Pitman's Furniture Store, Centre Street

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History of Freeland, Pa.
Building decor, furnishings and appliances

What's on this page:
  • 20th-century building decor, furnishings
  • 20th-century radio, TV, electrical appliances and services
  • Building decor, furnishings and appliances businesses listed in directories and maps, 1900-1940
On related pages:

There is some overlap among pages for Contracting and construction;  Lumberyards,  hardware stores, plumbing; and Building decor, furnishings and appliances, so please also visit the other related pages.

The 20th-century notes here have been divided into two sections: one for decor and furniture, and the other for radio, TV and electrical appliances and services. At bottom of page are directory listings.


Edgar Albert business card, post-1908 Alberts Furniture ad, 1937 Alberts Furniture ad, 1925 Alberts Furniture - 521 Centre St. in 1937; later he had the 4-story building across the street at 526 Centre St. that was built for his business and later bought by Pitman's - (from Ed Merrick, 1925 and 1937 ads) An 1888 ad for his father Frank Albert's business is shown further below in the directory lists. Alberts Furniture had its origins in the undertaking and furniture business founded by Frank H. Albert in 1889. He was a descendent of Peter Albert, who came to America during the Revolutionary War as a soldier in the Hessian forces. In 1906 his son Edgar was made a partner in F. H. Albert & Son, and Frank died 2 years later. In 1921 Edgar dropped the undertaking department to focus on furniture and other household furnishings. His business occupied the 4-storey Albert Building [later Pitman's]. He also served as a director and president of the First National Bank. [These notes thanks to Oscar Jewell Harvey's A History of Wilkes-Barre.] Alberts Furniture was one of the largest furniture businesses in Luzerne County. At left is a busines card from the period soon after Frank's death. Edgar would also go on to also serve as director and later president of the first National Bank in Freeland.

A. A. Bachman - Centre St. - Paint contractor - accepted a subcontract through Robert Lentz to paint the John Bellezza business building currently being repaired (1926 article) - See the 19th-century Furniture and decor page for early Bachman ads.

William Bachman - 991 Walnut St., collector, furniture store (age 59 in 1940 Census)

Carpet Weaving - (from Ed Merrick, 1922 ad with no name, just a contact number)

George Cashimer - 957 Burton St. - Paint contractor - "Let us help make your house a home ..." (1924 ad)

Galluci Venetian blinds ad, 1947 Freeland Furniture Company - 324 Centre Street, Freeland. Best value for your money. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924)

Freeland Furniture Store - 343 Centre St. - Living room, bed room and parlor suites (1924 ad)

D. Gallucci Venetian Blinds - 637 Vine St. (from Ed Merrick, 1947 ad)

Gauz Furniture Store ad, 1942 Ad for Gauz closing, 1942 Gauz Furniture Store Gauz Furniture Store receipts, 1927 Gauz Furniture Store - 423 Centre St. (A. Gauz) Previously the site of O. Pollakoff's Paris store. (Photo at left from Eddie Barna.) - Furniture, flooring, carpets (from Ed Merrick, 1942 ads) - A. Gauz retired from business in 1942. (Eddie Barna wrote about the photo at right: The Eagles bought the building in the late 1940’s and remodeled it for their Club, which they used until 1984. I bought it and used the first floor for my main dining room and the second floor was used for private parties. I ran Eddie's Bar and Restaurant at 421 Center Street for fifteen years (1975-1989).  Eddie's is now the Other Side Restaurant.)

Antonio Guzzi - 452 Ridge St. - Paperhanging, interior and exterior painting (1924 ad)

Marchetti's Furniture Store New York Furniture Store closing, 1924
Marchetti's Furniture
- 439 Centre St. - Henry Marchetti had a business selling stoves, tin and other items somewhere on Centre St. in 1900, listed in the city directory.

Novak painting ad, 1925 Andrew Novak - 1115 Walnut St. - Exterior and interior painting (1925 ad from Ed Merrick)

New York Furniture Co. - 431 Centre St. - Ad shown here for their sale before they closed on March 31, 1924, advertising a few items left (from Charlie Stumpf, 1924 ad) This location would later house Bonomo's Hardware Store.

