243 Broadway (1861-1930s)
George Close started his company in 1861, and after a fire destroyed the first factory, the company moved here in 1879.
Though known in its day for chocolates, suckers, lemon drops, sponge cakes and butter balls, today the George Close name is most recognized by baseball card collectors. In a unique advertising ploy, in 1911 the company produced a 30-card baseball set that included players like Cy Young and Ty Cobb. The back of the cards were overprinted with ads for the George Close Company. Overprinting is a term commonly used to refer to the rare practice of a company taking cards already printed (in some cases even issued by another manufacturer) and adding advertising, in the form of printing or an ink stamp, to allow the cards to function as its own advertising vehicle at modest cost. There are ten known different back overprints by the George Close Company and they feature slogans like “Home Run! For Close’s Butter Balls” and “You’re Safe! If You Eat Close’s Chocolates”.
The company did not survive the depression, but at least the baseball cards are still of value. A mint condition Cy Young card with a George Close overprint sold at auction for $14,000.