More St. Louis Sidewalk MarkersAugust 26, 2011
This weekend I hit a lucky streak and found three sidewalk markers in the City of St. Louis that I had never come across before. For some reason, in other cities I am able to spot these sidewalk stamps all over the place, but in St. Louis they’re able to elude me. After this weekend, however, I am sure that there are many more out there.
In the above photograph is my first spotting of the weekend. It is located directly in front of the entrance to the St. Louis Braid Co. on Lucas Street, a location where I am sure it is appreciated. On Google books I was able to find an advertisement for Mayhew & Graham in the 1896 publication, Water and Sewage Works, Volume 11.
According to an article in the same publication, Mayhew and Graham was reported as having “just completed a contract…for laying…eight miles of sidewalks in…Choteau Place”, referring to the Choteau Place Addition in the Greater Ville.
This next sidewalk marker, from the F.B. Klein Granitoid Company, also has a little bit of history that can be traced via Google. Located at 1424 Blair Avenue just north of Downtown, F.B. Klein was at least an occasional buyer of P.M. Bruner’s Granitoid according to the clipping below.
Ironically, just a few yards ahead of the F.B. Klein marker was a P.M. Bruner.
At this point I have come across many P.M. Bruner Sidewalk Markers (at least two different variations) and have seen even more in photographs on the internet. His influence may spread at least as far as Seattle, as my speculative post from earlier this month suggests.
The above sidewalk marker, the last of my three new discoveries this weekend, is a very interesting example. An intact, but otherwise identical, copy of this marker on DJDenim’s Flickr stream shows the address on the sidewalk marker as 512 S. Jefferson Ave. According to the American Engineering Register of 1885, the resident at the address was a Civil Engineer by the name of Bruner, P.M.. I wonder what it was about 512 S. Jefferson that made it so appealing to these men of Granitoid?
This exercise of researching sidewalk contractors using Google demonstrates the ability of the search engine, and the value of the these remarkable links to the past. As I learn more about this one aspect of cities, my overall understanding of their urban histories is increased as well. To see my entire collection of sidewalk contractor stamp/marker photos, visit this flickr map. Locations are often only as specific as the city that the sidewalk is in, but are sometimes more accurate.
This afternoon I went up to The Ville and found three sidewalk markers that correspond with the 1896 article on Mayhew & Graham.
Pretty cool, huh?
And here is a flickr set of all my St. Louis sidewalk marker photos.