Looking uptown from 46th Street

12 10 2007

Looking uptown from 46th Street
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Here’s another vintage view of Times Square in New York (circa 1955). You can just barely see the billboard for Chevrolet (where the old Kellogg’s ad used to be), peeking out from behind the Canadian Club Imported Whiskey and Admiral Television Appliances ads.

Notice the billboards advertising Palisades Park, Bardinet Superior French Brandy, Manischewitz, Budweiser, and Drakes Devil Dogs.

You can also see the marquee for the Globe Theatre, showing the release of “The Sins of the Borgias” (1953), as well as the marquee promoting Cinerama Holiday, the second Cinerama presentation of 1955, shown at Warner Cinerama.

Can you make out any more of the signs? Look closely


The Largest Electric Sign Ever Built?

2 10 2007

I Want Kellogg’s!!
Originally uploaded by Paula Wirth

Now, I wonder how this sign compares to the electric signs of today.

From The Saturday Evening Post, August 17, 1912:

“The above photograph shows the monster Kellog Toasted Corn Flake electric sign on the top of the Mecca Building, at 48th and Broadway, NY.

This sign is 106 ft. wide and 80 ft. high—the letter “K” in Kellogg’s is 66 ft. high—the boy’s head and the package are 40 feet high.

Eighty tons of structural iron were required for the frame work, making necessary six mammoth trusses to distribute the weight and wind stress over the building.

A mechanical device changes the boy’s face and the heading. When he cries the heading reads “I want Kellogg’s.” He then smiles and the heading reads “I got Kellogg’s.” The sign portrays a true story told in millions of homes daily.”

Thanks to Mamluke, I have found out that the building has a very rich history, and has now been turned into more (offensive, IMHO) condos.

Also, The NY Times has a fab article which discusses the changes in signage over time, commenting on a current sign “three basketball courts” in size.

Here’s a 1937 photo (from Lileks) of the same billboard structure, with “Four Roses” instead of Kellogg’s. Note that by 1940, it was “Available.” Other advertisers included Maxwell House, Chevrolet, Braniff and Sony.

More history of the building before its demise…