Saturday, April 9, 2016


The photographer who captured this image of the intersection of Ann and Nassau Streets in lower Manhattan managed to include a wealth of detail in the frame, from the advertisement for the "Oak Rooms" of the clothier Cohen & Co. to the ornate column surmounted by an eagle, the newsboy on the corner, and the whole bustle of signs, pedestrians, and horse-drawn carts.

This was a long-established commercial neighborhood, favored by the printing and publishing trades from the late 18th century on. In the 1840s the Evening Mirror, to which Poe contributed "The Raven" and much else besides, was published at the address of the building at left. Later in the century Peck & Snyder operated a thriving business selling baseballs and other sporting goods from this block of Nassau, until they were bought out by A. G. Spaulding. There's a sign advertising sporting goods in this postcard (it's on the right side of Nassau Street, below the one advertising "Artists Materials"), but I haven't been able to determine if it was a successor to the earlier business.

My copy of this card was mailed to a Mrs. Moses Benn of Houlton, Maine, a town along the New Brunswick border that at the time was home to some 5,000 people. The inscription, in pencil, reads:
Dear Aunt Lottie; We are on our way home. Now sitting in Grand Central Station N. Y. waiting for train. [Illegible] received your letter. We were so glad to hear. — G. G. — Will write later.

1 comment:

Michael Leddy said...

I know this corner — J & R’s jazz outlet was at 111 Nassau, on the west side of the street, not far from the corner.