In the top right hand corner of this wall is a sign reading BOSSAK / & CO / FURRIERS (click for image). This is painted over a vertical sign running down the wall that seems to read BAUER'S that ends with a downward arrow (click for detail). At least one or two signs are painted over the bottom part of the Bauer's arrow, and it is hard to tell if what looks like SILKS at the tip is part of the overpainting or what...
Bauer's is possibly a sign for Samuel Bauer & Sons, Furriers Supplies who were located here over 55 years (from 1929 to 1986)! Samuel Bauer (1875/76-1948) was an immigrant from Austria/Poland around 1900. He was in business as a furrier from around 1908 with Jacob Goldwasser to manufacture fur dealer supplies, including muff beds. (For a definition of the term, muff beds, see the article on Pollack & Feldman across the street at 158 W. 29th St.) Bauer & Goldwasser were in business for about 10 years (1909 to 1917), then went their separate ways. As of December 2008, Samuel Bauer & Sons were still in business in New York. They have a modest website at http://www.samuelbauer.com.
Beneath the arrow are several more signs, but even here there is overpainting.
The first reads COCH / & / LANTNER / MFG / FURRIERS (click for detail).
Then we have TANSMAN / MFG / FURRIER followed by NAT / SIMON / INC / FURRIERS, but these last two are overpainted by SCHRAMM / COHEN / FURS (click for detail).
Bossak & Co were one of several fur businesses owned by the multitudinous Bossak family. They were located at 143 W. 29th St. from 1920 to 1929. The owner was Joseph Bossak (1868-1932) with his son, Alvin Bossak (1893-1985). Joseph Bossak is identified in the U. S. Census of 1900 as living at 74 E. 113th St., Manhattan, born Nov. 1867, Austria, immigrated 1886. Living with him are his wife, Dora, born Austria, July 1869, his son, Alvin, born New York, Dec. 1893, his daughter, Minnie, born New York, Sept. 1896, and a brother, Saul, born Austria, April 1871. The "Austria" of the census was Krakow, Poland, which in the 1860s, etc. was part of the Austrian Empire. In 1919 Joseph Bossak applied for a passport when he stated that he was born "Cracow, Austria, 22 Nov. 1868," and that he emigrated, sailing from Liverpool, April 1887. The Bossak family grave site in Washington Cemetery, Brooklyn, contains markers for Joseph Bossak (Nov 22, 1868 - Oct 9, 1932), Dora Werner Bossak (July 26, 1868 - Aug 2, 1941), Alvin Bossak (Dec 20, 1893 - June 6, 1985), and Carolyn G. Bossak (Jan 10, 1904 - Feb 1, 1999). Carolyn (Gartenberg) Bossak was Alvin Bossak's wife.
Early in his career (1908 to 1910) Joseph Bossak was a partner with Lobel Anis (1869-?) in Anis & Bossak at 37 W. 19th St. Lobel Anis, like Bossak, was an immigrant from Krakow, and was probably related to Joseph Anis, whose J. Anis, Mfg. Furs business is described at 130-132 W. 29th St. J. Anis & Co. were also located here at 143 W. 29th from 1927 to 1934, but I have not found a trace of an Anis sign on this wall.
A later Bossak partnership was Lehrhaupt & Bossak as in this ad from 1901. The partners were Nathan Lehrhaupt and Joseph Bossak.
This ad for Bossak & Co. at 143-145 W. 29th St. appeared in Women's Wear, 24 Feb. 1926.
Another member of the Bossak family was Moritz Bossak, (1863-1927). An immigrant from Krakow, he was possibly Joseph Bossak's older brother, but I have not been able to establish this with certainty. He had a long-time partnership with yet another Krakow native, Adolph Hochstim (1859-1927). Hochstim & Bossak were in business in New York from 1891 to 1927. Hochstim's obituary notice in the New York Times, 3 Dec. 1927, p. 15, read, "Adolph Hochstim of 685 West End Avenue and Far Rockaway, L. I., retired fur merchant, died yesterday at Lakewood, N. J., aged 65, after a lingering illness. He is survived by his widow, four children and two sisters. After forty years as a partner in Hochstim & Bossak, 115 West Thirtieth Street, Mr. Hochstim retired last February."
