Albany Business College Albany N.Y.

The Albany Business College was a private, for profit  educational insitution and  was a maintain of the city for over a century.  It was established in 1857  as a subsidiary of Bryant and Stratton in 1857 by C.E. Prentice, John Carnell and Benton Hoit.   In later years it severed its affiliation with Bryant and Stratton and was privately owned.

It was originally located at 51-53 North Pearl St.  In 1889 it moved into a grand building, designed by Edward Ogden at  the corner of North Pearl and Columbia Streets in downtown Albany.  

The College moved  twice more in the 2oth century; first to Washington Ave,. 19 133 and then to Central Ave outside the City limits,  to an old Vallee’s restaurant site in the 1970s.  It closed in 1988, and was purchased by Bryant and Stratton, coming full circle.

ABC, as it as known, was sort of a family tradition. A great grandfather from Cohoes attended in the 1880s, a great uncle graduated in 1890, a great aunt in 1918 and another  uncle in 1956.


c 1915
C, 1895
c. 1910
c. 1910
c 1920


c. 1905
abcl 1909 - 3221 collge tailor
c. 1910
c. 1910
Employment Desk 1912
c 1895

abc 1927 - 6667 1

abc1936 - 3073 1

abc 1967 - 0008

If you are on Facebook, consider joining “Albany.. the way it was.”, a FB Group devoted to memories of Albany, NY.  Here’s the link.

Echoes of Pine Hills/Madison Ave Albany NY

Corner of Madison and Partridge c 1973
Dutch Oven Bakery   1938
Dutch Oven Bakery 1938
Lake and Madison c 1920s


School 4 Madison and Ontario
c. 1953
Madison looking east near Ontario, Vincentian on right and School 4 on left



Steamer 10
c. 1955
early 1950s
Mike Flanagan.. second owner of Petit Paris Restaurant mid 1960s and musician extraordinaire.
The Westerly Apts.. S. Main Ave.  Constructed in the early 1900s
The Westerly Apts.. S. Main Ave. Constructed in the early 1900s
The Betty Schuyler Restaurant
The Betty Schuyler Restaurant 1940s


Joe's Maitre'D
Joe’s Maitre’D
c 1959
Madison between Quail and Ontario, north side c 1973

Service station/Garage corner of W.Lawrence and Madison 1930s


Walter's  c. 1958
Walter’s c. 1958







The Old NYS Museum Albany NY


The old NYS Museum in the wonderfully iconic State Education Building was a garden of earthly delights. Tens of thousands of  NYS school children visited  the museum during its 60 some odd years, until it closed when the “new” Museum in the Cultural Center in  the Empire State Plaza opened in the 1970s.

9353424451_b4ce44d14f_zBut for the children of Albany, especially the baby boomer kids of  the ’50s and ’60s,  the Museum was special. It was a source of infinite wonder; it was our own very, very  cool playground.   The Museum was on bus lines; it  was located within walking distance of  two ethnically diverse neighborhoods, Arbor Hill and the South End,; both teeming with children.  And it was free.   When kids in Albany sighed, “I’m bored”,  many an Albany mother replied, “Go to the Museum”.  That was  the big deal about the old Museum.. it was kid friendly.

Rotunda NYS Education Building
Rotunda NYS Education Building

The Museum was on the 5th floor; to get there you passed though the grandeur of the State Ed Building.   The exterior of the building is magnificent and imposing with its massive 36  Corinthian column colonnade.  But it’s even more  gorgeous inside.  The scale is part of it; but it’s also a stunning example early 20th century Beaux-Arts architecture. The central rotunda with a barrel vault ceiling and stupendous chandelier are awe-inspiring. It never failed to take my breath away.  Even the rowdiest kids calmed down, lowered their voices and stopped fidgeting,  sensing they were in the presence of something special. 960x540 (1)

When you reached the Museum floor, the first thing  you saw was a replica of the Gilboa prehistoric forest, filled with ancient fossilized tree stumps and  wonder of wonders, a waterfall.  I don’t know about other kids, but for me, it was so peaceful, it was the equivalent of a Zen garden.

Picture-23-600x364But then the fun began.  The old  Museum was really a museum of natural history. Just up the street was the Albany Institute of History and Art. It had an excellent collection of old Dutch paintings, china, furniture and artifacts, and 2 Egyptian mummies!  But other than the mummies, the Institute held little attraction for most of us kids.  So when I think about the old Museum,  it’s impossible not to think of the movie, Night at The Museum.

