This vintage real photo postcard features a view of Cohen’s Big Canal Store. The store was located on the edge of the Erie Canal. The location provided an efficient way to move goods from the store to the buyers location. The store was a large general store. Note the advertising signs outside the store. Signage indicates that among its products, the store sold ground feed, cut hay, Harter’s iron tonic (beautifies the complexion), and Dr Harter’s little Liver Pills, and Cohen washing machines (“sold on it’s merits”). S. W. Cohen & Brothers was located in Sprakers, New York. Sprakers is a hamlet in the town of Root, New York. It is in the eastern central part of the state. General stores like Cohen’s were quite common along the Erie Canal. These stores had a “captured” customer base; where else could the boats go. Many of the business’s customers came on barges and packet boats. Some of their customers would charge their purchases on the first leg of their trip, would sell their load when they reached their destination, and would pay for the charged goods on their return trip from proceeds of their sales. Some of the stores would be open for business in the middle of the night if there was traffic (potential customers) on the canal.  The stores sold a wide range of products for people, mules, and boats. This photo postcard has a Belgian stamp and is postmarked in Liege, in 1909. Liege is a city along the Meuse River in Belgium’s Wallonia region. It would be interesting to know how this postcard found it’s way to Belgium. The postcard was published by Silas W. Cohen & Brothers and is part of a series (no. A 4484). The postcard was printed by a German company (Excelsior).   (SOLD)

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