Albany Iron and Saw Works

Pruyn’s Albany Iron and Saw Works down on Pruyn Street was a substantial operation when this ad ran in 1858. The iron works manufactured just about everything that could be manufactured from iron, from boilers to bridges to bedsteads, and the saw works made tools ranging from tobacco cutters to water wheels to saws of …

Bonnet Bleaching

Ladies! What to do when your beloved Barnum Blake bonnet becomes besmirched, bespotted or besoiled? Best betake yon bonnet to the Boston Bonnet Bleachery, where ladies’ straw, leghorn, chip and neapolitan bonnets were bleached and pressed in the best manner. N. Ware would gladly bleach and press them at short notice, and make them over …

Albany Eye and Ear Infirmary

Knowing what we now know about what doctors didn’t know in the mid-19th century, it’s easy to imagine the Albany Eye and Ear Infirmary of 1858 as a chamber of horrors that could have involved a combination of bloodletting and mercury poisoning. And pneumatic extraction. “Dr. Gilbert’s celebrated Combination Pneumatic Extractor and Ear Syringe, for …

Albany Brush Factory

1858. J.B. Armour, Brush Manufacturer, keeps constantly on hand a large assortment of brushes of all kinds and descriptions. When I was growing up, brushes were still a big thing. There were still Fuller brush salesmen, going door to door. Today, even though we still use brushes for all sorts of things, it seems like …

Washington under the elms

Once upon a time, there was an elm tree in Albany’s Lafayette Park (just across from the Capitol). That tree’s grandparent (whatever that may mean) was a leafy witness to history. “Washington first took command of the American Army under the grandparent of this elm at Cambridge, Mass. July 3, 1775 Raised and presented by …

Hoxsie bottle!

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, …