Pittsburgh History – Area Businesses that Are Gone
November 3, 2010 41 Comments
Pittsburgh Pennsylvania has gone through significant changes over the past 100 years. This blog will focus on the large and small businesses that are no longer in business. Either through acquisition or just going out of business, the business listed below were successful and fixtures in Pittsburgh during their heyday.
The photographic images can be viewed at the following address; http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Pittsburgh-Area-Businesses-that-Are-Gone/G0000Lwd.yRmewhk/.
Here are some of my absolute favorites…
1) Clark Candies – Yes, you can still buy a Clark Bar and some other brands from Clark Candies but the Company is long gone. The D.L. Clark Company remained in the hands of the Clark family until it was sold to the Beatrice Food Company, who operated the company until 1983 when it was sold to the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage Company. In 1995 the Pittsburgh Food and Beverage was thrown into bankruptcy. The company was shut down for several months and its assets divested. Restructured as Clark Bar Company, the company operated until May of 1999, when it was purchased by New England Confectionery Company (NECCO), the oldest candy manufacturer in the United States. (http://www.victoryseeds.com/candystore/clarks.html)
2) Olde Frothingslosh – One of the most unique brands has been Pittsburgh Brewing’s Olde Frothingslosh. It was invented as a joke by Pittsburgh radio personality Rege Cordic in the early 1950s. The local brewer picked up the idea as a humorous Christmastime promotion and the Pale Stale Ale ended up inspiring over 30 different beer cans. (http://www.rustycans.com/HISTORY/oldfroth.html).
3) Eiben and Irr Department Store was a fixture on Wood Street and Liberty Avenue from 1953-1979. With the Brady Stewart Studio located across the street at 725 Liberty Avenue, my father and I spent a lot of time in the sporting goods department. All of the sporting goods equipment used by the Stewart family was purchased at Eiben and Irr!
4) Palmers Restaurant was a very popular eatery in downtown Pittsburgh from 1963-1996. Palmer’s family owned chain once boasted seven restaurants offering fast service. Palmer’s was “the certified” breakfast restaurant of the Brady Stewart Studio for over 20 years. The main Palmers locations were on Stanwix Street (Empire Building), Gateway Center 4 and on Smithfield Street.
5) Tip-Top Bread was one of the main products produced and marketed by the Ward Baking Company. Ward Baking company changed its name to the Continental Baking Company in 1925. During a large part of the 20th Century, Continental Baking Company was one of the largest baking companies in the world. Other brands produced by the company are Hostess Twinkies and Wonder Bread.
6) Otto Milk: The Otto Suburban Dairy was a family owned factory that delivered milk to the front porches of Western PA from 1926 – 1970s. Otto’s Suburban Dairy was founded in 1926 by Richard (Dick) A. Otto and his four sons: Frank, Walter, Richard, and Luther.
8) Joseph Horne Company was a regional department store chain based in Pittsburgh. The store was one of the oldest in the country being founded in 1849.The photographs included were taken by Brady Stewart during the infamous 1936 Pittsburgh flood. The store marked the high water level on the side of the building near the famous clock at the corner of Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street. The chain ceased operations in 1994 after being merged with the Lazarus division of Federated Department Stores, Inc.
9) Weinberger’s Cut Rate Drug Stores: Weinberger’s was a very popular drug store on Market Street near Liberty Avenue. The Store opened in the early 1930s and closed after the 1936 Pittsburgh flood. The Weinberger’s reopened their pharmacy in Homestead PA.
10) Duquesne Brewery: The Duquesne Brewing Company was a major brewery in Pittsburgh, from its founding in 1899 until its dissolution in 1972. Duquesne’s production capacity increased to two million barrels after World War II when a new building opened at the South Side site in 1950 (see photo) making it one of the top ten breweries in the United States. The company’s best known brand was “Duke,” and its popular advertising slogan was “Have a Duke!”
11) The Brass Rail Restaurant: The Brass Rail was a very popular restaurant and bar in Pittsburgh from the 1920s thru the early 1970s. The photos show the consistent interior and exterior “look” of all the Brass Rails. Two entrepeneurs purchased the naming rights and opened two new Brass Rail Restaurants during the mid-1980s. Brady Stewart Studio provided 20+ large photographs that decorated both restaurants. Only one Brass Restaurant is left in the Pittsburgh area. The restaurant is located on 10 Old Clairton Road in Pleasant Hills.
12) John M. Roberts and Son: Founded in 1832 in a log cabin, John M. Roberts & Son Co. moved to Wood and Diamond streets in 1925. Mr. Roberts was the fourth generation of his family to work in the business. Owners often said it was the oldest emporium in Pittsburgh, the first to use lighting in its display windows, and proudly boasted of customers such as George Westinghouse, railroad financier and philanthropist Diamond Jim Brady, singer Lillian Russell and pianist Liberace. (Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07116/780867-54.stm#ixzz14Fa9beyA)
13) Hotel Schenley: The building, originally known as the Schenley Hotel and designed by architects Rutan & Russell,opened in 1898, became the keystone of entrepreneur Franklin Nicola’s dream of Oakland as a center for culture, art and education. It was a place where Pittsburgh power brokers met and many of the discussions leading to the birth of the U.S. Steel Corporation were held at the Schenley. Its formation was celebrated at the “Meal of Millionaires” in 1901. Later in 1914, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was organized at the Schenley Hotel.
Other Photographic Images in the Gallery: John F. Casey Company, F.W. Woolworth, Gypsy Tea Room, Max Azens Furs, JP Harris Theater, Pittsburgh Coke and Chemical products, Continental Dance Studio, Duquesne Steel Works, GOE/General Office Equipment, Diamond Market Walkway, Mays Drugs, Radio Mart, Kings Clothing, Emsworth Restaurant, Tasa Coal Company, Marlane Bridal Shop, & Bubbles and Sherman
All images in the blog and web site are copyrighted by Brady Stewart Studio Inc. If you are interested in downloading an image or to purchase a print, please contact Brady Stewart Studio by phone (724.554.9813) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The photographic images can be viewed at the following address; http://bradystewartphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Pittsburgh-Area-Businesses-that-Are-Gone/G0000Lwd.yRmewhk/.