Showing posts from February, 2013

Antique Tiles in Chernivtsi

In Chernivtsi I saw a few tiles with the inscription “Leon Schrenzel Czernowitz.”

Overall, I saw the name of only one company that manufactured tiles. Leon Schrenzel’s building materials company was founded in 1887 – a time when Chernivtsi would have been part of the Austrian Empire.

Antique Floor Tiles in Lviv

In the second half of the 19th century, ceramic tiles started to be widely used in Lviv to cover the floors of entrance ways. The tiling was often very decorative and colorful.

Lviv had several companies that were manufacturing such tiles between the late 19th century and WWII. The name of the manufacturer or supplier of the tiles was often stamped on a special tile and laid in the entrance way near the front door of the building. Along with the company’s name, which was often named after its founder, sometimes also the name of the city of the company’s location was included.Quite a few of the stamped tiles have remained in Lviv.

These served as an ad for the company and were deliberately placed so that it was the first thing a person saw when he entered the building. A few of the more common inscriptions are “Jan Lewiński Lwów za Barta & Tichý w Pradze” (in the 1880s, architect Jan Lewiński / Іван Левинський opened a store where products from “Barta & Tichý” in Prague, one…

Vestigial Traits

A few weeks ago I read an article on why people’s fingers get pruney in water, and it also mentioned a few other traits (such as goose bumps and yawns) that we have, but which are now redundant.

And I realized that these vestigial traits (“vestigial traits – anatomical adaptations that the human body evolved for a specific purpose, but which are now redundant”) are traces of our past that are still visible or present in our bodies, but which are no longer used or needed – and thus are relevant to my blog.

Then I found an interesting article about 10 such vestigial traits that we have.

Sundial Watch

My friend Rebecca has the coolest watch ever – a sundial watch. I like how an antiquated device for telling time was merged with a modern wrist watch to create the sundial watch! (First photo credit goes to Rebecca Gallagher.)

Update on Vandalized Ghost Sign

The latest condition of the vandalized ghost sign that I posted about earlier: the West Ham tag has been painted over with pink paint to better reveal the letters underneath. If only a professional restorer could fix it up...

Antique Roller Shutter in Krakow

In Krakow I found an old metal roller shutter made by a company from Lviv – Bielicki (several shutters by this company still remain in Lviv). In this instance, however, it seems as though the company was partnered with a company called Wietzen. And actually I recently found the same exact plate in Lviv.

Antique Roller Shutters in Chernivtsi

Chernivtsi has quite a few Austrian- and Romanian-era metal roller shutters. Like in Lviv, some inscriptions include the company's address (i.e., J. Engel Cernauţi Strada Wilson 7, which is Romanian for J. Engel Chernivtsi 7 Wilson Street).

Graffitied Roller Shutter

A few months ago the old Hungarian roller shutter was graffitied – in fact, there was some graffiti before, but now there is much more and on the old locks. But as I mentioned before, I think the shutter will be gone soon.

Hungarian Roller Shutter in Lviv

I've only seen one example of a Hungarian-made antique roller shutter. It covers the storefront of an old pharmacy on Kopernyka Street. This is one of the ones that looks as if it hasn't been opened in decades. Also, I think soon it will be gone because the old storefronts near it are being renovated, and it will probably be next.

Antique Metal Roller Shutters in Lviv

Lviv still has quite a few Austrian- and Polish-era metal roller shutters, which cover windows and doors of old storefronts. Some of the shutters are still used; most, however, look as if they haven’t been opened in decades. The panels with the locks are stamped with the manufacturer’s mark – typically the company’s name and location, some even with a street address, such as the company N. Bielicki Lwów, which was located on ul. Gródecka 43 (Horodotska St.).