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Willcox & Gibbs: 1904

Willcox & Gibbs: 1904

New York circa 1904. "Willcox & Gibbs building, Broadway and Bond Street." New headquarters of the Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company, which "will return to this building on or about Feby. 1st." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.


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Another Reason to Contribute

The bonus picture this week for Patreon contributors is a beautiful high-rez version of this picture, which is detailed enough to identify the builder sign on the Broadway side of the building as Edward Corning, A Successful American. Thanks Dave for the enhanced experience!

Everything is Connected

I never heard of Otis Skinner (whose name appears on the sign), but I figured he must be related to Cornelia Otis Skinner. Yes, he was her father.

Cornelia was an actress ("The Swimmer") and author ("Our Hearts were Young and Gay"). That book spawned two plays, a TV series, and a movie. Even more amazing, during WWII, the book was used as a codebook by German intelligence.

How cool is that?

That was entertainment

The posters at street level show names still familiar, if vaguely. "The Amateur Cracksman" was Raffles, the gentleman thief created by E. W. Hornung (Arthur Conan Doyle's brother in law). English actor Kyrle Bellew had great success playing Raffles on stage in New York, as advertised here.

"Way Down East" was an 1898 melodrama by Lottie Blair Parker, successfully revived in 1903. Today it is known from D. W. Griffith's 1920 film with Lillian Gish on an ice floe; there were two silent film versions before Griffith's.

About "An English Rose" I find nothing.

[Wrong flower! - Dave]

Right you are! "An English DAISY" ran for just over a month early in 1904 and then, apparently, disappeared.

Why, Oh Y?

"Feby"? Fer real(ly)?

Yes, still there.

Not only is the Willcox & Gibbs Building still there, but the little six-story building squeezed in next to it on Broadway, the larger building behind it on Bond Street, and the building with the nicely ornamented corner you can see at the left edge of the 1904 photo -- are all still there. And Bond Street is still paved in cobblestones. One of the nicer things about Lower Manhattan. Despite all the explosive growth, there are still city blocks that are largely unchanged from over a century ago.

Built to Last

An elegant little building. Still there and little changed from 1904.

A survivor

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