On this day in Albany history: in 1847, “Jakey Jackson, famed as a cleaner of lawyers’ offices, dies.” (Albany Chronicles, Cuyler Reynolds, 1906.)
The next day, the Times reported that “Three experts made an exhaustive examination today of the accounts of the Schenectady Savings Bank, whose head accountant, August Henke, killed himself Wednesday night. The investigation disclosed that Henke’s method was to make false entries in the transfer of accounts from the individual to the general ledger. The peculations were in small amounts.”
If you wondered why Mr. Henke felt the need to wander all the way up to Aqueduct to take his life — he was the treasurer of the Schenectady Canoe Club and presumably familiar with the Mohawk River in that stretch, which is still popular with canoeists.
I’m just going to go ahead and assume that ban passed.
This company was way out in a strip plaza on Gerling Street that still exists.
For many years ads for Schenectady Savings Bank featured a cut of their main building and the slogan, “Where Clinton Crosses State.” The bank was chartered in 1834, and was taken over by Northeast Savings sometime in the mid-1980s. Then it was decided that being a savings bank wasn’t cool, and the bank changed format and was acquired by another bank, which was acquired by another bank, and so essentially the institution we knew as Schenectady Savings is long gone. Its main branch had a clean, classy look inside, not as grand as some of the other old banks but stately and assured. It is now a Bank of America branch that looks like every other branch, though perhaps a bit more run down.
Bradford, named for the Pennsylvania county where W.T. Grant was born, was the name for many of Grant’s in-house lines, including its appliances. We had several Bradford appliances growing up, and they seemed to be eternal. We bought a Bradford air conditioner in 1968 that was still running when my mother sold her house in 2000, and by all appearances it’s still there.
I would love to see a Barney card.
This is one of the final Wallace’s ads. I’m sure a good chunk of Christmas that year came from the clearance of the old store.
By the way, I’d wager almost anything that the headline font was achieved with some form of press type, such as Letraset. It’s an astonishing example of poor kerning that only technology made possible.
Just because, it’s 1973 week. What was happening in the Electric City a mere 39 years ago? Well, Wallace’s was holding its 99th anniversary sale. It would be its last; the store closed in the final days of 1973. As venerated Schenectady historian Larry Hart wrote back in 1996, the store was in a way much older than that, having descended from a business that began in 1822 down on Ferry Street. It began as William McCamus Dry Goods in 1822; it moved to a new building on State Street, still west of the canal (the Schenectady Savings and Loan location), in 1840. In 1874 the business was sold and became Thomas H. Reeves and Company, and later was known as Reeves-Vedder. It is from this sale that Wallace’s traced its anniversary. The store built a sparkling new building way uptown in 1892, between North Center (now Broadway) and Jay streets, and in 1900 became Reeves-Luffman. In 1909, Andrew Wallace of the Consolidated Dry Goods Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, consolidated Reeves-Luffman into his chain of stores and renamed it Wallace’s, at the same time doubling its size with an addition to its building. And so it stood for another 64 years until the terrible collapse of downtown retail, which took out Wallace’s, H.S. Barney, W.T. Grant’s and Kresge’s, all in the same year.