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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 city’s 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. Barthman’s 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 York’s 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. Touch 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); Double Check (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Street (about 300 feet away); Chamber of Commerce / Liberty Tower (about 400 feet away); 195 Broadway (about 400 feet away); The Liberty Tower (about 400 feet away); 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). Touch for a list and map 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 a woman shopping for jewelry at Barthman’s
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.
store. The bottom of the marker features photos of Lillian Russell and “Diamond Jim” Brady. These have a caption of “James Buchanan (‘Diamond Jim’) 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 city’s 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 Barthman’s.”
 
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
The Barthman Clock - gone image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, November 3, 2018
6. The Barthman Clock - gone
The clock was reported missing in August 2018, with no word on its return.
Frederick Barthman, founder image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, October 15, 2011
7. Frederick Barthman, founder
A memorial at the family mausoleum at Green-Wood cemetery in Brooklyn.
William Barthman Jeweler sidewalk clock returns image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, December 11, 2018
8. William Barthman Jeweler sidewalk clock returns
It had been removed for repairs after the original protective glass had been shattered.
William Barthman Jeweler Marker, 2000 image. Click for full size.
By Larry Gertner, 2000
9. William Barthman Jeweler Marker, 2000
The original "Heritage Trail" version.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,469 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on November 10, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   4, 5. submitted on September 11, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6, 7. submitted on November 20, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   8. submitted on December 11, 2018, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   9. submitted on January 7, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.
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