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January, 2012:

Woods Canada Limited – Toronto, CA

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Woods Canada Limited was founded in 1885 and has been a well-known Canadian manufacturer of outdoor clothing and equipment. Woods was most famous for their good quality sleeping bags which they made in Toronto until 2005. According to Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson, a full-time Professor at Seneca College, and concurrently teaching at the University of Toronto, on an academic website discussing the effects of globalization on North American industries, Richardson speaks about how Canadian Tire’s overseas sourcing led to a Canadian icon losing business Ricardson states:

As explained by the president of Woods, David G. Earthy, a significant part of Woods business was supplying Canadian Tire – in fact the two companies had a supplier – retailer relationship more than 80 years. Earthy explained Woods had to shut down operations following “…a decision by the Company’s largest customer, Canadian Tire, to discontinue purchasing domestically manufactured sleeping bags.” It has been suggested by others in the industry that Canadian Tire (facing competition from Wal-mart and other big vendors of camping equipment) had to further cut costs and was simply geting cheaper sleeping bags from suppliers in China.Witiger dot com


Fading Ad Tumblr – Merriam-Webster Online – Word of the Day – Elixir – Jump is the example!

Fading Ad Tumblr – Merriam-Webster Online – Word of the Day – Elixir – Jump is the example!

Free TV Tube Testing – Greektown – Toronto, CA

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Fletcher’s Castoria – Weehawken, NJ

© Frank H. Jump

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Campbell’s Monarch Flour – Pool & Billards Parlor – Queen Street E – Leslieville – Toronto, CA

Pool & Billiards Parlor - Up Stairs © Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump


© John N. Jackson - Google Books

© Lidian's Kitchen Retro

Featured Fade – Eagle Electric – LIC, NY – Pamela Talese

Eagle Electric - Day - Collection of the New York Historical Society. © Pamela Talese

About Eagle Electric

Eagle Electric Manufacturing Company, a maker of electrical devices, switches and circuit units, was founded in 1920 and based in Long Island City, Queens. The giant, illuminated billboard for Eagle Electric, a triumph of design and the combined efforts of sheet-metal workers, light- designers, and sign painters, overlooked the Queensborough Bridge and boldly stated in neon: “PERFECTION IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.” Above this claim, deftly depicted, were three of the over 2000 electrical products manufactured in Eagle’s many buildings between 21st Street and Jackson Avenue.

My first encounter with the sign was in 1989 and completely by accident. I was on my way to interview for a position at the New York Times Magazine. I had worked there as a copy girl years before, and was familiar with the IRT subway having taken it to Times Square every weekday for two consecutive summers. This time, however, I mistakenly took the train in the opposite direction. After seven minutes underground, I was greeted by daylight and the glittering neon sign for Eagle Electric Company featuring a noble looking eagle, beak in profile, wings flared, and the famous motto on perfection. When I arrived thirty minutes late to the interview and told my story about the sign, the editor asked me if I really wanted to stop painting and work for the Times magazine. I don’t remember how I answered but I wasn’t offered the job.

Four years later I was living in Long Island City. During another period of full-time work, this time as an interior designer in Manhattan, there were late nights when I took a taxi home over the Queensborough Bridge. What made the ride worth the fare was to see which of the letters in Eagle Electric’s slogan were functioning. Sometimes it was PERF____ON IS NOT AN ACC_____, or ____ECTION IS ___ __ACCID___, or other variations. Perfection was elusive, but nevertheless occurred on nights when all the lights were working in full neon blaze.

By the late 1920’s, with increased automobile ownership and commuter rail transit, billboard advertising expanded as well. Eagle Electric shared space along the elevated tracks with other area manufacturers. A few stops east, the Swingline Staple factory (temporary site of MoMA QNS) displayed an enormous neon stapler for “Swingline Easy Loading Staples.” Near the Long Island Rail Road, the banner-size lettering of the Adams/Chiclets Chewing Gum Factory floated above the roofline of the factory’s elegant art deco building. Today, along with the famous Pepsi Cola sign, the only remaining example of grand signage in the Hunters Point area is Silvercup Studios, once a baker of bread.

I painted the first version of Eagle Electric (Day) almost entirely on site during several consecutive afternoons in the summer of 2000, a few months after leaving my job to paint full time. (Refinements were done off-site a bit later, which is why this painting, now in the collection of the New York Historical Society, is dated 2001.) I also wanted to do a Night version of the illuminated sign, and as with the Day version, I stood on the pedestrian path on the south side of the Queensborough Bridge (now a roadway for cars). I was able to paint there without much trouble during the day, but as night fell, this became increasingly difficult. Cyclists zooming down the ramp were surprised to see me despite the many blinking lights attached to my backpack. Also, now a cyclist myself, I realized that taking up one side of the path was dangerous. After two evenings of painting and lots of swearing, I was so rattled by both bicycle traffic and some of the people on the bridge that I quit and finished the painting in my studio using Eagle Electric (Day), my drawings and my memory of what it looked like at night as a guide. I tried to remember the look of the red cars of the number 7 train, which ran in both directions on the elevated track, always screeching at the curve.

That September, the Eagle Electric sign went dark. I watched for its illumination but it did not come. My journal entry dated October 28, 2000 reads: “It’s gone. I could tell it was gone even though I couldn’t see out the window of the crowded subway car last night. This morning when I went out to look, all that remained was the steal armature that held Eagle Electric aloft.”

