Grolier Craft / L. Kehlmann
Grolier Craft Press / L. Kehlmann Co., 229 W. 28th St. near 8th Ave. (2006)

In addition to Grolier and Kehlmann there are at least 5 other readable signs on this west wall of the Caxton Building.

Above Grolier Craft Press, for instance, is McKellar & Platts. (Click for detail.)
In 1920 Robert Thompson McKellar (1879-?) gave his profession as "house painter" in the US Census. By 1921 he had founded the printing business McKellar & Platts at 229 W. 28th St. His partner, Neddie E. Platts (ca.1893-?), gave his occupation in 1920 as "monotypist, Federal Pr." Federal Pr was the Federal Printing Co., located further uptown at 239 W. 39th St. Platts, as a monotypist would have operated a typesetting machine from a keyboard to set type for printing. (It's called monotype because it does it one character at a time, as opposed to linotype which "casts an entire line as a single slug of metal" (quoting McKellar & Platts stayed at 229 W. 28th St. from 1920 to 1931, then moved to the American Lithographic Co. building at 50-52 E. 19th St., where they were in business until 1970. (A brief note on the 19th century lithographers, Napoleon Sarony and Henry Major, whose company became the American Lithographic Co. (founded 1892), can be found at Art of the Print.) More about the American Lithographic Co. can be found on the American Litho page.

Between Grolier Craft Press and L. Kehlmann is The Dancey-Davis Press. (Click for detail.)
Charles Edward Dancey (1875-?) was the son of a printer, Charles H. Dancey, and appears in the U. S. Census of 1880 as a 5-year-old living on Duffield St., Brooklyn. He met Edwin R. Davis (ca.1869-?) somewhere around 1915 when they were both employed at the Klebold Press located at 137 E. 25th St. These two formed Dancey-Davis Press around 1917 and were located at 229 W. 28th St. until 1928. In 1926 Dancey-Davis advertised in the New York Times for an errand boy (click for image). From 1930 to 1933 Dancey-Davis Press was located in the Printing Crafts Building at 461 8th Ave., then went out of business.

Immediately beneath L. Kehlmann is a sign for James E. Newcomb & Co. (Click for detail.)
James Farmer Newcomb (1880-1948) was born in Dennis, Massachusetts (near Barnstable on the bay side of Cape Cod). By 1910 he had moved to New York. He appears in the 1910 U. S. Census, age 29, living on Longwood Ave. in the Bronx with his widowed mother, Lucy E. Newcomb. He began in business in New York around this time as a manager at a stationery business located at 35 Broadway just up from Battery Park at the lower tip of Manhattan. Around 1912 this turned into James F. Newcomb & Co., Manufacturing Stationers, which in turn became James F. Newcomb & Co., Printers at 441 Pearl St. in 1916. Newcomb also did business at this address as Strathmore Press. In 1924 Newcomb expanded to 2 additional locations: 330 7th Ave (general office) and 229 W. 28th St. (manufacturing department). 330 7th Ave. is a block away from 229 W. 28th St. and this remained the primary office for the business until 1932 when Newcomb moved downtown to 150 Varick St. near Vandam St. In 1936 Newcomb moved again, this time a block east and a block uptown to 345 Hudson St. near Charlton St. On 7 July 1948 the New York Times reported that Charles E. Albers had succeeded the late James F. Newcomb as president of Jas. F. Newcomb Co. Newcomb died earlier that year. In 1964 the New York Times reported the merger of James F. Newcomb Co. with Pandick Press Inc. By 1980 the trade name James F. Newcomb Co. was no longer being used.

One sign up from the bottom of the stack is Paul Overhage / Printers. (Click for detail.)
Paul Overhage was born 2 Sept. 1876 in Berlin, Germany. He immigrated to the U. S. in 1896 or 1900, worked as an engraver and then founded his own company, Paul Overhage Inc., Printers, Engravers and Publishers around 1906. The original company was located at 24 E. 21st St. (click for ad from this address), then moved here to the Caxton Building in 1916. Overhage was in business here until 1941, re-located at that time to 130 W. 24th St., then went out of business a year later. Paul Overhage was a publisher as well as a printer. For instance, Notables and autographs, by Alexander William Armour bears the imprint "New York City, Priv. print. for the author by P. Overhage, Inc., 1939." Apparently Armour was a collector of autographs and published this work to exhibit his collection with short biographies of the notables. Another title was A Pilgrimage into the self; annals on the way, by students of MBM (May Benzenberg Mayer), published by Overhage in 1926. Another title was Anglo-Saxon Solidarity by Herbert Adams Gibbons in 1920/21, a work dealing with relations between the U. S. and Great Britain. Overhage also published works in German: for instance, Geschichtliche Skizze zum goldenen Jubiläum der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Immanuels Kirche celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Immanuel Evangelical Lutheran Church in Yorkville in 1913. Also: Tag und nacht; gedichte, by Alfred Abraham Herzfeld in 1920.

At the very bottom of the stack is the Iconochrome Company / of America. (Click for detail.) Unlike the other tenants of the Caxton Building, the Iconochrome Company of America were not printers. In fact, they appear to have manufactured photographic supplies. The principal owner was Robert John (1876-?) who is described in the 1920 and 1930 U. S. Census as an inventor. Some of John's other companies were Arjay Color Photo Process Inc. (1916-1918) and the Daylight Film Corp. (1918-1925). All were located here at 229 W. 28th St. John registered for the World War I draft in 1918 as a manufacturer of motion picture film, "Daylight Film Corp. 229 W 28." Iconochrome, too, were possibly involved in manufacturing photographic film, or other forms of photography supplies. Polk's New York City Directory for 1922/23 describes the business as "photo sup." They were in business from 1916 to 1924 in this building. Among Robert John's associates in the Iconochrome Company of America was George Barnes Van Cleve (1876-1949). Van Cleve was born in Minnesota and appears in the 1880 U. S. Census as a 4-year-old living with his father, Seymour Van Cleve, a wheat buyer. The Van Cleves moved to New York in the 1890s, and George B. Van Cleve went into the advertising business. He formed his own company, Van Cleve Co., around 1910, and he seems to have met Robert John at this time. John worked either for or with Van Cleve at Van Cleve Advertising for several years. Van Cleve was treasurer at John's Arjay Color Photo Process and was also vice-president and treasurer at the Iconochrome Company of America. Another associate was Noyes Bentley Cornell (1878-1972). He was secretary of Iconochrome Company of American from around 1917 to 1918, and held several other executive positions in New York during the 1920s. Noyes Cornell has the distinction of being treated as the daughter of his father, Clarence Cornell, in both the 1880 and 1900 U. S. Census reports. Apparently the first name, Noyes, was unusual enough to throw off the census takers. Noyes Cornell was not a woman, however, and registered for both the World War I (age 40) and World War II (age 63) drafts.

All of these signs are found in almost exact mirror image on the other, east side of this building.

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