Adam Gander Sells Nothing But Legitimate Merchandise

Adam GanderA 1935 ad for Adam Gander’s wine and liquor store at 435 Central Avenue. Really only notable for the interesting claims in what we take to be a cocktail glass behind the bottle:

“Adam Sells Nothing But Legitimate Merchandise”

“What Adam Recommends Must Be Good”

Raises the question – did someone intimate that he sold anything other than legitimate merchandise? Perhaps he protested too much. But that would be unfair to Mr. Gander, for in fact we learn from a 1937 State Supreme Court case that Adam Gander was involved in an early scheme called Gifts By Wire, something similar to Florists’ Telegraph Delivery (as it was then known) that allowed delivery of gift items like wine and liquor that would otherwise be barred by state borders and alcohol control laws. Someone in California could call up (or telegraph) a Gifts By Wire provider in New York and have a bottle of wine delivered to their friends in New York. An affidavit in the lawsuit stated “It was quite clear from the outset that the persons who demanded this service from the stores located in the finer residential parts of New York City and other cities, and who wished to send gifts of fine liquors, wines and champagnes to friends and relatives in distant parts of the country, were the highest type of the consuming public.” Adam’s Wines and Liquors was listed as one of the founding high-class retailers involved in Gifts by Wire in 1936. (Of course, the State Liquor Authority, a literal buzz-kill, ruled that the business was illegal.)

There was also an Adam Gander dealing alcohol and holding a concert saloon license in New York City in the 1880s; could be some relation.

Ganders LiquorAn eagle-eyed reader (or one who can work Google) tells us that Gander’s liquor store is still there, at the same location.

5 thoughts on “Adam Gander Sells Nothing But Legitimate Merchandise

  1. Kevin Wood

    Hi there. This is a very interesting article. Adam Gander is my great grandfather. That store pictured was passed down to my grandfather and was sold after him. I was wondering where you heard of this and where you got the picture? I am sure the rest of my family would be very interested! I would have emailed you directly but I did not see an option for contacts. If you could please contact me I would greatly appreciate it!!

  2. Kevin Wood

    Hi! I commented a few days ago but I don’t know if it went thru. Adam is my great grandfather. This article is super interesting to me and my family. Could you please contact me and let me know how you learned if this and the information you described? It would mean so much to us! Thanks!!

  3. carljohnson Post author

    Kevin, sorry for the delay in approving your first comment. We get so much spam that legitimate comments get drowned out. The articles that formed the basis for this were probably found on Fultonhistory,com, which has a treasure trove of old newspapers. Searching “Adam Gander” there will likely yield you much more.

    1. Kevin Wood

      Okay thank you. Do you know who wrote the article? I will search that place but I am super interested in how he/she got turned on to the subject. Thanks!

      1. carljohnson Post author

        I think I wasn’t understanding your question. I wrote the article on this site, which is a site about general local history in the Albany, Schenectady and Troy areas. I tripped on the ad and did the least amount of research possible, which is my M.O.

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