|Times Square - Click on the image to see it enlarged|
This Times Square souvenir postcard may have been posted in 1962, but we can date the photograph quite precisely to several years earlier thanks to several clues in the image: Loew's State Theatre is showing The Phenix City Story, which was glowingly reviewed by the New York Times on September 3, 1955 as “an uncommonly good little film” the day after it opened at Loew's State (see Sin in the South; 'The Phenix City Story' Has Debut at State), whilst for movie goers looking for something more lightweight, the Criterion is offering the Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis vehicle You're Never Too Young, which had been released ten days earlier on August 25, 1955.
Vintage topographical postcards are a treasure trove for information about past times and this card is a wonderful example - I love the Chevrolet and Admiral Television Appliances adverts, which for a European seem so quintessentially 1950s America – but it is the Bond Clothing Store on the right, with its distinctive Two Trouser Suits sign that seems to have had the most unusual history. As a final confirmation of the date of this photograph, in 1955 Pepsi took over the sign site and installed two 50 foot tall Pepsi bottles either side of a giant bottle cap, above their slogan 'The Light Refreshment' and a waterfall. In the 1940s, instead of Pepsi bottles there had actually been two 7-storey tall nude figures of a man and a woman causing guests at the Astor Hotel opposite to complain about their indecency! Look closely and you'll also see a branch of The Woolworth Store on the ground floor, next to Whelan Drug. (See New York Architecture Images for further information about Times Square.)
The card carries the names of two publishers with their respective numbering systems – I assume that one company was the printer and the other the distributor and would guess that as it's a Plastichrome card, it was printed by Boston company ColourPictures Publishers Inc., (note the English spelling of “colour”) and distributed by the New York publishers Manhattan Post Card Pub. Co., Inc. I'm including the back of the postcard, but for reasons of privacy have masked the name of the sender and recipient as both parties may quite feasibly still be alive.
Find more vintage postcards over at Beth's postcard blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy and join other collectors on Postcard Friendship Friday.