M. M. O'Boyle Hardware Store, 1923 ad M. M. O'Boyle Hardware Store - 412 Centre St. - He also sold wallpaper, paint and window shades (1923 ad from Charlie Stumpf)

Michael Pecora - 1030 Birkbeck St., salesman, Hoover Co. (age 47 in 1940 Census)

Petro wallpaper store, 1931 ad Mrs. Dominic Petro - 814 Ridge St. - Wallpaper store (1931 ad from Ed Merrick)

Pignatari's Wallpaper and Paint - 836 Main St., Arcangelo Pignatari, painter, building construction (age 53 in 1940 Census; '64 Minamek) - Angelo Pignatari, Painting contractor, Paints and artistic wall paper, 836 Main at Ridge Sts. (from Billy Kuklis, 1932 FPD Ball program) - Painter & Decorator; paper hanging, interior and exterior painting, complete line of wall paper (1922 ad) - 834 Main St. - Wallpaper, paint - S&H Green Stamps (1956 ad) (From Ed Merrick: The owner was the artist who painted the large, voluptuous nude that hung over the counter at the back of the store. I remember sneaking looks at it as I and my friends came from shows at the Greek's Auditiorum.)

Pitman's opening ad, 1944 Former Pitman's building, next to Flash Pitman's Furniture Store - 526 Centre St. ('51 Minamek) (Anthony E. Pitman, proprietor) - Anthony Pitman came from Mount Carmel where he worked as salesman and purchaseing agent for the furniture store owned and operated by his father-in-law, John Shimock. Pitman's opened in October 1944 in the building that was formerly Albert's Furniture Store; demonlished in recent years, the building was Freeland's tallest business building and had 11,000 square feet over 4 floors, plus an extension added at the back for storage. (1944 grand opening ad from Ed Merrick)

Pitman's Furniture Store Pitman delivery truck, 1966 The photo at left shows the then-familiar sight of Pitman's delivery truck, photographed on Walnut St. by Ed Merrick in 1966. Mr. and Mrs. Pitman died in a car accident in 1962.

New local furniture line at Pitman's, 1952 Anthony's brother John is shown here publicizing a new line of children's and household furniture made at the Freeland Pattern Works on Johnson St. George Keyes, a former furniture manufacturer and designer who operated a factory in Cleveland, partnered with Rodney Shaub to design and make the furniture, beginning with a 3-in-1 dine and play chair and an ensemble of living room tables. These items were on display in Pitman's window and were also being marketed in the northeast and west as far as Chicago.
Rodney Shaub's Freeland Pattern Works was founded in 1937, had 50 men working there, and sponsored Keyes' coming to Freeland. (Thanks to Ed Merrick for 1952 articles on this.)

John Pitman & Sons Home Furnishings - Freeland/White Haven highway (John A. Pitman, proprietor)

Prince Furniture & Carpet Co. - 625 Main St. - D. V. Brenan, North Side representative - "Our store will have the most complete line of holiday goods and toys in northeastern Pennsylvania" (1924 ad)

Rosenberg's Furniture - 312 Centre St., merchant (age 41 in 1940 Census)

Schaub Brothers - 444 Centre St. (Formica, Cabinet Work - '54 Minamek)


There were also guys doing electrical and battery work on cars and trucks, so for them please see the Transportation - Automotive page.

Before TV, radio was an important window onto the wider world, broadcasting news, music, comedy, drama, horror stories -- so here you see ads for radios and radio repair, so important at the time. Everything people heard/saw about World War II when it was happening came from radio and from short documentary films shown at movie theaters. People sat together in their living rooms and listened to the radio. Then came TV. In this section are also sellers and repairers of household appliances like refrigerators, stoves and washing machines.

ABC TV - Main St., between Centre and Washington Streets

Ashman Appliance - 635 Centre St. (Ron Ashman, proprietor) - mid-1970s for 3 years, cut short by death of Ron Ashman (previously the site of Bond Cleaners; thanks to Charlie Gallagher for this info)

Michael Bonomo - Barber and electrician - formerly working in Freeland, moved in early 1924 to White Haven and is working "in one of the tonsorial shops in the River town." (1-24-1924 newspaper notice)

