Advertising murals painted by hand on blank brick side walls in the 1800s and 1900s were supposed to have disappeared by now. Color slides were supposed to have disappeared by now. Books were supposed to have disappeared by now.
For that matter, Frank H. Jump was supposed to have disappeared by now. He learned he had H.I.V. in 1986, when he was 26 years old and AIDS was a death sentence.
They all survived longer than expected. That happy confluence has yielded "Fading Ads of New York City," a new 224-page book from the History Press. It showcases Mr. Jump's loving record of hand-painted ghost signs that lasted long enough to go from eyesore to historical asset.
Underscoring the metaphorical nature of the signs, Mr. Jump has organized the book in chapters that "tell the story of the human body," beginning with "Snake Oils, Elixirs, Tonics, Cure-Alls and Laxatives." (Syrup of figs was not a dessert topping.) Throughout the book, Mr. Jump alternates between the gas-lit, horse-drawn era of the ghost signs and his own experience, which includes permanent hearing loss and tinnitus from Cisplatin, a drug used in the chemotherapy regimen he underwent after developing rectal cancer. --New York Times
The oldest still-standing advertisement in New York City--there for more than a century--is hidden in, of all places, Times Square.
"J.A. Keal's Carriage Manufactory Repairing"--at 47th and Broadway--was painted on the side of a brick building in 1874, back when horses galloped through Gotham.
The billboard, now hidden at the southwest corner of Broadway that has Roxy Delicatessen on its ground floor, is featured in Brooklyn elementary-school teacher Frank Jump's new book, "Fading Ads of New York City"...
Jump photographed the "ghost sign," as many of the old ads are called, when it was briefly exposed in 1998....
The city's oldest still-visible ad is in Chelsea, the book says. Painted in white on a red-brick building at 109 W. 17th St. around 1900, the ad sells "Carriages, Coupes and Hansoms."
Jump...has documented 5,000 ads since 1997. Only a third are still standing.
--Susannah Cahalan <New York Post
"It is a book that anyone interested in the archaeology of urban America will want to have, and that those interested in historic signs and the products they advertised (e.g. Reckitt's Blue,"The Purest and the Best") will treasure." --BeyondChron.com
About the Author
Frank H. Jump is a New York City artist and educator. A native of Queens, New York, Jump has lived in Brooklyn with his husband, Vincenzo Aiosa, since 1989. Jump's first major photo exhibition ran at the New-York Historical Society from August to November 1998. After launching the Fading Ad Campaign website in February 1999, the debut of vintage hand-painted advertising on the Internet had a noticeable effect on popular culture, as evidenced by the subsequent proliferation of similar websites and blogs and the use of vintage advertising in television commercials, films and modern hand-painted ads. In the mid-2000s, Jump and Aiosa opened the Fading Ad Gallery in Brooklyn, where Jump's photography was on display for nearly two years, as well as having their curatorial debut with several shows featuring other HIV-positive visual artists and local Brooklyn artists of various media. Jump continues his documentation of these remnants of early advertising with the acclaimed Fading Ad Blog, a daily photo blog featuring images he and Aiosa have taken of ads worldwide, as well as the work of other fellow urban archaeologists. Jump teaches instructional technology, guitar, digital photography and other interdisciplinary studies at an elementary school in Flatbush, where he also resides.