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Queens Chronicle

Corsets and coal had their roles in Ozone Park

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Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:30 am

Ozone Park was developed early on partly because of its key position to Jamaica Bay. It was just a very short ride to Goose Creek or The Raunt, where people could enjoy the benefits of boating and fishing.

Ozone Park already had a population of 40,000 in 1921, which nearly tripled to 112,000 by 1930. Only 10 miles from Manhattan, it had trolley and elevated train service. The Long Island Rail Road ran 113 trains on weekdays, saying they would get you to the city in 23 minutes.

At the corner of Rockaway Boulevard and 99th Street was PH Dietz Coal Co. When coal went out of favor, so did the business.

People of a certain age may have heard funny stories about their grandmother’s corset. Behind PH Dietz in the photo is the Nemo factory, where they were made. Nemo boasted a hygienic corset that was actually healthy for you to wear. The medical insignias remained a part of the building even after Nemo was no more.

Nemo was owned by the Kops brothers. They held onto the building into the 1960s, when it was converted into various light manufacturing businesses run by multiple tenants. Today cabinets are made and sold there, at Gothic Cabinet Craft, and there are other tenants as well.

The rail line was still ground level in 1923. Next to the crossing gate was an early auto repair shop that later became Salvatore Franzese’s Liberty Auto Wrecking.

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