Washington Liquors Closes + Florists’ Telegraph Delivery Blooms: The Florist You May Have Missed

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Recently, Washington Liquors closed its doors after 27 years of service to Hoboken. A note taped on the glass door read, “Thank You for 27 years of loyalty.” Upon removing the signage, a new “discovery” was made. For the first time in almost 30 years, a florist’s sign has seen the light of day.

washington liquors closed florists telegraph delivery

Framed between two telegraph pole drawings, the sign reads: “Flowers telegraphed to all parts of the World.” On either side is a logo featuring the Greek God, Mercury, along with Florists’ Telegraph Delivery, Interflora. Onlookers will also notice an unintentional “H” design where the telegraph pole meets the sign’s divider. Whether this was done on purpose or coincidental is to be decided by the people walking by.

Read More: How Hoboken Got Its Name

A photo provided by the Hoboken History Museum’s website shows the storefront in 1955. The sign looks crisp, almost freshly painted, and above it hangs a neon sign emblazoned with the word “Florist,” which welcomed customers strolling along Washington Street. The photo was taken during Hoboken’s Centennial Parade. 

washington liquors closed florists telegraph delivery

Florists’ Telegraph Delivery was founded in 1910 by John A. Valentine in Rochester, NY. The Hoboken store at 211 Washington may have opened in the late 1940s since the name ‘Interflora’ was first used. Interflora described the merging between the US, British, and European Telegraph lines.

In 1933, Florists’ Telegraph Delivery entered their first float in the famous Rose Parade, an event held in Pasadena since 1890 by the Valley Hunt Club. Through the years, celebrities, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Rosemary Clooney, have been spokespersons for Florists’ Telegraph Delivery.

Advertisements of the 1940s and 1950s depicted families and loved ones receiving flowers, usually accompanied by the slogan: “Say It With Flowers By Wire.” Their ‘Mercury Man’ logo became synonymous with sending flowers. Sometimes he was even depicted holding a bow and arrow like Cupid. In the 1960s the company changed its name to Florists’ Transworld Delivery to emphasize their global reach and modernization.

washington-liquors closed florists telegraph delivery

Over 100 years later, Florists’ Telegraph Delivery continues to operate. There is a chance that you may have even purchased their flowers without knowing! Flowers Direct {UK}, Pro Flowers, Personal Creations, and others make up only a portion of their brand. Their headquarters is now in Downers Grove, Illinois, and was recently taken private after Nexus Capital Management acquired it. 

CoolVines, a Princeton-based wine shop, is moving into the space. Currently, CoolVines has 2 locations in Jersey City and one in downtown Newark. This will be their first shop in the Mile Square. The transition has allowed for a small piece of Hoboken’s history to emerge briefly before being covered up once more. Who knows when Interflora will bloom again!

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