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Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, thousands of businesses (both small and large) advertised their wares through creative and elaborate signs painted on the sides of buildings. Of course, New York had some of the most interesting, and a few of the most compelling can be found on this website, maintained by Walter Grutchfield. Obviously it would be nearly impossible to document all of them, so he has elected to sample only a few of the many that are (or were) present in the area from 14th to 42nd Streets in Manhattan. Visitors may browse an interactive map of the area, by the date of sign construction, or by business name. For each entry, a photograph of the sign is available, along with a brief sketch of the business and its history. Guests to the site will want to take a look at the old sign for the Hotel Irving for Women and the Handin & Drapkin Furs sign on East 20th Street.
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