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New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

William Barthman Jeweler

Exploring Downtown

 
 
William Barthman Jeweler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2009
1. William Barthman Jeweler Marker
Inscription.
174 Broadway

A century ago the glittering heart of the cityís diamond, jewelry and watchmaker district beat right here. “Within these stores,” wrote the Daily Graphic in 1876, “are diamonds as bright as the eyes of the ancient Dutch beauties.” A proud lone survivor operates here: William Barthman, jewelers to the Financial District since 1884, the oldest such establishment in the city. Barthmanís is known to busy Wall Street moguls as the “Downtown Tiffany.” Legendary patrons have included the Morgans and the Vanderbilts and such celebrities as British actress Lily Langtry and dapper New York Mayor “Gentleman” Jimmy Walker. Embedded in the pavement, at the corner, is one of New Yorkís most unusual timepieces. In an age of ubiquitous tall, standing sidewalk clocks, Barthman installed his novel clock directly in the sidewalk itself, considering it a snappy piece of advertising.

In 1946, New York police estimated that 51,000 people stepped over the clock every day between 11am and 2pm. In the words of the Press in December 1899: “Sometimes two swift District telegraph messengers, who have stopped to match pennies in the shadow of the corner building, see the clock in the pavement with sudden twinges of conscience. It electrifies their feet and sends them flying
Marker on Broadway image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2009
2. Marker on Broadway
on their errand.”
 
Erected by The Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Location. 40° 42.589′ N, 74° 0.596′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is at the intersection of Broadway and Maiden Lane, on the left when traveling south on Broadway. Click for map. Marker is on the northeast corner of the intersection of Broadway and Maiden Lane. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10038, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Broadway – Maiden Lane (here, next to this marker); Stream for Washing Laundry (a few steps from this marker); Chamber of Commerce / Liberty Tower (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Federal Reserve Bank of New York (about 500 feet away); a different marker also named Federal Reserve Bank of New York (about 500 feet away); Saint Paulís Chapel (about 500 feet away); St. Paul's Chapel (about 600 feet away); Veteran Corps of Artillery (about 600 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in New York.
 
More about this marker. The top right of the marker contains a picture of “Broadway and Maiden Lane (the location of the marker) in an 1880 lithograph by J.J.Fogerty.” Under this is a picture of
Barthman Jeweler Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, November 3, 2009
3. Barthman Jeweler Marker
This photo of the marker was taken from the west side of Broadway.
a woman shopping for jewelry at Barthmanís store. The bottom of the marker features photos of Lillian Russell and “Diamond Jim” Brady. These have a caption of “James Buchanan (ĎDiamond Jimí) Brady, son of a saloon-keeper, born and bred Downtown, rose to fame and fortune at the turn of the century as a millionaire railroad equipment salesman. Flamboyant fixture of the cityís finer restaurants and theaters, Brady used his fortune to pursue wine, women and jewelry. The women included singer and actress Lillian Russell, in her day considered the pinnacle of American beauty. The jewelry included a purported 30 complete sets, valued at over a million dollars – no doubt making Diamond Jim a valued customer at Barthmanís.”
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Take a tour of the markers in lower Manhattan erected by the Alliance for Downtown New York, Inc.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
Clock in the Sidewalk image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
4. Clock in the Sidewalk
The novel clock mentioned on the marker that William Barthman installed in the sidewalk is seen here.
William Barthman Sidewalk Clock image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 10, 2011
5. William Barthman Sidewalk Clock
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,383 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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