Where you went next depended on your mood.. did you want to go visit the Iroquois Indian diorama exhibits?  I remember the first time I saw them; I swear it was if the pages of a National Geographic had come alive. There were Native American artifacts… huge pots and best of all, arrow points and arrowheads. Arrowheads were part of our Akbany childhood. Between digging in back yards and playing in the residential, commercial and public constructions sites that dotted the city for 2 decades, kids were always finding, them.  They were a staple of school “show and tell”.  But the Museum placed them in context.. you  understood that cool thing you found dated back thousands of years.  And then you looked back at the Iroquois exhibits and began to have a better understanding of the people who used them.









You could visit the huge Cohoes mastodon; one of three on display. or maybe a stroll through the  taxidermy  animal collection (which I found sort of creepy.)  The paleontology collection was amazing.. rows upon row of cabinets of miilion year old fossils,  There were botany and biology exhibits; beautiful illustrations of the birds, flora and flowers we saw in our yards and park, and those funky mushrooms we saw growing in the woods.




The fossilized sea life and shells were pretty nifty. I  still love a curvaceous wentletrap or a nautilus.



G-11366Every time I visited, there seemed to be something new.. or something I’d missed. I first fell in love with


sedimentary rocks; fascinated by the layers and strata in limestone and shale.  But there were so many choices.. the sparkling Herkimer Diamond, the “man made diamond”, iridescent quartz of all hues, meteorites, minerals and rocks that shimmered like gold or looked like coral.

The was a tall (maybe 4′)  pillar of rock salt that showed the tongue depressions of decades of New York school children who had licked it.  And we licked it too, just like our parents and aunts and uncles had done before, (I always called it Lot’s Wife.)

There was a bunch of rocks that glowed in the dark in a small room.  Recently someone said that the State Museum was the perfect “group date” for young teen kids in Albany.  You could go into the little dark nook and steal a first kiss.  The Museum had it all.



A friend’s father was the building superintendent of the State Ed Building; I’m still jealous.

If you are on Facebook,  you might want to join the  Facebook Group, “Albany …the way  it was”, to share  your memories of Albany, NY with others. Here’s the link.

The Altamont Fair – Albany Agricultural Society

The first Fair was sponsored by the Albany Agricultural Society in 1813.

From then until 1892, fairs were held in Albany and other surrounding towns, including Bethlehem Center and Slingerlands.

The Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association was incorporated on May 20, 1893. The Board of Directors voted to establish a grandstand (which would be the first permanent structure on the fairgrounds) and also instructed him to draw up plans for a front gate.

Within a month the Board of Directors also approved the purchase 24.5 acres of land in Altamont originally owned by George Severson now held in trust by Isaac Reamer to be known as the “Altamont Fair Grounds.” This is the site of the present fairgrounds.

The first fair to be held at the Altamont location was from September 12 through 15, 1893. Admission was 25 cents for adults, and the net receipts for the four days was $884.13. A racetrack was built in front of the Grandstand, and horse racing was held at the first fair and continued at the Altamont Fair until the mid 1990’s.

In 1896 the Board of Directors appointed a committee to travel to the Cobleskill Fairgrounds to obtain plans and cost estimates of duplicating Cobleskill’s two story Fair Building to be used at Altamont for the “exhibition of Domestic, Manufacture Art and Fancy Work and Fruits and Vegetables.” On August 26, 1896 the Board examined the completed Exhibition Hall and voted to approve and accept the structure, which thy felt had been built with “superior workmanship.” This building is now known as the Flower & Fine Arts a Building and has recently been named to the State and National Register of Historic Sites.

In 1897, the Altamont Driving Park and Fair Association changed its name to the Albany County Agricultural Society and Exposition. Over the next 20 years, more property was acquired and more buildings were constructed, including the Poultry Building in 1899  and a Ladies’ Building (now the Vegetable Building )

In  addition to the the  agricultural, animal  and domestic arts competitions and  exhibitions, the Fair has, through the years, incorporated other attractions. Auto racung was started in 1915 and continued through the 1990s.  Other feature events included wrestling, boxing, a rodeo, a fall out shelter exhibit in the 1960,  dramatic  readings  and plays, an Atlas Missile exhibit in 1962 and, in 1964, a raffle for a house.  Of course, Fair queens have been crowned. Here’s smattering of Fair ads from the 1920’s through the 1960s.

