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Fading Ads of NYC – the book

Harry’s Department Store Revisited – Excerpts from The Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011)

As seen in The Fading Ads of New York City (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

Harry’s Department Store/Aufrecht Insurance & Real Estate
“It’s Harry’s Department Store for the Greatest Values” Graham & Metropolitan Avenues

I’ve spent more time staring at this image in particular than almost any other sign I’ve documented. It is not for any other reason than the four foot by six foot reproduction that hung at the WAH Center Exhibition in 2000 hangs in my office in my country home. I’ve often wondered who the man on the left was and where the large woman with the teal colored sweat suit was going. At first, I didn’t even realize there was a man on the left since the slide positive was scanned initially in the cardboard frame in which it is housed, which cuts almost a millimeter of information from the image, thus cropping it slightly. When the positive was removed from the cardboard sleeve to be scanned for this large-scale reproduction, suddenly the man in the short-sleeved polo shirt and grey slacks appeared.

Department store owner, Harry also has been a mystery to me. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of Harry’s Department Store in any of the online archives I’ve searched. Kevin Walsh conveniently provided a link to the wedding announcement of Jacob M. Aufrecht that was scanned and uploaded by Tom Tryniski, in an extensive online archive he calls Old Fulton NY Post Cards. Normally this wedding announcement, which states the usual familial and temporal information would seem quite unremarkable:

Berger – Aufrecht

Miss Elise Berger, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Emanuel Berger of 660 West 180th st., Manhattan, and Jacob M. Aufrecht, son of Mr. and Mrs. Marcus Aufrecht of 551 East 53d st., Brooklyn, will be married at the Hotel Astor on Sunday evening Oct 27, by Rabbi Alexander Lyons of the Eighth Avenue Temple.

The bride will be attended by Miss Helen Welkersheimer. Max Abrams of Brooklyn will be the best man. Following a motor trip to Canada, the couple will reside at 551 East 53d st., Flatbush. Miss Berger is a graduate of Columbia University. Mr. Aufrecht is engaged in the real estate business. – The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Sunday October 10, 1929

Totally mundane in its details, this wedding announcement would never have struck a chord until I noticed the date that the bride and groom were to be wed. The Thursday afternoon before their wedding is known as Black Thursday (Black Friday in Europe due to the time difference). The Monday & Tuesday after their wedding are remembered as “Black” days as well. One could only wonder if the newlyweds ever went on their Canadian road-trip after a nuptial weekend that landed smack in the middle of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, precipitating the Great Depression. As I write this on a similar weekend, Standard & Poors downgraded the United States was from a Triple A to an AA+ credit rating. Life goes on. Doesn’t it? – Taken from The Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

Yes. Life does go on. Obama saved our asses. Let’s watch Trump drill them back into the ground.

Above is the remnant building of Jacob M. Aufrecht on 286 Graham Avenue © Frank H. Jump

Fulton History Archive

JPEG from original hi-res scanned full-frame TIFF © Frank H. Jump

Fading Ad Blog Celebrates A Decade of Blogging!

M. Rappoport’s Music Store – Jamaica Avenue, Queens – taken August, 1997 – “4109 Jamaica Ave. near Woodhaven Ave.” © Frank H. Jump, Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011)

Since I launched this blog in March of 2007 as an assignment for my second Masters program in Instructional Technology (initially as an addendum to my Fading Ad Campaign website which launched in February 1999), I didn’t expect to have continued blogging for ten years. Granted, I have shifted from a compulsive daily photo blogger to an occasional poster. Much of this relaxed posting schedule was a result of Enzo and I selling our home last June in Flatbush and moving into an apartment. Also, the daily stress of being a care-giver to two aging parents while balancing a career and a fulfilling marriage has also become a challenge. I have refrained from posting with frequency the political content as I have in the past, while other formats like Twitter and Instagram have also diverted some of my attention from the blog – although all of my social media activity can be viewed on FAB.

After my first Internet presence started getting noticed in February 1999, blogs soon became the rage. Now, the proliferation of Tumblr is starting to wane while other social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter have continued to flourish. Still looking forward to future collaborations with other urban documentarians here at FAB and your insightful and supportive comments are always welcomed.

Fading Ads of TriBeCa Tour with Frank H. Jump on BOOKER TRAVELS

CLICK TO GET: TIPS TRICKS AND WHATNOT – Booker Travels

Watch this episode in full screen HD @ Booker Travels (CLICK IMAGE ABOVE)

Meet the ghost-sign hunters | Cities | The Guardian | Melbourne – Nick Gadd

The Omega Oil sign in New York. Often these adverts are hidden for decades by buildings, billboards or trees – reappearing briefly during a construction project, before they are destroyed forever. Photograph: Frank Jump

READ MORE: Meet the ghost-sign hunters | Cities | The Guardian.

