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Fancy Cakes: 1910

Fancy Cakes: 1910

New York circa 1910, somewhere on the Lower East Side. "Bread for the poor." 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.


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Bumpy handrails

I took a tour of the Pendleton Oregon underground city, our tour guide told us that handrails like these pictured were used by undesirables for sitting about. The storekeepers added bumps to prevent these sorts of people from sitting on the handrails after hours.

"Krumbles" cereal

I was interested in the ad cards for Kellogg's cereals in the window--something upscale and "All-American" seeming for the Lower East Side. I think the ad on the left is for "Krumbles", a cereal I can remember eating as a child in the late 50s-early 60s. It came in a box with blue morning glory flowers on it, and was a favorite of mine. Anyone else recall it?

Willett Street

I've come across some references to a Horowitz bakery on Willett Street on the Lower East Side during the early 20th Century. Today all that's left of Willett Street, also known as Bialystoker Place, is a block-long stub near the Williamsburg Bridge approaches. Most of the street, including where #81 would have been located, was removed 50 years ago for the construction of a housing project known as the Gompers Houses.

Street Ball Game?

The reflection in the window looks like a kid in at least part of a baseball uniform sprinting to first. As for the bread, I might be wrong, but it looks good enough to eat.

Before Pillsbury?

I noticed the Gold Medal Flour sign on the left of the photo -- with the apparent company name of Washburn-Crosby.
I wonder how the baker kept track of the age of each loaf of bread. Was day-old bread cheaper?

For the poor?

A friend of the family once brought over a big round loaf of dark rye bread, and he used the word “pumpernickel.” My older brother and I had never heard the word before, but we did have a dog named Nickel, so we fed the lucky dog this weird loaf, all the while wondering why the visitor would bring over a loaf of bread for our dog.


Do I spy a little boy running away from the store, perhaps with a loaf of bread under his arm, reflected in the shop window? Or is that just my imagination?

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