Weil & Hoey / Current Literature

Weil & Hoey / Jacob Goldman / Current Literature, etc., 134-140 W. 29th St. (2006)

These signs pre-date the light colored brickwork that in places covers the sign. The top four in this photo are:

Weil & Hoey: They manufactured ladies' waists, and the sign dates 1911 to 1914. The principals were Samuel Tilden Weil (born Massachusetts, 7 Nov. 1876) and Patrick Edward Hoey (b. 9 Jan. 1878, d. 5 Jan. 1938). The partnership lasted approx. 1907 to 1914. Patrick Hoey continued in waist and knitwear manufacture until his death in the late 1930s. He was an officer at Mayfair Waist Co. from around 1912 to 1918, then later connected with Say-O Knitwear, Hoey Alexander Mills and Sachs Knitting Mills. Samuel T. Weil was the son of Isaac Weil, a dry goods merchant in Boston, Mass. The Weils appear in the U. S. Census of 1880 (Samuel age 3) living on Fayette St. in Boston. In 1914 Samuel Weil formed Weil & Weil, a partnership with two brothers, Leo Frederick Weil (born Boston, Mass. 27 March 1884, died June 1966) and Richard Adolph Weil (born Boston, Mass. 28 Aug. 1885). Weil & Weil, like Weil & Hoey, manufactured ladies' waists. This ad for Weil & Weil appeared in Fairchild's Women's Wear Directory, Spring, 1918. They were in business approx. 10 years. By the time of the U. S. Census of 1930 all three brothers were engaged in other pursuits. Leo was retired and gave his occupation as None. Richard was a stock broker. Samuel give his occupation as Real Estate. In 1942 Leo Weil registered for the World War II draft and listed his employer as Unemployed. Richard Weil registered for the same draft while employed at The Coliseum & Starlight Park, 1100 East 177th St., Bronx. The Starlight Amusement Park dated from 1916 and was located on the east side of the Bronx River at 177th St. The Coliseum started life as an auditorium in Philadelphia in 1926 and was re-erected in the Bronx in 1928 on the grounds of Starlight Park. Christopher Gray's article in the New York Times, 22 Mar. 1992, says that by 1940 "Starlight Park and the Coliseum were in receivership; the Army used the building, apparently as a vehicle-maintenance center, from 1942 to 1946." Richard Weil, whose draft registration is dated 25 April 1942, was possibly employed by the Army at this site in some capacity...

Jacob Goldman

Current Literature: Standing clearly apart in an area of loft buildings housing furriers, waist manufacturers, coats & suits manufacturers, etc. is this sign for a publisher located at 134-140 W 29th St. from 1910 to 1916. (Click for 1913 ad at this address.) They were in business from the late 1880s until around 1931. This advertisement appeared in the magazine Living Age, 6 Oct. 1894.

The Current Literature Publishing Co. published a monthly periodical entitled Current Literature from 1888 to 1912. An 1890 description of the magazine read, "Current Literature. - A popular magazine of record and review, in its sixth volume, which reprints articles, poems, and stories, from current home and foreign periodicals and newspapers, under the motto, 'I have gathered me a posie of other men's flowers, and nothing ... but the thread that binds them is mine own." Monthly, 25 cents. Publishers: Current Literature Publishing Co., 30, West Twenty-Third Street, New York." (The Annual Index of Periodicals & Photographs For 1890. London, Mowbray House, 1891.) Current Literature was continued by Current Opinion that ran from 1913 to 1925. Current Opinion in turn was absorbed (in 1925) by the Literary Digest, a weekly published by Funk & Wagnalls from 1890 to 1937. Current Literature also published in book form. Some of their book titles gleaned from the Library of Congress catalog include:

Hermia Suydam, by Gertrude Franklin Atherton, 1889.
Life and works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Marion Mills Miller, 1907.
The science-history of the universe. Francis Rolt-Wheeler, managing editor, 1909
Madame Chrysanthème, by Pierre Loti; with a preface by Albert Sorel, 1910.
The fact book; a universal book of reference on current world conditions ... editor-in-chief Francis Rolt-Wheeler, 1911.
Great debates in American history ... edited by Marion Mills Miller, 1913.
Great epochs in American history, described by famous writers from Columbus to Wilson; edited by Francis W. Halsey, 1916.
The Roosevelt policy; speeches, letters and state papers [of Theodore Roosevelt] ... 3 volumes! 1919.
The life and meaning of Theodore Roosevelt, by Eugene Thwing, 1919.

In 1918 they published a Who's Who In Music edited by César Saerchinger.

