JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Shorpy members who are Patreon contributors now get an ad-free experience! (Mostly -- there's still an ad above the comments.) Click here for details or to sign up.

Talking Machines: 1920

Talking Machines: 1920

The Owens & Beers record shop at 81 Chambers Street in New York circa 1915-1920. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Owens & Beers

From a VV-100


It's also a nice photo of the reflection of photographer and camera.

Rawson and Evans

Hello other Dave.
Thats a great bit of news you're getting close.
Do you have any more info on the company Dave
Photos anything would be so interesting. It seems they were a large company in 1900
Thanks for helping me there.
Dave my email if you need it is

Glass Gilding and Storefronts

Hello everyone. My name is Dave and I am based in Torquay, England. This is a very interesting site, love all the old photos. I am a glass gilder / signwriter producing old reverse glass signage. My interest has been in trying to find information about a glass sign manufacture by the name of Rawson and Evans, they had a showroom and works in New York at the turn of the century, their main site was Chicago, I have some addresses. New York was 460 West Broadway, and in Chicago, 151 and 153 West Washington Street. This company made the most elaborate glass signs in the country at that time (1900). Any help would be appreciated in finding photos or just about anything to do with Rawson and Evans chipped glass sign manufacturers. My interest is hobby based but my signs I make for a living. If anyone is interested in seeing some of my work please feel free to email me:

Thank you,


Wedding announcement from the April 2, 1922, issue of the Decatur, Illinois, Review:

The date for the wedding of Miss Florence Atchison and Russel Argyle Evans of Chicago has not been announced, but it will probably take place in the near future. Her engagement was announced Tuesday evening at a dinner party in the Atchison home on West Main Street. Miss Atchison is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Atchison. Mr. Evans is a member of the firm of Rawson and Evans, of Chicago, designers and manufacturers of ornamental glass. The couple will make their home In Chicago. - Other Dave

Great Glass Gilding

Another beautiful store window. This would cost a fortune to do now, and it probably wasn't cheap back then either. But that phonograph on display shows a price of $250 so if you sold one or two of them a week you could probably afford it.

Also, I recognized some of the small items at the bottom of the window. They're about the size of an eyeglass case but they are actually record cleaners. I found one in an old Choraleon phonograph I bought. The back is leather holding a velour covered pad on the other side. You held it to surface of the record as it spun on the turntable. It was like an early version of the Discwasher that was used to clean vinyl records. Of course, they're practically antiques now too.


Another good way to find business locations is to check City Directories although this resource is usually only available at libraries. I recently tracked down the locations of several local movie theaters that had undergone name changes over the years and also uncovered the location and closing date of one that closed before I was born and was apparently torn down fairly soon thereafter.

81 Chambers Street

Looks like the building hasn't changed much. Google street view. I believe it's the building just left of center.

Re: Location Found

Thanks Dave!

Re: Location Found

Where do you find information like this?

[The N.Y. Times online archives, searchable for free back to the 1850s, is a good place to start. Subscription services include and (which both index New York Times advertising). - Dave]

Record and record player

Lambert Murphy recorded "Tell Me" on Victor 45171 either very late in 1919 or very early in 1920. The other side of this record has the song "Yearning" by the same performer.

I'm no expert on old record players, but I'd guess the one in the window is a Victrola VV-XVI or VE-XVI of some sort (you can see an "XVI" on the sign inside the machine). This class of machine was made from 1906 through 1921. There's a web page about them here:

Owens & Beers Location

An advertisement from the December 4, 1915 issue of the New York Times lists the address as 81 Chambers Street, near Broadway.

[Fantabulous. Thank you! I added that to the caption. - Dave]

Syndicate content is a vintage photography site featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago. Contact us | Privacy policy | Site © 2020 Shorpy Inc.