Altamont Fair 1927
Altamont Fair 1937
Altamont fair 1950
Altamont Fair 1951
Altamont Fair 1959
Altamont Fair Fallout Shelter Display 1960
Altamont Fair 1962
Altamont Fair Home Giveaway 1964
Altamont Fair 1965
altamont1968 - 8105
Miss Altamont Fair 1968


If you are on Facebook,  you might want to join the  Facebook Group, “Albany …the way  it was”, to share  your memories of Albany, NY with others. Here’s the link.


The Albany Billiard Ball Company

The Billiard Ball factory was in my neighborhood when I was growing up.  It was located on Delaware Ave. just south of Whitehall Rd.  There’s a strip mall today.  It was a fixture of my childhood, belching smoke  (God only knows what was in it.)


John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920) was the inventor of the celluloid billiard ball. Celluloid, besides being the base of photographic film, was a substitute for ivory, long the prime substance in billiard ball manufacture. The Hyatt “composition” ball, with a celluloid base, dominated the sport until the 1960s.

It went out of business in the mid  1980’s.

Early Photo of Factory


Women inspecting and packing billiard balls in the 1930’s.


Marker Identifying site of factory. 


The Billiard Ball Factory c 1985  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.)
The Billiard Ball Factory c 1985 (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.)
Billiad Ball Co  factory workers late 1970s  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co factory workers late 1970s (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co  factory workers late 1970s  (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Billiad Ball Co factory workers late 1970s (Courtesy of the Albany Times Union.. Bob Richey Photo Archive)
Special U.S.  Bicentennial Billiard Ball (Courtesy of Joseph Caruso, whose mother workedin the factory at That time.)
Special U.S. Bicentennial Billiard Ball (Courtesy of Joseph Caruso, whose mother worked in the factory at that time.)

Muhlfelder’s Albany NY

Muhlfelder’s was a woman’s clothing store on North Pearl Street in downtown Albany. It was established in the early 1900’s, and closed the early 1970’s. It was  known  for good quality, moderate to expensive clothing.  It was one of the few clothing stores that had an extensive cosmetics department, as well as excellent costume jewelry and hats.

(Ads from the Albany Evening Journal and the Albany Knickerbocker News via


1 easter mulffleders 1914



1 a 1muhlfelders 1916


1.a muhlo 1918


2 muhl 1919 (1)

1930 4 muhl 930

5 muhl 1930 (2)

6 muhl 1930

7 muhl 1930 2


7.a muhl 1932


8 1937 Muhlfelders

9 muh 1937


10 muhl q1940


10 c Troy NY Times Record 1943 - 1847


11 a muhl 1945

11 easter muh 1945


12 amuhl 1948   4

12 cmuhldelfers 1948

12 d muhl 1948 3

12 easterrmuhl 1948

12 emuhl 1948 2

12b mul 1948 4


14 a MUHL 1950

14 MUHL  1 1950

15 MUHL 3 1950


16 mugl 195217 muhl 1952 2

18 muhl 1952 3


19 a string gloves Mulfelder 1955

19 muhfelders 19551

20 muhfelders 1955 2

21 muhfelder 1955


21 a muhlfelfer 1957


22 easter1958 - 2740


22 a muhl 1960 2

22 d muhl  1960 3

23 muh 1960


24 a muhl  hat 1962


25 mugl 1963

26 muhl 1963


26 a muhfldeders 1966


27 muhl 1967 2

28 muhl 1967 3

29 muhl 1967

30 muglfelders

Easter Bonnets/Hats Albany NY

David’s 1948

2.2 davids 1948

Whitney’s 1951

1easter 1951

David’s 1953


McQuades 1922

Albany NY Evening Journal 1922 - 4696

Chic Hat Shop 1966

chic hat 1966

Grace Merrit  1936

easter  Evening News 1936 - 0724

Montgomery Wards  1943

easter  wards 1943

Nussbaum and Livingston 1920

easter 1 1921 - 0907

Spurburg’s  1936

easter Journal 1936 - 0889

Muhlfelder’s 1945

easter muh 1945

Nussbaum and Livingston 1921

easter 1921 2

Muhlfelder’s 1914

easter mulffleders 1914

Myer’s 1967

easter myers 967

Honigsbaum’s 1940

easter stetson 1940

Muhlfelder’s  1958

easter1958 - 2740

Muhlfelder’s 1948

easterrmuhl 1948

Myer’s 1951

easters 1951 - 1296

Flah’s 1958

f;lahs 1956 hat

Muhlfelder’s  1914

easterurnal 1914 - 0890

Grace Merrit  1927

eater merit 1927

Myer’s 1961

hats myers 1961

JoBelle  1941

hat 1941

JoBelle  1939

Jo belle 1939

Flah’s 1961

las 1961

Muhlfelder’s 1960

muh 1960

Myer’s 1967 

myers 1967

Muhlfelder’s 1962

muhl  hat 1962

Muhlfelder’s 1961

muhl 1961

Honigsbaum’s 1962

honigsbaums 1962

David’s Clothing Store Albany NY

DAVID’S   was a major woman’s clothing store on North Pearl St. in downtown Albany established  in 1929. In the early 1960’s it opened a second location in Latham, NY.  A third location was opened in Colonie Center.  The Albany location  finally closed in the early 1970’s, as did the Latham  location.  The Colonie Center location closed in the early 1980’s. 