An important editor at Current Literature was Edward Jewitt Wheeler, born Cleveland, Ohio, 11 March 1859, and a doctoral graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University. Quoting from his obituary in the New York Times (16 July 1922, p. 26): "He was editor-in-chief of Current Opinion, formerly Current Literature, since 1905, previously to which he was for ten years managing editor of the Literary Digest. Before holding this post he was editor of The Voice, a leading prohibition organ, and he was prominent in the early prohibition movement. In addition to being editor of Current Opinion, Dr. Wheeler was literary adviser to the Funk and Wagnalls Company. He was the first President of the Poetry Society of America and occupied that office for ten years prior to his resignation last year."

Another prominent figure at Current Literature was Adam Dingwall (1861-1935). Quoting from his obituary in the New York Times (9 Aug. 1935, p. 17): "Mr. Dingwall was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and came to the United States in 1885. He was at one time general manager of the magazine Current Opinion and later principal owner and general manager of Arts and Decoration." Dingwall started his own publishing business, Dingwall-Rock, Ltd. in 1924. In 1930 Dingwall was prosecuted for publishing indecent literature. The book in question was titled One Hundred Merrie and Delightful Stories. John S. Summer, of the Society for the Suppression of Vice, had complained of its sale. A detective, William Wittenberg, testified that he had been shocked by its contents (New York Times (11 Sep. 1930, p. 18). (A follow-up story, 13 Nov. 1930, p. 19, gives the title as 100 Merrie and Delightsome Stories.) I could not find this title in the Library of Congress catalog, but Alibris is selling a 2-volume set by Arthur Machen with illustrator Clara Tice for $250. The publisher is given as Carbonnek, 1924. Could this be the title that got Adam Dingwall arrested? More likely is this item on Project Gutenberg: One Hundred Merrie and Delightsome Stories right pleasaunte to relate in all goodly companie by way of Joyance and Jollity: Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, now first done into the English tongue, by Robert B. Douglas; Paris, Charles Carrington, 13 faubourg Montmartre.

Also associated with Current Literature was William Beverly Winslow (1862-1944). Quoting from his obituary in the New York Times (9 Feb. 1944, p. 19): "Born in Carrollton, Ky., Mr. Winslow was educated in the Carroll Seminary there and began his law practice in Kentucky in 1883, when he was admitted to the bar. Later he practiced in Tennessee and in 1895 formed a law partnership with William Hepburn Russell. In 1895 they engaged in a law business in New York under the name Russell & Winslow. The firm specialized in the law of building and loan associations. After Mr. Russell's death in 1911 Mr. Winslow continued in practice alone and was principally engaged in looking after the legal and business interests of Funk & Wagnalls Company, publishers." Winslow's association with Current Literature seems to date approx. 1916 to 1922.

A number of issues of Current Literature are available as google books, including six issues from January through June, 1905. Issues of Current Opinion are also available, including the five issues from July through December, 1919. (In 1919 the November issue was not published owing to a printers' strike in New York City.) This is the masthead of Current Opinion in Dec. 1919 when Edward J. Wheeler was editor.


Chas F Siemons / All Right Waist.

Charles F. Siemons (1868-1929) was in business as a waists (blouses) manufacturer from around 1901 to 1921. He was located here on W. 29th St. from 1910 to 1921. The business began on Broome St. and was located at 365-367 Broadway (near Franklin St.) from 1903 to 1910. Siemons was an immigrant from Germany, who first appears in the U. S. Census in 1900, where his birth is recorded as Sep. 1868, and where date of immigration is 1885. From 1909 until the time of his death Siemons lived in the Bronx at 1981 Morris Ave. (near the Grand Concourse, between Tremont Ave. and E. 179th St.). In the early 1920s, Siemons entered the garage business (parking garage?) on W. 158th St. in Manhattan, with his son Frederick Siemons (1898-?).

This ad for Siemons appeared in Fairchild's Women's Wear Directory, July 1911. Another appeared in 1918.


Higher on this wall is another area with a sign for

Kasarsky Bros & Fink / Furriers. This, too, is cut by light colored brickwork that covers the sign (click for image). The Kasarsky brothers were Samuel Kasarsky (1888-1950) and Max Kasarsky (1891-?). They were immigrants from Chekren (or Chigrin?), Russia, around 1908. Fink was Abraham Fink (1891-?). He also immigrated from Russia (1909). Fink registered for the World War I draft while employed at Cohen & Friss, Furs, 130 W. 32nd St. Kasarsky Bros. & Fink was located here at 134 W. 29th St. from 1920 to 1924. In 1925 the Kasarskys formed Kasarsky Bros., and Fink formed a partnership with Michael Miller - both at this same address. In 1926 Fink and Miller joined with Samuel Kasarsky to form Miller, Kasarsky & Fink. Max Kasarsky formed M. Kasarsky Co. Again, both businesses were located here. It was typical of furriers to go in and out of partnerships this way, often on an annual basis. An earlier partnership was one between Max Kasarsky and Osher Kramer (Kramer & Kasarsky, 1917 to 1918). For more on Osher Kramer see Kramer & Dupler at 109 W. 27th St.

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