Watertown

Gold Medal Flour

Vintage advertisement for Gold Medal Flour on the wall of Colesante’s Tavern at 480 Factory Street in Watertown, New York. The Washburn-Crosby Company became General Mills in 1928. Their original Gold Medal Flour factory was located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Crystal Restaurant

Former neon sign for Crystal Restaurant at 87 Public Square in Watertown, New York. Opened in 1925, it’s the oldest restaurant in Watertown. Dennis and Jerry Valanos owned the restaurant until 1943, when it was purchased by their head chef, Otto Dephtereos. Today, Peter (Otto’s grandson) and Libby Dephtereos manage the restaurant. A Prohibition-era advertisement for “All Legal Beverages” still appears in the window.

Vintage Signs of Upstate New York

Lately I’ve been obsessed with old signs–neon signs, ghost signs, populuxe styles, etc. They represent a living memory of the past, and express uniqueness and character from a time when business owners displayed confidence and the promise of permanence.

Nothing lasts forever, of course, especially in the realm of business, but these signs were clearly designed for the long term. Proof is the fact many of these signs have outlasted the businesses themselves. Some, like the Crystal Restaurant in Watertown, New York, beat the odds and have survived for nearly a century.