Hoxsie bottle!

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Do not want (at least not at $57), but I was pleasantly surprised when a Google alert brought me the news that there is a Hoxsie bottle out there for sale. Perhaps there are thousands, bottle collecting is not my thing. If you want to know what a cool, refreshing bottle of Hoxsie looked like, here’s your chance.


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Rinso ad Gazette 1921.png

I’ll try for just a moment to focus only on the non-sexist elements of this Rinso detergent ad that ran in the Schenectady Gazette in 1921.

Oh, wait. There aren’t any.

Albany, City of the Bald?

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1862 Schenectady Directory Hair Restorer

If you believe what Professor Henry A. DeMunn had to say in 1862 (and I demand to know the provenance of his doctoral degree), that he had been working for a year and a half with the worst cases of baldness to be found “in this or any other country,” then you have to wonder just what was going on in our fair city that caused such aggressive hair loss. Legislative stresses? Kerosene in the drinking water? The establishment of an alopecia colony? No clue is given, nor does he make clear whether his dollar-a-bottle hair restorer was to be applied to the head or taken as a tonic — a common enough approach that, if amply fortified, would help the user to forget the dollar he had spent.

The stretch of Orange Street where the Professor once practiced his scientific endeavors is long gone under the I-787 on-ramp. He boarded at 35 Van Schaick, where he listed his profession as “hair restorer.”

Light fixtures at war prices!

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1862 Schenectady Directory Edwards gas fittings

I’ll admit that I’m not sure whether “war prices” were a good thing when John A. Edwards took out this ad in 1862’s Schenectady directory. This was the golden age of gas lighting. But while he was fitting your pipes, you might as well get him to hang your door bell in the most substantial manner and at short notice. Door bell emergencies were nothing unusual to him.

Not sure, either, what the Old Stand was, but Centre Street in Schenectady  is now Broadway, of course.

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German dailies in Albany

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German papers in Albany 1905.png

Considering that Albany has been a one-newspaper city for more than 20  years (with some fringe elements clinging stubbornly to the superior quality of the Daily Gazette or the Sound-Off column of the Troy Record), it’s amazing to think of all the decades when the city had anywhere between five and eight daily papers, and even more amazing to think that in 1905, two of them were in German. The Albany Freie Blaetter lasted from 1852 until 1912; the Taeglicher Herold started in 1869. The Sonntags Journal began in 1884 as an independent weekly and was eventually merged with the Herold.

The State Library has a decent listing of the many, many Albany newspapers that are available on microfilm; we can only hope that someday they’ll be digitized.

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Albany Imperial XX Ales

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John Taylor brewery

I have some doubts as to whether this 1857 view of John Taylor & Sons’ brewery operations, where they made Albany Imperial XX Ales, was from Albany or perhaps their New York or Boston depots, both of which were also on the waterfront. The brewery was at Broadway and Arch Streets, but the back side aligned with Quay Street, right along the river, so it’s possible this view is of Albany. It’d be easier to be sure if I could identify those church steeples in the background, but that area is so changed.

Albany, again because of its important location in the mid-19th century, was one of the early beer capitals, exporting beer and ale at a time when it was mostly locally brewed. There is much more on Albany ales here.