27 July 2011

Oldest Picture of Columbia Street I've Ever Seen


This is sort of a "Union Street Project" update.

Last week, I posted on the history of 110 Union Street, the spot at the southeast corner of Union and Columbia in Brooklyn. Readers may recall that the space that today looks like this...


....used to look like this in the 1940s:




In that post, I wrote, "In 1898, this was the location of the Bolton Drug Co., which had four Brooklyn locations. They heavily advertised a wonder drug called Mi-o-na in 1902."

A lovely reader read this and sent me the picture up top of Bolton. She estimated it was taken in 1905, making it the oldest image of Columbia Street I have ever laid eyes on. (Pictures of Columbia Street back in the day are very hard to come by.) 

The men in front are suitably vested and moustachioed. (Even the boy wears a bow tie.) There's a wonderful ornate chandelier visible inside, and an advertisement for Orangeine, "The Pocket Physician," in the window. The drug "safely stops pain and CURES." (Wow!) A sign hung on the side says the drug store is a "Telephone Pay Station." And the shop next stop displays colorless shirts in the window. 

2 comments:

Bopkat said...

What a great old photo! My favorite part is the display of bandana handkercheifs in its own little window between the shops.

cathie said...

In 1909, my grandfather arrived in New York from Italy entering through Ellis Island. On the entrance documents, it lists his intended address as 68 Union Street and his intended workplace 111 Union Street. Have you come across any information re those addresses? The 111 Union Streeet address was supposedly a butcher shop. Many years later, my father said they had owned a butcher shop on Columbia Street. Any information would be greatly appreciated!