New York Daily Photo Analytics

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Vintage Mural

What started as a whimsical photo suggested by a friend as we were walking yesterday in Union Square, turned out today to be a fascinating trip into the Crown Coat Front Company and the world of fading vintage murals. Most New Yorkers have noticed these signs all their lives here and find them to be remarkable surviving antiques providing a window into New York City's rich history. Rampant construction covers some and uncovers others. And as I investigated this company (expecting nothing), I was surprised to find a few tidbits. Crown Coat was located at 105 E. 16 St. from 1947 to 1958. I also learned that a coat front is a "trade term for a built-up stiffening or shape-retaining interlining for the fronts of coats, made of stitched layers of haircloth, felt and canvas." (George E. Linton (The Modern Textile and Apparel Dictionary - 1973). A search on the company will return quite a few court documents - Crown Coat was involved in a 1967 Supreme Court case involving canteen covers supplied to the government in 1956. The most superb find of the day is Frank H. Jump's website on his Fading Ad Campaign - a photographic project documenting vintage mural ads on building brickfaces in New York City spanning nearly a century. Click here to read his personal story and the background on the artist and this project ...

8 comments:

Jude said...

I love this photo and your informative commentary.

Gail's Man said...

I'm surprised that it is still standing. I'd have thought it would have all been knocked down & repalced with a hotel or shopping centre. Does NY have a policy of listing old buildings like we have in the UK?

Brian said...

Jude - Thanks.

Gail's Man - NYC has many old buildings dating 100 years old or more. Knocking down sound structures is not really that common. We have many landmarks districts which preserves aesthetically and historically important buildings.
Brian

santy said...

well, hope this one wouldn't be knocked down. it's good to have pieces of the past surrounding our daily lives.

Chris & Deb said...

a very cool photo, and an interesting documentary!

Anonymous said...

I envy the project, what a great idea to document these things!

Frank H. Jump said...

Hey! Thanks for the mention. I'm a little late. hehe. Started a fading ad blog at http://fadingad.wordpress.com

Go and contribute!

Frank Jump

Frank H. Jump said...

Hey Brian!

Finally started a blog! Come visit.

Frank