Photo above is by Beach Packaging Design partner, Debby Davis, from her new show, “This is What Time Does: A Year of Walking Richmond Road,” which just opened today at the Wagner College Art Gallery.
The show chronicles changes on Richmond Road—teardowns and new construction over the past year, and over the past century. One of 32 artworks included in the show, this one features the historic home of confectioner/inventor, Gustav A. Mayer.
While his home was on Richmond Road, in the neighborhood of New Dorp, Gustav Mayer’s business was located in Stapleton—the neighborhood on Staten Island where we live. Nowadays, there is not a lot manufacturing going on here, but in the 1800s Stapleton was quite the industrial hub.
…by 1880 there were eight breweries on Staten Island. Also, German immigrant Gustav A. Mayer moved his confectionery establishment from Manhattan to Stapleton. His creations were served in the finest restaurants, including Delmonico’s and Sherry’s. Mayer introduced the sugar wafer, later popularized by Nabisco.
Jeffrey A. Kroessler
New York Year by Year: A Chronology of the Great Metropolis
Published by NYU Press, 2002
Not only the inventor of the “Sugar Wafer,” Gustav—(see top photo: the one on the left with the beard)— also obtained patents for a number of other products and machinery.
(His typographic confectionery machine & candy cigarette labels, after the jump)
Gustav A. Mayer’s “Genuine Vienna Sugar Cigarettes” labels & display box from the Ephemera Catalog
Debby Davis’s show will be on view at Wagner College Art Gallery until Friday, November 7th, 2008. Gallery hours: Tuesday though Saturday, 11 am – 4 pm. (Click here for directions.)
The project was made possible by a Premier Grant from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Beach Packaging Design