Sunday, December 5, 2010

Streetcars on 23rd St., N.Y.C, 1913

I found this photo more than 20 years ago in an old book store. Could have been Ruby's downtown, near City Hall. The first thing I ever collected was old New York City scenes, mostly postcards. I found two of these prints, measuring roughly 7 x 10.5 inches. The Metropolitan Tower is still there, and the building on the left looks like the old Toy Building, but I'm not sure. Streets and landmarks are labeled at the bottom, perhaps as part of a survey for a new building in the area.

When I first purchased this photo, I assumed the Rice Leaders of the World Assn. were rice importers. Wrong! Turns out it was a good business group. I found this item from a Google search, what else:

A Tribute to Business Character, by Elwood E. Rice. Published by Rice Leaders of the World Association, 1930. This small, very beautifully printed book commemorates an award given to Fred and George Gruen at the Cincinnati Club, to honor them for their "business character." To belong to the Rice Leaders of the World, a business had to be financially secure and must have conducted all of its affairs in an ethical manner. Among the companies certified by Rice, Gruen was singled out for this special award (the first of its kind) on the 10th anniversary of their acceptance into the organization. The book contains speeches by Dr. Rice, Fred Gruen and George Gruen. Fred's comments elsewhere in the site, about his philosophy behind the guild theme, are from his speech here. This volume is in the Rare Books department of the Cincinnati Public Library.
That's the Gruen watch company.

And to read further about the Rice philosophy, click here. Here's a quote from the Rice creed: "A moral obligation is never denied by those who practice integrity in business." Hmm, would that mean a world with no hostile takeovers, no leveraged buyouts? No foreclosures? No layoffs, no furloughs, no pay cuts...? Certainly no Bernie Madoff.

We should all live so long.

Thanks to The Daily Postcard for her inspiration, Streetcar Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Business character...imagine that!
    Another beautiful sepia photo.
    I'm quite sure that is indeed the Toy Building. The building that was there before the Toy was the 6-story 5th Ave. Hotel, and it was demolished in 1908.