Seen & Heard: The neighborhood’s ghost signs explained

If you love the remnants of commercial businesses past left in paint around the neighborhood, you will probably love this book — “Ghost Signs: Clues to Downtown New York’s Past.” Written by East Village photographer Frank Mastropolo, the guy behind the @ghostsignsnyc Twitter account, it uncovers the roots of 100 downtown signs. (You may recall that our own James Bogardus helped him out at 307 Spring.) The Tribeca list includes T&A Coffee, Dayton Corsa Tea & Coffee, Matera Canvas, Hecht Liquors, B. Fischer and Goodall Rubber, below.

Goodall Rubber, 5 White Street
Two adjoining signs for Goodall Rubber dominate a corner of Tribeca. Goodall moved to its White Street location in the late 1930s, where it sold rubber hoses, tubing, belts, and protective clothing that included boots, gloves, and aprons.
The company was founded in Philadelphia in 1906 by Howard W. Goodall, William S. Feeny, and Frederick D. Stovell. Goodall remained on White Street until the 1970s.
The sign on the left is a palimpsest; traces of an older sign, advertising “manufacturer of handkerchiefs,” can be read underneath.


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