Showing posts from 2013

Benchmark in Przemysl

I found an old benchmark in Przemysl, located on a little post near the river. The outer ring reads "Znak Wysokosci" (Height Marker), followed by 2 letters and 4 numbers, looks like AA-0001, which means it was probably the first one in the series from this period (1947-1955). The inner ring reads "Uszkodzenie Podlega Karze" (Damage Is Punishable)

Conscription Numbers and Street Signs in Przemysl

I found some more interesting information about conscriptions numbers since I wrote my first post on them. From John D. Pihach's "Ukrainian Genealogy":

"House numbers, also called house conscription numbers, had their origins with the Austrian imperial regime's need to know the names of all eligible men who could be drafted into the army when the need arose. A metal plaque with a number was attached to each house. With this number in the records of births, military officials could examine the transcripts in the bishop's office and calculate the age of everyone in a particular house."

It is not uncommon in Przemysl to find two, three, or even four different number signs on one building (dating to different periods and regimes: Austrian, interwar Polish, Communist, modern). The reason is probably because unlike in Lviv, in Poland there was never a campaign to remove Polish inscriptions from the urban landscape. Thus old signs were generally kept, and so q…

Prewar Manhole Covers in Przemysl

In Poland it's a little more difficult to determine the age of manhole covers than in Ukraine, because in Ukraine if it's in Polish, it's old; but in Poland, everything is in Polish... However, by comparing them with prewar ones in Lviv, I think I've been able to distinguish which ones are old.

Przemysl has several manhole covers produced by the Wisniewski Brothers factory.

Fabryka Maszyn Odlewnia Żelaza i Metali Bracia Wiśniewscy w Przemyślu Machine Factory Iron and Metal Foundry Wisniewski Brothers in Przemysl
 A business directory from Przemysl 1938 lists the Wiśniewscy brothers' hardware store:
Below is a cover made by just one of the Wisniewski brothers.
Pomiar Miasta means “measurement of the city”
Water valve covers made by Roman Sapa & Son in Tarnów

This zasuwa (stop valve) cover is exactly like ones in Lviv— a testament to the fact that Lviv and Przemysl were once in the same state...

Hydrant covers

Large Ghost Signs in Lviv

Most of Lviv's ghost signs are found on the front of buildings, advertsing products sold in a particular store. But there are a handful of larger ones as well, located on exposed sides of buildings, sometimes above the rooftops or on the entire side of a building. It seems that they were also advertising something nearby.

On Doroshenka Street is a ghost sign for I. Jaeger's printing shop  From the Telephone Directory Galicia 1939:  "Jaeger I. Printing shop owner, Lvov, Sykstuska street 33" (Sykstuska was the old name for Doroshenka Street)

On Zelena Street there is a ghost sign for the Imperial Garage, dating from the interwar period (1918-1939). It’s difficult to see, but above the lettering was an image of a car. Nowocześnie urządzone garaże. IMPERJAL Modernly furnished garages. IMPERIAL
On Nizhynska Street (formerly Paulinów Street) is a ghost sign for a women's clothing atelier.   Atelier art. ubiorów damskich S.J.K. Blicharska Lwów Paulinów 

Large Ghost Sign in Przemysl

An ad for PKO (Poland’s largest bank) bankbooks, likely from the 1970s.

Ghost Sign on Lesia Ukrayinka Theater

I like to look for hand-painted signs in old photos of Lviv, especially for signs that are visible today. Recently I found an old picture of the theater on Horodotska Street with two signs flanking the front door.

The building was built in 1911. At first it was a “Catholic House,” affiliated with St. Anna’s Church which is located near it. In the interwar period it housed the Small City Theater. After the war, it was a theater of musical comedy. In 1946 the building was given to the Carpathian Military District. It is currently the Lesia Ukrayinka Lviv Drama Theater.

This ghost sign is on the right side of the door. As the signs in the old photo are barely visible, I can't be totally sure that it is the same sign that is peaking out from the plaster as seen below, but it is quite likely the same.

Boot Scraper on Sholom Aleykhem Street

Located inside, near the front door of a building on Sholom Aleykhem Street in Lviv.

Chain for Quarrelsome Women

In Passage Andreolli, which leads from 28 Rynok Square (built 1760s-1770s) to Teatralna Street, is a chain (handcuff or fetter) that once was in front of the City Hall. Women were chained to it by the arm or leg so that they would think about their behavior.

Neck Ring in Tallinn

This neck ring is attached to a pillar of the Town Hall in Tallinn. It was used to punish people for small crimes.

Defense Rings in Tallinn

At first I thought these were hitching rings, but my friend in Tallinn explained that they were in fact used as part of the defense system of the Old Town. Some sort of rope or chain would have been tied from one ring to another one attached to the building across the road to stop invaders from passing, especially effective when invaders were on horseback.

Hitching Rings in Tallinn

I think these are hitching rings near a medieval door in Tallinn's old town.

Anchor Plates in Tallinn

A sampling of anchor plates in Tallinn.

Anchor Plates in Riga

A sampling of anchor plates from Riga. I especially like the ones shaped like anchors.