The H.S. Barney Company, also known as Barney's department store, was an institution in the downtown Schenectady shopping area for nearly 140 years. In addition to conducting business, the store also helped to tell the story of Schenectady's history through a series of attractive and interesting prints. The prints are roughly chronological, and depict different aspects of the city's history from 1833 through 1929.
There is a bit of mystery surrounding the origin of the prints. Some of the prints were reproduced in local newspapers in advertisements for the Barney's department store. The earliest such advertisement we were able to find was in a 1955 advertisement in a special 100-year anniversary edition of the Schenectady Union-Star. There appears to be a total of 10 drawings in the collection, each bearing the notation "From the H.S. Barney Collection of Original Pen Drawings." The first two are not signed, but all appear to have been drawn by the same artist, and the drawings numbered 3 through 10 are signed with the initials "F. B. R." We have been unable to determine who the artist is, exactly when the prints were made, how many were made, or how they were distributed. Anyone who has additional information about these prints is encouraged to contact Librarian Melissa Tacke by phone at 518-374-0263, option 3, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below are images of some of these compelling prints.