Like a museum of millinery

Muhlfelders hats Albany Institute

We were thinking about retail in downtown Albany last week when this photo popped up in one of the streams from the Albany Institute of History and Art -- it's a photo of the hat section at the women's clothing store Muhlfelder's around 1905.

There's something about the way the store is staged here, like it's a museum of millinery. It must have been a fun place to browse.

Muhlfelder's was at North Pearl Street and Steuben Street in downtown Albany. The store was founded by Jonas Muhlfelder, who emigrated from Germany to the United States as a young man in the late 1800s and ended up working in a millinery store in Albany. At the age of 21 he opened a women's clothing store in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with locations following in Troy, Albany (in 1900), and New Haven, Connecticut. (The company would later add a store at the then-relatively new Stuyvesant Plaza in 1965.) He was apparently successful enough that he could retire at age 55. [The History of New York State Biographies, Part 20] [Knickerbocker News/Fulton History]

Over at the Albany Muskrat, there's a great post chronicling Muhlfelder's newspaper ads from the 1910s through the 1960s. It doubles as a tour through women's fashion of the first half of the 20th century. (Julie notes that Muhlfelder's closed in the early 1970s.)

Image: "Muhfelder's Hats 41 North Pearl Street and Steuben Street," Albany Institute of History and Art, from the collection of Morris Gerber

Comments

Great piece. Albany once had a number of estimable men's stores as well, all of which (with the exception of Spector's, I think) have disappeared. As for Morris Gerber, you might recall that he was the author of a number of collections devoted to old Albany (in fact, they were named that), published back in the 60s and 70s, I think. Great books... I think Dove & Hudson has a few in stock if you wander down there.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Moe. at The Palace

The band Moe. is set to return to The Palace February 23 and 24. Tickets go on sale this Friday, December 15 -- they're $35... (more)

Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch

Is this winter ready to be a proper winter? Because it's not yet mid December and already the Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch is making an... (more)

Morning Blend

Abuse allegations against Shawn Morse + Citing "three people with knowledge of the matter," the Times Union reports there are domestic abuse allegations against Cohoes... (more)

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (proper), to holiday stuff,... (more)

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past short week on AOA... + Lindsey asked about where to get lessons for flying a drone. +... (more)

Recent Comments

[T]he outdoor speakers are even more obnoxious than the video boards, if that's possible. An insult to the taxpayers of Albany County, and to people who live or work in the neighborhood.

"As an artist, I can see how I can transform that into something positive"

...has 2 comments, most recently from Ellen

Here are a few bits about the latest big apartment project proposed for Albany

...has 4 comments, most recently from Ellen

Icy, Snowy Apocalypse Watch

...has 1 comment, most recently from Ellen

Albany's new snow shovel rule is in effect + assistance info for people who have trouble shoveling

...has 2 comments, most recently from Jeff D

Gawking at the TU Center's new atrium

...has 13 comments, most recently from Anthony