too could be making $6,500 per year. That may not sound like a lot of money now. Adjusted for inflation by the consumer price index that’s the equivalent of $97,464 in 2019 dollars.
The problem with Ned’s job and millions like it, is the stock market crash would occur just months after this ad ran. Continue reading →
Using Semi-Clad Women To Sell Products At The Turn-Of-The-Century
Ads That Wouldn’t Cut It Today
Clysmic table water- will….bring you to climax?
Pretty women sell products or so it seems. Since the dawn of advertising alluring images of women have been used to attract potential customers. Many times the image has absolutely nothing to do with the product being offered. That hasn’t changed in the 21st century, just look at any perfume ad.
Though they were not considered unusual at the time they originally appeared, here are some semi-nude advertisements featuring women that would probably cause outrage among the sensitive and hyper-politically correct today.
What this advertisement really says about Sunny Brook and Willow Creek Distillery is open to debate. But I guess we all know that any group of women after drinking rye whiskies will strip and go skinny dipping in a lake.
Brotherhood Overalls of course? Did Levi Strauss take this company as a serious competitor? This look apparently never caught on in the 1910s. Continue reading →
A Busy New York City Street Scene At The Casino Theatre – 1907
We’re looking at the Casino Theatre on 39th Street and Broadway in a Detroit Publishing Co. photograph that the Library of Congress has labeled “Saturday Matinee circa 1900 – 1910.”
By looking at the few details available we can narrow down approximately when this photograph was taken. The weather appears to be on the cool side, as some of the men and women wear coats over their dress attire.
There are a couple of partially visible signs for the show playing at the Casino. Directly behind the man walking in a bowler hat and light colored suit, an advertising sign says that the star of the production is Jefferson De Angelis.
De Angelis appeared in two shows at The Casino between 1900-1910; The Gay White Way which ran from October 7, 1907 – January 4, 1908 and The Mikado which ran from May 30 – July 1910.
What Swimsuit Fashions Looked Like 100 Years Ago – Arms Were Visible – How Shocking!
From The New York Tribune newspaper of June 16, 1918 comes this advertisement from Franklin Simon & Co..
They were not called bathing or swimsuits, but bathing dresses and for good reason. Women still covered their bodies in dresses from neck to toe. Things were getting a bit risque for the time- these dresses had exposed arms. Of course legs were still fully covered by material, but not completely hidden by the bathing dress. Continue reading →
December 5, 1933, Congress Repealed Prohibition But Beer Had Been Available Since Spring
First Loads of Beer Arrive
Abe Kaufman, distributor for Wayne County, for Edelweiss in Detroit, lowering a case. Part of shipment of 5,400 cases. – April 1933 credit: Milton Brooks, Detroit News
As hard as it is to imagine, the sale and consumption of alcohol was illegal for 13 years in the United States. Though Congress repealed Prohibition on December 5, 1933, the Cullen-Harrison Act passed on March 22, 1933 allowed the resumption of production of (3.2%) low alcohol content beer and wine.
Ad, the return of beer- 1933
It only took a little while for manufacturers to begin brewing and bottling beer. Americans anxiously awaited being able to buy the beverage legally. By April 9 beer was available in many major cities like San Francisco, New York, Louisville and Chicago.
The effect on the Depression economy was immediate, 50,000 jobs were instantly created. Continue reading →
The 14th Street Store of Henry Siegel – 14th St. & 6th Ave c. 1905
These two photographs were taken by the Detroit Publishing Co. on the same day, likely minutes apart. They show Henry Siegel’s 14th Street Store (1904-1914) and the Sixth Avenue Elevated Railroad looking towards the southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and 14th Street.
There is much to see, especially when zooming in on the details by clicking to enlarge the photos.
Besides the orientation of landscape versus portrait there are slight but noticeable differences in the two photos.
In the first photo at the 14th Street elevated station the northbound passengers wait for the next train and all sorts of advertising can be seen along the station walls.
On top of the southbound station, a man is painting the roof with two cans of paint, one in front of him, the other behind him. In the other photo the painter is not in frame, but both cans of paint are near one another.
On the fourth floor of the store, two women appear to be watching the photographer as he set up to take his picture. The window openings are in the exact same position as the other photo, but the women are gone. Continue reading →