The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

January 24, 2014

Advertising symbols

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Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — In by-gone days various businesses advertised their products and services with symbols in a picturesque manner.

For instance, a boot or shoe symbolized a cobbler or shoemaker. A life-sized wooden Indian by a store indicated that you could purchase tobacco within. A mortar and pestle symbolized a druggist and spectacles advertised an optometrist. A large watch outside a store front indicated a jeweler. And, of course, red and white striped poles told you of a barber.

Occasionally, we see some of these symbols still in use today, although many are surely relics of the past.

In the photo shown here, we see what the coal dealer used to help advertise his product, a huge chunk of coal. This was one of the last authentic old-time items used for advertising.

The one here was in front of the office of the firm known as Grinnell and Feller, located on Main Street in Medina. With it is John Feller, who owned the coal business.

Although it has been since 1969 that the lump of coal was displayed on Main Street, it still exists. After Paul Parsons bought out Grinnell and Feller, he gave the 300-pound lump of coal back to John Feller, who now uses it as a lawn ornament surrounded by flowers at his Beach Drive, Medina, residence.