What strikes me about difference between the billboard advertisements of Eagle era and those of today, is not only the loss of the ‘hand painted sign’ but the change in the products themselves and their target market. In neighborhoods where light industry once thrived, these well-crafted and exuberant signs reflected local pride in the manufacture of solid, useful products. Such products were often purchased by the same community that made them: the working middle class. The situation is very different today.

Outdoor advertising (predominantly printed vinyl or printed paper) mostly focus on luxury goods and services, or emerging ‘brands’ predominantly made abroad. The impact of globalization goes far beyond this aspect of advertising, but to my thinking, it is a pity that signage from the middle 20th Century was not preserved in some way. –
Pamela Taleseinfo@pamelatalese.com

Eagle Electric - Night - Collection of Ellen Abrams and Kevin Baker © Pamela Talese

Fence-Hopping Blogger Chronicles Fading ‘Ghost Signs’ Across New York City

January 26, 2012 1:24pm | By Nick Hirshon, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

Teacher Frank Jump, who profiles “ghost signs” on his blog, will sign copies of his new book on Thursday night at the Queens Historical Society in Flushing. (Frank Jump)

FLUSHING — Frank Jump has hopped fences, begged his way into strangers’ apartments and even trespassed in pursuit of his art.

Jump, who teaches technology to second – fifth graders at Public School 119 in Brooklyn, has long photographed fading ads on brick buildings across the city, known to aficionados as “ghost signs.” His exploits, chronicled on his blog and recently compiled into a book, have led him to restricted areas and garnered weird looks, but his drive to document an overlooked element of Big Apple art has always guided him through.

“I never really worry, I never think,” Jump said. “I really felt like I was some guerrilla tactic photographer where I had to do these things stealth. Get in, get out.”

Jump will present a 120-image presentation of his fading ad photos Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Queens Historical Society, taking visitors on a virtual tour of the fleeting historic treasures across New York City.

Snapping the images is something of a cathartic process for Jump, who began photographing the ads when he was 26 years old, after being diagnosed with HIV. Now 51 and healthy, Jump still feels a lasting connection to the signs that he felt drawn to initially because he thought that they were, like him, fading away.

The lecture will mark a sort of homecoming for Jump, who lives in Flatbush but has deep Queens roots. He was born in Far Rockaway and grew up in Belle Harbor, Laurelton and Howard Beach.

Jump said he gets requests to tag along on his adventures from the unlikeliest of places.

In the summer of 1997, Jump was at a family function when he noticed that his husband’s niece, who was visiting from Italy, seemed bored.

Jump said she asked to go with him as he tracked down the ghost signs in the adventurous fashion she had heard so much about.

He took her to Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, an area he suspected had ghost signs but had never fully inspected. Sure enough, he spotted what appeared to be a fading ad beyond a plywood fence of a construction site. The fence was padlocked, but he smashed the wood and entered, and found an ad for a local business named M. Rappoport’s Music Store that was revealed after an adjacent building had been knocked down.

“It just seemed like I was being filmed, like it was a reality TV show,” he said, adding that the adventure was so smooth, his husband’s niece thought it was a setup.

Marisa Berman, the historical society’s executive director, said she has already fielded numerous phone calls inquiring about Jump’s lecture. She said the fading ads appeal to people in almost every neighborhood since they pass them so often.

“It’s something you may have noticed but not something you would have absorbed,” she said.

Jump said that while many New Yorkers don’t appreciate the ads, they would miss them if they were painted over or destroyed.

“If it was missing from the landscape, it’d be like going to the Grand Canyon and it’s filled in,” Jump said.

Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20120126/flushing/fencehopping-blogger-chronicles-fading-ghost-signs-across-new-york-city#ixzz1kbSPRvSm

The Coleman Lamp & Stove Company Limited – Queen Street East – Toronto, CA

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

  • In 1900, W.C. Coleman establishes a lighting service in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, known as the Hydro-Carbon Light Company. Having purchased a large amount of inventory, Mr. Coleman finds he is unable to sell the product (due to a poor product sold in the area prior to his arrival), so instead he sells a light service. Customers love the idea and Mr. Coleman is soon servicing areas as far West as San Diego.
  • 1912  – W.C. Coleman continues to enjoy success with his lamps and changes the company name to the Coleman Lamp Company.
  • Coleman opens up a plant in Toronto, Canada. Sheldon Coleman, the founder’s son, enters the family business, joining the Toronto plant in 1925. – Coleman Timeline – Coleman Company Website

New York City is eternally evolving. From its… – WORD – March 18th – Walking tour & book-signing


New York City is eternally evolving. From its iconic skyline to its side alleys, the new is perpetually being built on the debris of the past. But a movement to preserve the city’s vanishing landscapes has emerged. For nearly 20 years, Frank Jump has been documenting the fading ads that are visible, but less often seen, all over New York. Disappearing from the sides of buildings or hidden by new construction, these signs are remnants of lost eras of New York’s life. They weave together the city’s unique history, culture, environment and society and tell the stories of the businesses, places and people whose lives transpired among them – the story of New York itself. Fading Ads is also a study of time and space, of mortality and living, as Jump’s campaign to capture the ads mirrors his own struggle with HIV. Experience the ads—shot with vintage Kodachrome film—and the meaning they carry through acclaimed photographer and urban documentarian Frank Jump’s lens.


New York City is eternally evolving. From its… – WORD.