The Kove Brothers were Samuel Abraham Kove (1892-1975) and Morris Kove (1899-1993). They were immigrants from Russia (Lithuania), and they started their hardware business at 189 7th Ave. (northeast corner of 21st St.) in the early 1920s. As of Dec. 2009 the business was still very much alive at this same location, and you can visit their website at www.kovehardware.com.
Their website says "Since 1920," and the business was listed in the New York telephone directory in 1921. Morris Kove is found in the U. S. Census of 1910, living with his father, mother and four siblings at 502 Wendover Ave., the Bronx. His parents were Hyman and Dora Kove, both born in Russia. The family immigrated in 1899. Hyman Kove's occupation was listed as "Shipping Clerk, Lamps."
Samuel Abraham Kove registered for the World War I draft in 1917, when he lived in Washington, D. C. He gave his occupation as tailor, in business for himself. Morris Kove registered for the same draft a year later when he lived in the Bronx. His occupation was "shipping clerk, Cohen Bros., Cloaks, Suits & Sweaters, 16 W. 32nd St., NY, NY, NY."
Both brothers were recorded in the 1930 U. S. Census, living in Brooklyn. Both now had their own families. They lived within 2 or 3 doors of each other, at 154 and 160 East 39th St., Brooklyn.
An image of an earlier and larger version of the sign is found in the digital collections at the New York Public Library. This is a photograph taken in 1934 by Percy Loomis Sperr (1890-1964).
A 1996 view of these signs shows they underwent restoration and changes before 2003 (click for 1996 image). The Chico mural also was re-painted.
And the Kove Brothers truck was spotted on Columbus Ave. Feb. 2010!
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