Centre Electric, 1946 ad Centre Electric, 1949 ad Centre Electric - 711 Centre St. - (Peter Zarosky and Bernard Gallagher, Electrical contractors) - Whether you needed simple radio and appliance repairs, or radios, toasters, sweepers, washers, electric irons, portable radios, new fluorescent lighting fixtures, record-players, new and used photograph records, in early 1946 Centre Electric had all of the appliances you might want (1946 ad at left - no TVs yet) - when TVs came out people could go and see them at Fairchild's Television Room at Fairchild's Restaurant as well as at several bars. (1948-1949 ads)
Centre Electric, 1948 ad Centre Electric, 1948 ad (From Mary Gallagher Schiebmaier: My father, Bernard Gallagher and his partner, Peter Zarosky owned and operated a TV and electrical store on Center St. in the 40's & 50's. The name of the Store was Center Electric, across from Doc Welsh's between Front & Walnut Streets.)
Bernard Gallagher, hotel wiring, 1940-1941 Centre Electric, 1947 ad (From Charlie Gallagher: My father learned the trade from and worked with my Grandfather until his death in 1942. In 1942 my father went to work at AC&F in Berwick building Stuart Tanks. After the war he and Peter “Potsy” Zarosky started Centre Electric in 1946 - 1947. My father left Centre Electric in 1954 to work with the General State Authority, and served as an electrical inspector for the construction of the Philadelphia State Hospital.) This photo shows Charlie Gallagher's father Bernard after rewiring the "Honeymoon Hotel" -- the Bereznak building at Centre and Carbon, later the Pavlick factory and now seniors apartments -- in 1940-1941. (1947 ad here from Ed Merrick; others ads and photo from Charlie Gallagher)

Centre Electric staged the very popular fashion and appliances show sponsored by the Freeland Chamber of Commerce and held at the Public Park in 1950 (7 great photos from that event are here).

E. B. Electronics, 1954 ad Gabriel Electric Store, 1949 ad
Commercial TV Corp, 1949 adCommercial Television Corp. - 401 Centre St., exclusive RCA Victor TV dealer (1949 ad from Ed Merrick) [In 1941 Charles Knies was also at this address, and he had a radio repair service, see below, so was he involved in this business, too? - CT]

E. B. Electronics - 726 Centre St. - TVs, radios, appliances (1954 ad from Ed Merrick)

Freeland Electrical Supply Store, 1925 bill Freeland Electrical Supply Store, 1925 bill Freeland Electrical Supply Store - 706 Main St. - Adam Chuhka (1925 bill/receipt)

Gabriel Electric Store - 626 Centre St. and also at 35 E. Diamond Ave. in Hazleton (from Ed Merrick, 1949 ad)

Bernard Gallagher, electrician, 1925 ad Grand Opera House electrician, 1909 Bernard Gallagher - 507 Washington St. - House wiring and all kinds of electrical work; electrical devices of all kinds repaired. In 1909 he was the electrician for the Grand Opera House, an interesting job for an electrician at the time. Bernard Gallagher, 1930 radio ad The 1925 ad shows that he was working from his home, not at a storefront. (Charlie Gallagher wrote: Yes, that was my grandfather... He was an electrician in Freeland from 1906 to 1912. He learned the trade from Westinghouse staff installing electrical equipment for the coal companies. From 1913 to 1922 he worked for the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad in New Haven, CT. This was the electrification of the railroad from Grand Central Terminal in New York to New Haven, CT. In 1922 he returned to Freeland and was an Electrical Contractor until his death in 1942.) (Both images at right from Charlie Gallagher)

Horn's Appliances - 510 Centre Street (Edgar Gilbert Horn / Horne) - previouly was Horn Radio Supply Service - 600 Centre St. (from Ed Merrick, 1947 ad)
(From Pete Horne: My dad Edgar Gilbert Horne operated a radio and TV sales and repair shop at that address between about '49 to '54. The business was Horne's Appliances. After the store closed, the name still stood on the face of the building until the late '60s when dad had the enameled metalwork removed. Nicky Nocchi store and Horn's Appliance Horn Radio Supply Service, 1947 ad He lived there until his passing in the early '90s. Prior to buying the 510 address, he occupied or was an occupant in the building at the corner of Main and Centre which later became the Western Auto store. I was told that my dad first opened his store at the Main and Centre location but elected to move and buy the 510 Centre St. location. The family lived and I grew up in the second floor apartment. The apartment had a living room, 2 bedrooms, a full bath, a large dine-in kitchen and a breakfast nook at the rear of the kitchen.
Dad had a brother, Arthur "Art" Horne who was also a citizen of Freeland for a time. Both dad and Art were into the interest of radio repair from the late '20s. My grandfather was James Horne, a coal miner living in Jeddo. Dad was quite well known in Freeland to the folks of the '40s and '50s. He made TV repair house calls. My mother would tell me stories about how dad would hold DJ'd dances at some time during WWII using 78 rpm records in the pavilion in the public park on Front Street just down from the YMCA. Alas, no photos of the time were made by them. Perhaps some may exist among the treasures of those who came to the dances.) (Photo showing Nocchi's and Horn's Appliance is from Barbara Nocchi Adomshick)

