Dec 25, 2009

Nagy Novelty Company

In Downtown Allentown's commercial years, stores extended 3 blocks out from Hamilton Street. The only remaining remnant of that era is the parking meters, which apparently haven't noticed that the stores have been gone now for over 30 years. On 8th Street, also a couple blocks off Hamilton, was the Nagy Novelty Company. The dictionary defines novelty as a small, often cheap, cleverly made article, usually for amusement. The Nagy's had thousands of them, floor to ceiling. There were little jokes and gags, sometimes risque, passed around parties in the 40's and 50's. When you pulled " Miss Lola, The Snappy Bubble Dancer" leg's out, your finger got snapped. The Nagy's, an ancient father, son and dog, stayed open till around 1980. I was never sure which one was the son. To me, as an aficionado of the old and curious, the store was a shrine. Items which they sold for a few cents, now sell on ebay for many dollars. They manufactured their own greeting cards. Shown here is the front and inside of an embossed card probably dating back to the 1920's.

Reprinted from Dec. 23, 2008


Anonymous said...

Of course you know Nagy is a Hungarian name, right?

Anonymous said...

Nagy's was a really "neat place Michael. It was right in the middle of my Wholesale milk route (Freeman's Dairy), to all of the retail businesses I served in Center City (where did they all go??)
I would drop in there at least once every couple of weeks and see what was new. Sigh!....