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La Primadora: 1920

La Primadora: 1920

La Primadora cigar shop at 1153 Broadway in New York circa 1920. The owner, civic leader and entrepreneur Max Schwarz, died in 1940. View full size. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. Alternate view here.


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Bogardus & Bendann Bros. Gallery

1153 Broadway was the location of the photography studio of Abraham Bogardus and Daniel and David Bendann 1872-1873.


It looks as though there's some sort of pipe sticking up above the level of the sidewalk. There seems to be a sort of sheet metal guard around the pipe. What's really surprising to me though is that this appears to be a plank or wooden sidewalk. Some of the "boards" appear to be full length, which you wouldn't expect with brick of course, and some "planks" appear to have definite cuts about half the width of the sidewalk. It's possible that the sidewalk was under repair and that the planks were laid down to reduce disruption to the neighbourhood businesses.

[Click here for a closeup. - Dave]

Unique Sign

I don't think I've ever seen a storefront sign quite like that - it looks like the lettering is hung from a screen that allows the upper floor windows to remain functional. Was this a common thing back then?


What's going on with the sidewalk in the foreground? It looks like some bricks have come up.


There are so many details in this shot, I could enjoy it for hours. I try to photograph city scenes and store fronts for what they are, but color is distracting. The glow from the camera and its film-make are unique and I feel cannot be replicated in any digital format. My pictures show signs, ads and other staples of the era: , but an art of the period and time travel is what I enjoy from this photograph.

[A good observation, although I might note that this photo was not taken using film. The Bain photos were almost all recorded on glass plates, as were most photographs of the era. - Dave]

Magnificent Signage!

You're killing me with all these great storefront photos. I'm a sucker for all these hand painted signs. Another fast fading artform, I'm afraid. Reverse lettering on glass, gold leafing, carved dimensional lettering, You've got a whole smorgasbord of sign making techniques on display here.

Primadora Cigar Store

1153 Broadway, listed as a real estate transfer to Max Schwarz in the March 29, 1916 New York Times.

[A big Shorpy thank-you! Will add that to the caption. - Dave]

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