The Knies Radio Repair Service - 338 Centre St. - "Conducted by Charles Knies now in the Navy, will continue in operation under the management of his wife, Mrs. Charles Knies" (from Ed Merrick, 1945 ad)

Michael Lukac washing machines ad, 1924 Medvitz Radio and TV repair, 1958 ad Michael Lukac - 631 Centre St. - Electrical wiring and contracting. House work and fixtures a specialty. General electrical work and supplies. Radio Corporation of America. Radiolas and supplies. (Source: Catholic Reference Book and Parish Register, circa 1924) - Electrical supplies & service - Electric heaters; house wiring; electrical equipment and radio supplies; repairing electrical equipment; wringer washing machines (1922, 1924, 1925 ads; at left, 1924 Christmas shopping ad)

Medvitz Radio and TV Specialist - 723 Front St. (1958 ad from Ed Merrick)

John Nemish opens new shop, 1947 John Nemish opens new shop, 1947 Nemo's Radio and Television Shop, 1947 ad Nemo's Radio and Television Shop - 449 Centre St. (John Nemish, proprietor; in 1947 ad and article from Ed Merrick, at 434 Centre), listed in Census at 502 Green St. (age 28 in 1940 Census); Summarizing an article shared by Ed Merrick: On February 25, 1947 the Plain Speaker reported that John Nemish, who had a radio repair shop several years ago and now was opening a radio service shop at 434 Centre Street. In the intervening years he worked for Philco in Philadelphia and then with the Signal Corps of the U.S. War Department, where he was a foreman in the radio repair department. While doing that, he received advanced training in radio and electronics. Now in his new shop he would be specializing in repair of home and auto radios, electric phonographs and sound equipment.

Nemo's TV Repair - Main St., between Centre & Washington Streets

Oscar's Appliances ad, 1947 Oscar's - 626 Centre St., the Genetti Bldg. - Radios, appliances, lamps (1947 ad from Ed Merrick, 1947)

Pitman's matchbook ad Pitman's matchbook ad Pitman's matchbook ad Pitman's - 526 Centre St. - Anthony E. Pitman - from the late 1940s Pitman's also sold TVs in handsome cabinets.

Smith Electric Store, 1949 ad Sarosky's Radio Repair - Centre St., between Front & Walnut Streets

Smith Electric Store - 600 Centre St., in the former K. of C. Bldg. - Hotpoint appliances (from Ed Merrick, 1949 ad; also '51 Minamek) - also listed in 1948 at 515 Centre St.

John H. Stunz Music Store ad Stuntz's TV and Music - 827 Centre St. ('51, '52 Minamek) (John H. Stunz, proprietor) - John H. Stunz Music Store, Radios, refrigerators, washers, electrical items, musical instruments and sheet music. RCA dealer. See also the Music businesses page.

Sweeney Appliances ad, 1941
White Nights Maytag ad, 1925 J. T. Sweeney Radio Service - 419 Centre St. - Crosley radios and refrigerators (from Ed Merrick, 1939 ad) - 607-609 Centre St. - Radio, washer and refrigerator sales & service (from Ed Merrick, 1941 ad)

E.B. & Valleri's TV & Appliance Store - 726 Centre St. (Crosley Super Shelvador, '54 Minamek)

White Nights - 449 Centre St. - Maytag washing machine demonstration (1925 ad)

Building decor, furnishings and appliances businesses listed in directories and maps, 1900-1940

[Decor, furniture, electrical appliances are all together in these lists.]