ALSO CHECK OUT: Ghost signs from around the world

Photo-Stemmerman – David Blustein & Brother for Raw Furs & Ginseng – Chelsea, NYC

Taken on a Lemmy Caution Anthropological Stroll in August 2011 while writing the book, The Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

From the book Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump 1997

It was not uncommon to see companies advertising constituent products for a final larger product as you see in signs for “coat fronts” and here for raw furs. It is surprising to see ginseng sold next to animal furs. I’ve often wondered about the history of this trade.

Not surprisingly, many of the things we traded came from China. Today, goods produced and bought from the Chinese are driving our whole consumer economy, which to some is a blessing and others a curse. American consumers enjoy lower prices for goods while American producers are literally digging for ginseng. What’s fascinating is it all began with furs and ginseng.

On the JSTOR Plant website, a bit of history and etymology of ginseng is offered: Ginseng enters the English and French vocabularies in the ages of exploration. In the French as early as 1750, in English in 1654, and for Portuguese, the term ginsao appeared even earlier (Holmes, 283). In Chinese, 人蔘 (phonetically rénshēn) is the name for ginseng and that roughly translates as “man root.” Even the Chinese character 人 is meant to look like a man with two legs. So there you have it. A little linguistic lesson for the day.

So, the ginseng trade has been well established for centuries and has turned a tidy profit for many, including that beacon of 19th century New York City life, John Jacob Astor. Astor was one of the more ambitious people ever to set foot on American soil. Astor, German by birth, landed in the United States in 1784 just at the end of the Revolutionary War, immediately established himself in the fur trade with Quebec, and became incredibly wealthy. Not being content relying on middlemen, Astor bought his own ship for sending his furs to London, learned of the East India Company trade with China, and immediately capitalized in the Chinese demand for furs. Hard to imagine that this woody root—once used as an aphrodisiac and currently used as a mild organic stimulant in alternative energy drinks, with claims to countless other benefits—was also the root of New York’s trade with China.

Apparently, George Washington had heard about the Chinese need for ginseng and learned there was a huge supply growing indigenously in North America. Since the only crop we could grow that would be valuable to the Chinese at the time was ginseng, which wasn’t being used widely in the United States, it became a valued U.S. export. On a Chinese cultural website, the following historical facts were provided: Ginseng helped promote the formation of the notion of international trade in the US. The entire country was connected to trade with China. Not only merchants in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, but isolated farmers in deep mountains had learned that they could be paid by something grown in the northern slope of the mountains. About the same time when the Empress of China unloaded the Ginseng at China, George Washington (1732–1799) met some people who were doing Ginseng business in Virginia. He recorded it in his diary, “I met numbers of Persons & Pack horses going in with Ginseng: & for salt & other articles at the Market Below.”

In today’s market, there is still a great demand for ginseng. Although our more lucrative exports lay in automobiles and other technology, China produces its own. In the American producer’s dig for a new ginseng, let’s hope the only commodity left to trade with China isn’t just our national debt. – Taken from the Fading Ads of New York City (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

Check out Walter Grutchfield’s website!

Suzy Perette – Lombardy Dresses – GiGi Young Originals Revisited

Noxall Waist & Dress Co. © Frank H. Jump

Previously on FAB:

Check out Walter Grutchfield’s site about these faded business.

Whom You Know: REVIEW: Fading Ads of New York City by Frank Jump (The History Press) Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling & Associates

Whom You Know: READ THIS: Fading Ads of New York City by Frank Jump – Published by The History Press Our Coverage Sponsored by Stribling & Associates.

…we see superb depth of topic exploration in Fading Ads of New York City. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a mere beautiful coffee table book; instead, it is a homage to the brilliant landscape of New York that offers ad space like no other city and looking at it in a historical context is incredibly enlightening and entertaining. – Peachy Deegan, Whom You Know

Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

Eventually… Gold Medal Flour – Why Not Now? – St. George, SI – NYC

From the book Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) © Frank H. Jump

Chelsea Fading Ad Photoshoot with WSJ Photographer, Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

© Mark Abramson

  • Signs of Times Past and Passing by Lana Bortolot for the Wall Street Journal – Dec 9th, 2011

Wall Street Journal – article by Lana Bortolot

WW Grainger Billboard – Canal Street NYC – 1998

Fading Ads of NYC (History Press, 2011) – Special Effects by Snapseed – © Frank H. Jump