211-26th, north side, east of Fourth Avenue, showing the home of John McVarish - W.B.Vernam, February 28, 1925 (NYPL Digital Collections)
How pleasing it is to unlock the past, and look at a house ninety years back. After a quick look at insurance maps, this one seems to have been built some time between 1880 and 1886. The small house next to 211 in the Vernam photo disappeared quietly a few years ago. but the warehouse behind it, with its Rainbow Gems sign, still stands . This building, on 25th Street, was home to J.H.M.B. Laboratories, - "The Aladdins of the Gem Industry" - which produced a variety of reproduction jewelry.
Brooklyn, with its millions of persons, has many assurances of continued happiness. Miles of natural harbors, and ideal location, with easy access to all the important locations of the entire country, make all recognize that Brooklyn will soon eclipse Manhattan as a manufacturing center.
The J.H.M.B laboratories, situated on Twenty-fifth Street, at Fourth Avenue, Brooklyn, is a new industry in the heart of the industrial sector, employing hundreds of persons in the manufacture of their products. They maintain a Research Staff, made up of Chemists, Physicists and Engineers, who continually endeavor to make commercial items from their raw materials, which are scales of fish, raw cotton, and fusible enamels...
Richelieu Pearls, one of the items they produce, are nationally known as the finest reproduction of genuine pearls made in the world.
Rainbow Gems is another of their famous brands; these gems are perfect reproductions of precious and semi-precious gems ... (Brooklyn Life, June 2, 1923)
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