1888: “The Empire State – Its Industries and Wealth” featured sketches of businesses across the state, including many in the capital. Among them was a sketch of the firm of W. Van Gaasbeek, manufacturers of the celebrated “Bazaar Shirt.” Celebrated, it may have been, but what it was isn’t clear.
W. Van Gaasbeek & Co., manufacturers of the celebrated “Bazaar Shirt” and Dealers in Fine Furnishing Goods, No. 556 Broadway (Opposite Delavan House.) – The leading fashionable shirt-makers, and fine furnishing goods dealers of the capital are Messrs. W. Van Gaasbeeek & Co. Directly opposite the Delavan House, it is convenient to the best residential sections, the capitol, etc., and Messrs. Van Gaasbeek & Co., command the largest circle of patronage of any concern in this city. Mr. W. Van Gaasbeek started the business in 1872, in partnership with Mr. Schwartz. The present firm was formed in 1878, Mr. Van Gaasbeek taking into co-partnership his sons Messrs. John and Edward, young men of marked ability, progressive policy and unremitting enterprise. They are the designers and makers of the nationally celebrated “Bazaar” shirt. In many features of cut, fit and finish, as well as regards fine materials and perfect laundering, these shirts stand unrivalled in the United States trade, and are leaders at retail here in Albany, while the firm have developed a heavy wholesale trade all through New York state, Vermont, Massachusetts, South, and as far west as California. The public will find the “Bazaar” shirt far in the van as regards every feature of excellence. They also manufacture collars and cuffs of the finest linen, and in every way superior goods. In their large and elegantly fitted-up store, 120 feet in depth, they carry complete lines of men’s fine furnishing goods, including all the best makes of underwear, socks, ties and neckwear of fashionable novelties, handkerchiefs, etc. To Albanians, there is no need of commendation; to strangers and the country trade at large we strongly recommend it as the best place to buy either at wholesale or retail. The senior partner was born in Schoharie County, and has been an honored resident of Albany for the last fifty years; he was in the dry goods business as partner, and then sole proprietor for fully twenty-five years before embarking in the present trade.