Thursday, February 17, 2011

Main St. Ephemera

Recently, Lost City shared the sad news that Main Street Ephemera will be closing soon. The last time I visited the store, I worried this would happen. It's too good a place to last in this city.

Their big closing sale starts today and goes until Sunday, with 25 - 50%.

The shop is packed with ephemera--things made of paper that come and then go. They have fantastic movie posters, magazines, strange catalogs (for products like antique anal stimulators), and tons of photographs.

They've even got a collection of Jewish wine labels, including several from the Lower East Side's own Schapiro's--the wine “so thick you can almost cut it with a knife."

Browsing here, time goes by without notice. I ended up getting lost in a book of very old receipts from New York City businesses, and bought a few of them, which I have scanned here.

Each receipt is beautifully decorated. They come with handwritten details and notes. Eggebrecht & Bernhardt, importers of kid gloves, "regret being out of size 9."

Goodyear's India Rubber Glove company, manufacturers of rubber goods of every description, also had a store in town. The New York Times of 1865 recommended shopping there for Christmas gifts, including "a fine assortment of vulcanite jewelry, bracelets, brooches, ear-rings, sleeve-buttons, chains, chatelaines, charms, pencils, etc. Also, India rubber toys, balls and fancy articles of every description."

And then there's Rody Peters, the practical horse shoer, where horses were "shod up to nature and according to art." You don't see many of them around today.

After Main Street Ephemera closes, they will still be selling their wares online (visit their website here), but there's nothing like sifting through the many boxes, bins, and three-ring binders, to immerse yourself in the pleasure of paper, the smell and look and feel of it. So go soon. They may be gone before March.

No comments: