The Combusto

This photograph, found on a well known auction website measures 7 x 5″. Franey Shore is shown on the left hand shop window, I thought this might be the proprietor’s name initially. I haven’t been able to find a place name match but there is a Franey Trailhead in Nova Scotia (although it’s unlikely the shop was in a remote walking location!). Once I had scanned in the photograph I spotted the photographer in the window refection (bottom right). If you are wondering what a clinker is, it’s a waste product from coal! I have deciphered the feint pencil on the reverse, it reads…’The first home of the Combusto, Tomkinsville, Staten Island (a name which I can’t decipher) inventor.’ Then printed it says Franey Shore & Co, which is the name on the shop window.

Postscript…

I contacted Local History and Genealogy at The New York Public Library (NYPL) after posting this photograph. They couldn’t find any record of the Combusto in Staten Island but they found several adverts from 1914 newspapers featuring the company with a New York address. They also provided a link to old New York photos by address which are fascinating and extremely useful for research.