Martin Brothers Elastic Webs


What a great name.  Plant #1 is just a few blocks away on this street, 17th Street, in Middlesboro KY.  In its prime, the company had three plants in the city.  It was established here in 1929.

Below the name:

“For 4 generations the name Martin has stood for the best in elastic webbing”

And, no, the plant did not employ thousands of elastic spiders…


Harman Ice

The sign painted over in green is the previous name of this business: Harman Ice and Coal.  They’ve been in business in Johnson City TN since 1915.  Interesting history.  Read it here.



This is in Cumberland KY.  J.E. Issac, who would come to own several theaters in this area, built this complex in 1937, primarily as “Isaac’s New Theatre”, modern and comfortable, for 1937.  The coal was depleting fast in that year, the Depression was slowly beginning to ease a little and people needed some distraction.
It’s a shame that I’m stupid and didn’t get a good shot of the whole building, but, well, there it is.

In the middle, with the ticket booth still there, is occupied by “Lillian’s Novo Center”.

Chapman Restaurant


I can’t find definitive dates for this former restaurant.  I know it must post-date Norris Lake, impounded in 1936.  (There are a blue bazillion post cards of Norris Lake, since it was the biggest thing to hit this part of East Tennessee since the Civil War.)  There’s an old 50s-style Dexter Press post card I’ve seen on the web of this restaurant in what was then known as Lake City.  The town is now proudly known at Rocky Top, except to the Post Office, where it’s still Lake City.


Welch WVA #1

Photos courtesy Lee Stone

My buddy recently took a side trip to Welch WVA to scout the area for old coal towns and mines that interest him.  Knowing of my interest in old business signs, he obligingly took quite a few pictures of ones he saw.  This town, as it was years ago, is vividly described in “The Glass Castle“, by Jeanette Walls.


Really nice old paintup.  Other postings on Pinterest indicate it’s been closed for a long while.  No information available on the web that I can find…yet.


It’s hard to read, across the building, under the Raymond’s sign, in the concrete, it reads 19 ODD FELLOWS TEMPLE 28.

More to come.