I’ve been finding a lot of great advertisements for theatrical property companies and other related businesses from The Julius Cahn-Gus Hill Theatrical Guide and Moving Picture Directory. These ads appeared between 1898 and 1913. It’s a fascinating snapshot of the theatrical business scene in New York City from a century ago. I also love the style of the ads themselves, with their odd mix of formality and flair.
I like the previous man’s name: Professor Dare. In addition to prop-related businesses, I’ve also found some interesting ones for scenery studios and scenic artists.
Of course, props and sets couldn’t be built without the proper lumber, hardware and other supplies.
Yes, I posted two ads for Wright Lumber Co; the first ad is interesting because it lists the types of theatrical lumber they carry, while the second is just cool looking.
Finally, a number of specialty businesses appear to have marketed themselves directly to the theatrical profession.
2 thoughts on “Theatrical Ads from a Hundred Years Ago”
Aside from Clancy (now JR Clancy), how many of these are still in business? Any idea?
I would imagine very few; the scenic and prop shops based around a personality usually fade after their founder passes on. Plus, I don’t think any scenic studios remain in midtown, or even in all of Manhattan (save for a few display shops like Spaeth Design). These days, Broadway is built by shops upstate or in Long Island City or even as far as Canada.
Comments are closed.