Buffalo in the 50s: Postcards from Hamburg

By Steve Cichon

While it was certainly just happenstance of when the photographer showed up to snap the images, the tropical turquoise paint of the ’57 Chevy parked on Buffalo Street on the “lusterchrome” full color postcards immediately sets you in a specific place and time.

Buffalo Street looking north, postcard from the Buffalo Stories collection.

During this era, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce brought together 27 downtown Hamburg stores to remain open late on Thursday and Friday nights to make shopping in the village easier and more attractive.

Many of the names with bring back memories as sharply as the classic color of that classic car. Many of the 27 stores open late are visible on the in the images.

They were A&P, Nu-Way, Ben Franklin Store, Carol-Ann Shop, Castiglia’s Jewelry and Music Center, Clockwise Cleaners, Emerling’s Shoe Store, Garrow’s Wallpaper & Paints, Growing Up Shop, Hamburg Appliance Co., Harold’s Men’s & Boys’ Wear, Herold’s Meat Market, Kenmore Boot Shop,: Kronenberg’s, Inc., Lattimer’s Shoe Store, Latson’s Outdoor Store, Lindholm’s Jewelry, The Little Shop, McConnells Jewelers, Sattler’s Appliance Branch, Moore’s Men’s Wear, The Sherwin-Williams Co., The Stork Shop, The Atlas, Western Auto, Zahm’s. D-C Shop, Hamburg Sports and Floor Covering, and Singer Sewing Center.

Main Street looking west, postcard from the Buffalo Stories collection.

These two views of Hamburg during the “Happy Days” era of the late 1950s were created by Tichnor Brothers, one of America’s leading producers of postcards. They were sold exclusively at Zahm’s 5¢ to $1 Store at 37 Main St.

The name Zahm’s has a long history in Hamburg business.

Zahm’s Variety was founded by Phillip Zahm in the early 1900s. His son Fred then ran the store until his retirement in 1967. A third generation of Zahms was also involved in retail in Hamburg- Phillip’s grandson Fred owned Moore’s Menswear for 18 years through the ‘70s and ‘80s.

In the 1930s and ‘40s, a cousin, Carl Zahm, ran Zahm’s bar and grill on Pierce Avenue.

Zahm’s Bar & Grill

Steve Cichon writes about Hamburg’s history for The Hamburg Sun, and about all of Western New York’s heritage and history at BuffaloStories.com. E-mail Steve at steve@buffalostories.com.

What It Looked Like Wednesday: Main Street in postcards

By Steve Cichon

Buffalo Stories takes postcards of several parts of Main Street from the past and compares them with current street views.

Two views of Shelton Square, Main at Niagara.

Main no longer intersects with Niagara Street. That portion of Niagara Street was gobbled up by the Main Place complex.

Main at Court

The corner once famous as a stop for the yellow street car to Niagara Falls is now famous for Tim Hortons coffee.

Main at Huron

The Main and Huron intersection has completely changed several times since the days of the horse and buggy.

Main at Chippewa

In the 1950s, from Main and Chippewa, you could see the Harvey & Carey Drug Store, MacDoel’s Nightclub, Whiteman Music shop, and a handful of movie theaters.

The only immediate similarity with today’s view is the restored Shea’s Buffalo marquee.

Main from Tupper

This is nearly the same view from the other direction a few years earlier. It shows Laube’s Old Spain, now Shea’s Smith Theatre, Shea’s Buffalo and the Paramount Theatre.