F. H. Albert Furniture, 1888 ad 1900-1901 city directory
In business listings:
Albert, F. H., furniture, carpets and undertaker, 48 Centre
Birkbeck, Joseph, hardware, stoves, tinware, picture frames, sporting goods, wall paper, etc.
Birkbeck, William, hardware, stoves, etc.
Marchetti, Henry, tin, stove, etc., Centre
McDonald, J. P., furniture, Centre
Palya's and McDonald's, ca. 1908-1913 J. P. McDonald's during the Pearl Jubilee, 1906 McFadden, Patrick, carpet weaver, Centre
Myers, J. D., cabinet maker, Washington
Neuburger, Joseph, Estate of, dry goods, clothing, furniture and shoes, Centre
O'Boyle, Michael, hardware, tinware, plumbing, and manufacturer of miner's lamps, Centre
Riebold, Henry, carpet weaving, dry goods, carpets, window shades, &c., Centre

This 1888 ad for the Frank H. Albert's furniture store shows it was already at the site of what later be his son's business and later Pitman's. The view of Centre Street during the 1906 Pearl Jubilee shows J. P. McDonald's at right foreground, postcard thanks to John "Zeke" Zurko; photo of George Palya's butcher shop and J. P. McDonald's Furniture Store ca. 1908-1913 from John Gabuzda.

1912 telephone directory
Albert Edgar, Furniture – Centre

1917 telephone directory
In general listings:
Albert, Edgar, Undertaker and Furniture, 526 Centre
New York Furniture Co., Centre

1921-1922 city directory
In business listings:
Albert, Edgar P., carpets, stoves, furniture, household goods, 526 Centre
Bonomo Electrical Co., wall paper, electrical contractor and supplies, 419 Centre
Lukas [Lukac], Michael, electrical contractor and supplies, electrical fixtures, 732 Centre
Pennsylvania Power & Light Co., electrical appliances, Centre cor Walnut
Rubin, Benjamin, furniture, 431 Centre
Sasso Department Store, furniture, 27-29 N. Wyoming, Hazleton
Woodring, Jere & Co., electrical supplies, 206 W. Broad, Hazleton

1928-1929 city directory
In business listings:
Albert, Edgar P., furniture, 526 Center
Berger, Ira & Son, paints, oils and glass, 803 Birkbeck at Walnut
Campbell, James M., furniture, 811 Luzerne
Cashimer, George A., painter and decorator, 999 Chestnut
Chuhka [Chuckra? - CT], Adam, electrical supplies, 345 Centre
Coyle, Eugene J., painter and interior decorator, also paperhanger, 1016 Ridge
Gauz, Oscar, furniture, 423 Center
Guzzi, Anthony, painter and decorator, 833 South
Kluchko, Michael, carpet and rug manufacturer, 713 Carbon
Krommes & Schnee, carpet and rug manufacturer, 931 Schwabe
Lukac, Aug., electric contractor, 21 Ingham
Lukac, Michael, electric contractor, 631 Centre
Nowak, Andrew, paperhanger, interior decorator; paints, oils and glass, 1115 Walnut
Oleyar, Michael, carpets and rugs, house furnishing goods, 427 Center
Piguatari, Angelo, fresco painter and decorator; paint, oil and varnish, 836 Main
Prince Furniture & Carpet Co., carpets and rugs, draperies, furniture, stoves, household goods, 124-8 W. Broad, Hazleton
Reinhart's, Mrs. E., Sons, furniture, 110-114 E. Broad, Hazleton
Roth, Richard C., cabinetmaker, 606 Front
Wregand, H. S. & Sons, stoves and ranges, 447 Centre

1940 city directory
In business listings:
Berger, Ira & Son, paints and oils, 803 Birkbeck
Gauz, Oscar, furniture, 423 Centre
Griffith Lumber Co., glass; paints and oils, 540 Carbon
Oberrender, Mary A., furniture, 526 Centre
Mulhearn, Joseph A., stoves and ranges, 432 Centre
Pignatari, Arcangelo, paints and oils, 834 Main
Reinhart's, E. Mrs. & Sons, furniture, 100 E. Broad, Hazleton, Pa.
Rosenberg, Benj., furniture, 312 Centre
Woodring, Jere & Co., paints and oils, 201 W. Broad, Hazleton, Pa.

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