davids 1930


davuds 1937


1 davids 1939




2.1 davids 1948

2.2 davids 1948

2.3 davids 1948

2.4 davuds

24 davids


3 davids coats 1950

3,a davids suits 1950


19535,a davids 2 1953


5. a davids 1954



5.b  1954


19557 1955

6 1955 1

8 dav ids may 185510 davids 1955 3

11 davids 1955 2

12 Daviods 1955 4

13 david may 5 195514 davids may 19551

9 davids 1955


15 dabids chat 1958

16 davids 1958


17 davids 1959 coat


david 1960 1


18 1960


19 1961

20 davids 1961 1

21 davids 1961 2

22 davids 1961


davids 1965 1

davids 1965


davids 1967 (2)

dvaids boots 1966

davids 1967


davids 1969

daviuds 1969

Muskrat Love …

Albany’s fortune was founded on the fur trade in the early 1600′s.  There was an abundance of beaver, highly sought after for fashionable beaver hats in  Europe.  So much so that Albany was incorporated as “Beverwyck” (loosely translates  from Dutch to “Beaverville”) in 1652 . By the early 1900′s, however, the beaver population had been harvested in New York State almost to the point of extinction.

It was about that time that the middle class, with disposable income, began to grow. Fur coats become status symbols as a result of silent films. Glamorous films stars wore fur on and off screen. There was nothing more chic than a fur, except for a diamonds.  Furs  were  aspirational    Albany  women were no exception   The demand for fur coats increased.  Sable and mink were far too expensive for most consumers, so other furs were used.  Raccoon coats caught on, especially among students on college campuses. The raccoon coat is the iconic symbol of the roaring  ’20s.  And then came the Depression . 

Women still wanted fur coats .. symbols of sex and glamour, but they were also practical. Nothing was warmer in the harsh northeast winters.   While the financial crisis had an impact in Albany, it and the surrounding areas were not devastated.  As the State Capital, it had many government workers. Federal money flowed into the home state of Roosevelt and the city in which he had lived for so many years while he was in the State Legislature and the Executive Mansion.  The demand for fur flourished.

There were dozens of furriers in Albany in the 1930′s – many of whom had been plying their trade for generations in the city, but most were foreign born – immigrants who migrated here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries from Europe and Russia.  They had skills and talent.  So they turned to other furs.  ”Jap Mink” fur coats were a hot commodity in the 1930’s.  Japanese mink is actually a form of light colored weasel with a bushy thick coat that could be dyed to mimic natural mink. Seal skin was water repellent, great for snowy winters, but doesn’t have a lush pelt.  Fox was a popular, less costly fur, as was squirrel.  But one thing Albany did have was muskrats.  Muskrats galore; an embarrassment of muskrats.  (And still has, even today.)  Muskrat pelts were durable and fairly waterproof. And in the Depression, there were plenty of people willing to trap the wily muskrat for extra money.

Then came World War II, and no one wanted to buy “Jap” anything. With so many more women working, and with larger incomes, fur coats were still in great demand.  And muskrats still ruled in Albany. Local furriers ran ads everyday offering to pay the “highest prices” for muskrat skins.

After the War ended, women still wanted to buy fur; throughout the late 40’s and into the early 1950’s. But by the middle of the 1950’s, demand in general, and in Albany  in particular, dropped.  Dior’s “New Look”, launched in 1947 meant fuller, longer skirts with a nipped, defined waist.   Even the best furriers found it difficult to tailor fur coats for these clothes.  When they did, they were expensive.   And women now wanted mink.. mink anything.

The day of the Muskrat was over – even in Albany.


stillman 1926


myers 1933 (2)


myers 1934


whitneys 1932


myers 1933


fleishman's furs 1-2-41


furs 1943


flahs muskrats 1948


solomon muskrats 1948


cotyreell and leonard 1949


mcmillen  furs 1950