Vintage New York City historical items up for sale on eBay

You never know what treasures you’ll find online, especially when it comes to New York City history.

Auction sites, particularly eBay, list dozens of items from the Big Apple’s past online that sell for big bucks. The sellers and buyers are an ecclectic group of collectors from around the world who are interested in preserving the items for the future, and their presence is growing online, according to experts.

“It is creating a market for these things that you wouldn’t find anywhere else,” said Fordham history professor Rosemary Wakeman.

There is no limit to what incredible New York City items are available online. Last week, a sellerposted on eBay listing for a 1935 subway car that sold $24,000.

Brooklyn Borough History Ron Schweiger, who has his own collection of the borough’s historical artifacts, said he isn’t surprised that such an odd item would be up for sale so publicly, since more people are holding on to rarities.

“eBay has really enhanced people means for selling and searching for certain items. I’ve seen so many New York City-related items there that are rare finds,” he said.

amNewYork picked some of the coolest and interesting items that anyone can get from eBay:


Antique junkies can get a 1900s New York City cobalt blue enamel double-sided street sign of Greenwich Avenue and Mulry Square, Seventh Avene South This item is selling on eBay for $35,000.

The seller, a 66-year-old collector from Jacksonville, Florida, who asked to be identified as “Chip” said he is a fan of New York City’s history. The street sign, which can still be hung on a hole, reflects the era of the village just before the city really expanded northward, according to the seller.

“The Village lends itself as part of history. It’s was a road, over hundreds of years that have lent itself over time,” he said.


Subway collectors can get their hands on an early 20th century hand-cranked subway destination roll box up, which is for sale on eBay for $1,950. The box is from a subway line that ran through the Queens. With a crank, you can change the sign to readEighth Ave, Metropolitan Ave, Special, Rockaway Parkway, Atlantic Ave, Eastern Parkway, Crescent St., and 168 St. Jamaica.


The seller of the 1936 ornament calls it the “the holy grail for Rockerfeller Center collectors.” The plaque has the message “Property Line of Rockerfeller Center, crossing by revocable license only.” As of Sunday evening there was a bid for $3,375 and the sale ends this morning.


This is a 92-page scrapbook of theatrical programs photos from 1879 through 1886 taking place in New York City, Baltimore, Maryland and other cities. This extensive souvenir collection filled with carte de vistes and photos from theaters, opera houses, actors and actresses, originally sold for $2,200, but today it is priced for $1,760 on eBay.


The “Report of the Fact-Finding Committee on Suitable Airport Facilities for the New York Metropolitan District,” which is being offered on eBay for $1,000, dates back to November 1927 and laid the groundwork for flight in the Big Apple.

The report details initial findings by various committee members for suitable airport locations. One map includes top-choice notations of what would eventually become La Guardia, Kennedy and Newark airports.


There is a partially printed invitation to the May 24, 1883 of the Brooklyn Bridge’s opening ceremony, up for grabs on eBay. The invitation — which was produced by Tiffany & Co. — has a sketch of the iconic Brooklyn crossing. The opening bid for this rare gem is starting at $2,000.


. A seat from the original Yankee Stadium is on sale for a starting bid of $1,399. . Aficionados who want to add this to their living room better hurry, the auction ends Tuesday.

PROSPECT AVENUE STREET SIGN This is a vintage street sign of President Street and 8th Avenue in Brooklyn. The sign dates back to the 1920s, and is blue and white porcelain. According to the seller, vintage Brooklyn street signs are very hard to find, moreso than Manhattan ones. The opening bid was $1,249 and as of Sundaythe highest bid wass $1,649.


A piece of history from the Plaza Hotel’s kitchen is up for grabs on eBay. The vintage silver serving platterdates back to the 1950s, according to the seller. The Plaza’s insignia is embossed on the dish, which has an opening bid of $1,199.


If you ever wanted to have a Park Avenue address without the huge maintenance fees, the rare 1900s street sign is for you. The blue-andwhite porcelain sign for E. 48th and Park Avenue has an opening bid of $1,399.99.


An original 1931 chandelier from the Waldorf -Astoria Hotel is on sale for an opening bid of $6,400. The 100-pound piece uses 16 household bulbs but the lighting is very low, which was common for the 1920s-1930s Art Deco era, according to the seller.

Here is a list of some of New York items that recently sold on eBay.


A vintage porcelain Pelham Bay Parkway subway sign was on sale this weekend with a starting bid of $1,200.

This 16 inches by 8-feet long blue item is the original sign from the station’s opening in 1920. Aside from some chipping here and there, the sign is in pretty good condition. The sale was expected to close Sunday night, but there were no bids as of press time.


A vintage 1963 map of midtown Manhattan sold on eBay for $1,200 last Thursday. The map is drawn in a “bird’s eye view” of the city from the ’60s. The map was part of a multilingual travel guide to New York City. The booklet was in mint condition.


An autographed Yankees baseball from 1947, when the Bombers beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series, sold for $1,899.95 on Thursday. The ball has 24 signatures from several pinstripe legends, including Phil Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio. PARAMOUNT THEATRE BLUEPRINTS

This is one sheet of the blueprints of the Paramount Theatre that was up for sale this weekend. The blueprint for the theater, which was built in 1925, depicts the lobby and ticket area looking out on to the street. The item 36by 45 inches and as of last evening had a $44,200 bid.


A Wilson baseball glove signed by Joe DiMaggio sold for $1,095 Friday. The Hall of Famer signed the glove in 1983, when he visited the Chet Godlewski’s restaurant upstate.

Godlewski preferred to give it to another baseball aficionado rather than a museum because, “in a museum, you can look at it, but you can’t touch it. This is meant for someone to enjoy.”

The 65-year-old from Saratoga, who said he actually met the hall of famer on several occasions, has other DiMaggio items on eBay, including more gloves, signed photos, and bats.

“These items have a lot of history behind them. If I had only one signed glove, then I wouldn’t be selling it on eBay,” he said.

There is one piece of DiMaggio memorabilia that Godlewski won’t part with anytime soon. “I have a photo of him with Marilyn Monroe that I wanted him to sign, but he wouldn’t think of it,” he says. “He would never want to talk about her.”