The following obituary for Moritz Bossak appeared in Women's Wear Daily, 14 June 1927, pgs. 48, 58, "Moritz Bossak, veteran fur manufacturer, who had retired from the trade on Jan. 31, last, after many years' connection, was instantly killed yesterday morning when struck by a taxicab as he was attempting to cross Broadway near 72d street. Funeral services are to be conducted at 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at Riverside Memorial Chapel, Amsterdam avenue and 76th street. News of Mr. Bossak's death came as a great shock to his many friends in the New York fur market. Word of his passing reached the trade when his family sought information as to the present whereabouts of his son, Joseph M., who went to Europe recently to confer with heads of Frederick Huth & Co. and received appointment there as general manager of the Huth auction branch here upon the retirement of W. H. Bennet on Sept. 1. Through the New York branch of the Huth firm, his son was reached by cable in Paris yesterday and word was received shortly thereafter that he will sail tomorrow on the Majestic and will arrive in New York early next week. Mr. Bossak, who was in his 63d year, had spent practically all of his business life in the fur trade. In 1890 he formed a partnership with Adolf Hochstim which lasted for 37 years and ended only when the two men retired from the fur business recently, the firm operating during that period under the style of Hochstim & Bossak. Since his withdrawal from active participation in business, Mr. Bossak had frequently been seen in the market, calling upon the friends he had made in his long contact with the trade. The survivors of Mr. Bossak are his widow, Hattie, his son, Joseph M., and a daughter, Mrs. Esther Goldberg, who makes her residence in Baltimore. Another son, Arnold H., who had been associated with his brother in the fur firm of Struck & Bossak, died several years ago."
This ad for Hochstim & Bossak appeared in Cloaks and Furs, June, 1897.
The sons of Moritz Bossak were Joseph Moritz Bossak (1892-1941) and Arnold Henry Bossak (1895-1922). They were partners with George N. Struck (1870?-1922) at Struck & Bossak approximately 1911 to 1922. As recounted by Albert Lord Belden, writing in The Fur Trade of America and Some of the Men Who Made and Maintain It; Together With Furs and Fur Bearers of Other Continents and Countries and Islands of the Sea, 1917, "Joseph M. Bossak, born in New York City, November, 1891... Mr. Bossak was graduated from the High School of Commerce in 1910, and in the autumn of that year entered upon his career in the fur business in the employ of Albert Herskovits & Son, giving close and studious attention to the raw fur department of the business; he remained with the firm one year, and then established in his own interest in association with George N. Struck, under style: Struck & Bossak, dealing in raw furs and ginseng, with warerooms at 131 West Twenty-fourth Street. In 1913, Mr. Struck withdrew, and Joseph M. Bossak, receiving his younger brother, Arnold H. Bossak, into partnership, continued, incorporating the business under title: Struck & Bossak, Inc. The trade of the house, extending to all parts of the United States and Canada, met with encouraging success, and in order to effectively meet all requirements of the trade, shippers and manufacturers, the business was removed February 1, 1915, to the present commodious premises at 146-148 West Twenty-eighth Street."
This ad for Struck & Bossak appeared in Hunter-Trader-Trapper, vol. 41, no. 5, Feb. 1921.
On Arnold H. Bossak's death in 1922, the following appeared in Fur Trade Review, vol. 49, no. 10, July 1922, pg. 196, "The trade heard with much regret of the death of Arnold H. Bossak on May 27th last at the home of his parents in New York. Mr. Bossak had been ill for a long time, but his death was quite unexpected and came as a great shock to his relations and many friends. As secretary of the firm of Struck & Bossak, Inc., of 146 West Twenty-eighth street, New York, Arnold Bossak enjoyed the esteem and confidence of fur men in all parts of the country. He was the son of Moritz Bossak, of the well-known fur manufacturing firm of Hochstein & Bossak, New York, and is survived by his father, mother and sister, Mrs. I. D. Goldberg, of Baltimore, and his brother Joseph M. Bossak, with whom he was associated in the business of Struck & Bossak for several years past."
