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Local landmarks with obscure, baffling names

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • September 9, 2009 - 1:44 PM

 Hola, amigos. I know it’s been a while since I blogged at you but we’ve been busy doing Exciting New Video productions, one of which should be up soon. (09/09/09 secrets - revealed!) (Teaser: there are no secrets.) Yesterday I shot something at a school in the old Buzza building in Uptown. Locals know it as the home of a formerly enormous greeting card company - well, old, old locals, anyway. Buzza died in the early 40s, liquidated by its own board of directors when it lost too much money. The building remains, with BUZZA engraved in the tower for all to see and wonder about. 

 

More than that, I can’t tell you. You can find Buzza cards for sale on the internet, of course; the name means something to ephemera collectors. But the company was so successfully eradicated that no history seems to remain, and if there are old tales or reminiscences of days in the happy-sentiment racket, they haven’t made it up on the web. The company died too soon. The owner of the company sold out and moved away long before it crashed; if his heirs have anything, it’s probably a few boxes in the attic no one’s moved for 20 years. Pity. 

 

Any other such big brand names, now dead, come to mind? Once famous, now long forgotten? I’ve always been partial to Minneapolis Moline, which once employed hundreds but lost everything when demand for molines evaporated. They have a fan site - amuse yourself, if you like, here.  

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