Friday, August 24, 2012
The Flatiron Building, the One In Panama
No, I didn't know that there was a Flat Iron Building in Panama either. At least not until a couple of days ago when I found this card in the dollar postcard bin at the antique store. There is a postmark but it's smeared, so all I know is that it was sent form the Canal Zone and was addressed to "Miss Emily Thadeu, c/o The Inter Amer. Drug and Trading Co., 130 Pearl St., New York" And the message, "You see-we have a flatiron building in Panama. Greetings from N.N."
Let me take a minute to make an argument for the good old fashioned brick and mortar library. I went on line and entered Inter American Drug and Trading Company in the search engine. And what popped up? Page after page of stories about drug traffickers from Central and South America. I suspect that given enough time and enough word combinations I might have found something about the company, but I also knew that if I lived in New York, I could have gone to the New York Public Library and pulled old city directories, gone through old newspapers, and checked incorporation records after being told by the librarian exactly where to look. Yes, yes, the digital world is better, yada, yada, yada.....But I do think people are loosing something by not knowing how to use a library. There is a value in holding old paper in your hands and reading the faded letters of an original document. I know it sounds strange, but there is a thrill in finding something completely unexpected on a rarely visited library shelf.
I've never put a section form an image up before, but I did like the detail in the building's doorway and thought a close up would help.