Joseph M. Bossak's obituary in the New York Times, 19 April 1941, pg. 15, read, "Joseph M. Bossak of 27 West Seventy-second Street, executive vice president and general manager of Lampson, Fraser & Huth, Inc., fur auction sales, died Wednesday of a coronary thrombosis in his office at 151 West Thirtieth Street. He was 48 years old. He was born here, entered the fur business in 1910 and two years later formed his own firm. In 1923 he became assistant general manager of Fred Huth & Co. and in 1928 general manager. When the Huth concern was merged into Lampson, Fraser & Huth, Inc., in 1936, Mr. Bossak became executive vice president and general manager. He also was chief auctioneer. During the World War Mr. Bossak served in the Navy. Surviving are his mother, Mrs. Hattie Bossak, and a sister, Mrs. Esther Goldberg."
Coch & Lantner, Furriers maintained their business at 143 W. 29th St. from 1942 to 1945. From 1937 to 1942 they were located two doors east at 135 W. 29th St. Coch was Lazaros Coch (1892-1993). He was a furrier in New York at 116 W. 29th St. from 1922 until the early 1930s (part of that time with Elias D. Elias). When he registered for the World War I draft, Coch spelled his name Lazaros Cochekas. He was born in Siatista, Greece. Siatista is described in GTP Greek Travel Pages as "a small country town in West Macedonia." Lantner was Samuel Lantner (1885-1981). He was born in Drohobycz, Poland, and immigrated to the U. S. in 1902/03. (Drohobycz is now located in west Ukraine, where the Ukrainian name is transliterated Drohobych.) Lantner is found in the 1910 U. S. Census living in Brooklyn and working as a waiter in a hotel. He registered for the World War I draft in 1918 when employed as a waiter at the Ormond Restaurant, corner of Fulton St. and Nostrand Ave., Brooklyn. By the time of the 1920 U. S. Census he lived at 1801 Union St., Brooklyn. In 1921 he applied for a passport in order to travel to Poland to "liquidate his estate." Attached to the passport was a letter (in somewhat broken English) bearing the letterhead "Samuel Lantner / Real Estate and Insurance / Estates Managed - Expert Appraiser / 1440 St. Johns Place / Near Utica Avenue." In 1942 at the time of his registration for the World War II draft, Lantner still lived at 1801 Union St., Brooklyn, but now was employed at Coch & Lantner, 135 W. 29th St. Lantner's birth year is somewhat unclear. Several documents give it as 1885, but his social security records have it 20 March 1883...
Shulman & Tansman were furriers located at 143 W. 29th St. from 1927 to 1939. Then Alex Tansman continued on his own from 1939 to 1944. Alex Tansman (1897-1962) was born in Pinsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the U. S. in 1910. He registered for the World War II draft in 1942 when he lived at 140 Riverside Drive and was self-employed at 143 West 29th St. His partner was Robert Shulman (1896-1981). Shulman was a native New Yorker, the son of Louis Shulman (1873-?), a furrier, who immigrated from Russia around 1890. The Shulmans appear in the U. S. Census of 1900 living downtown on Forsythe St. when Robert was 3 years old. Robert Shulman registered for the World War I draft in 1917, age 21, when he was a salesman for S. Strauss & Co., silk dealers, at 127 W. 26th St.
Nat Simon Inc. was here from 1942 to 1944.
Schramm Cohen Furs were located at 143 W. 29th St. from 1945 to 1949. In 1950 Schramm-Cohen, Inc., fur garments, 143 W. 29th St. filed for bankruptcy (liabilities $33,703; assets $23,090), but the company continued for some time after as Schramm Fur Corp. at this same address. In 1959 an entry appears in the Manhattan telephone directory for Schramm & Co. Inc., Securities at 143 W. 29th St. A year later this appears as S. Schramm Co. Inc., Investment Securities at 40 Exchange Place (and another year later at 80 Pine St.). Security investments apparently replaced fur manufacture...
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