One of the largest baking empires in Queens was Hanscom bakeries, operated by a man who lived in Whitestone. Hanscom built six bakeries in Manhattan and one in the Bronx, designed by the prolific architect Horace Ginsbern. In 1937 the company starting building and opening bakeries in Queens — including the piece of artistic beauty shown here in the heart of cosmopolitan Jackson Heights. As Jackson Heights was developing, leading architects loved to work and design there. Two other Hanscom Bake Shops opened that year, one each on Greenpoint and Roosevelt avenues. By 1940 there were 14 in Queens, and a high of 21 stores in the borough by 1951. Suddenly in 1958 the entire chain of stores closed upon the death of Mr. Hanscom. Serious bakers were upset for many years as none of the bakeries’ delightful recipes were recorded anywhere and died withHanscom. Conversely, upon the death of Ginsbern several of the architect’s secrets were revealed. He was not American born, but Russian — his real name was Ginsberg — he did not go to Columbia Universityand did not holda degree in architecture. Yet, his great genius of modern design in Chelsea is landmarked today. A footnote: In 1984 another Hanscom Bakery went out of business after 101 years in Philadelphia, but it is not clear how or if the two companies were related to each other.An excellent blog on life in 1946 had a mention of Hanscom's
Hanscom bakeries throughout the city had egg-shaped cakes filled with chocolate butter cream, iced in chocolate and flower decorated. It served five for 85 cents. Aux Delices on Lexington and 62nd Street had edible sugar crystal panorama eggs; although Paddleford said she would just as soon eat her Easter bonnet as one of them. Breyers had eggnog ice cream but their frozen bunny molds and other prewar Easter frozen goods were absent. The German bakeries and confectionary shops along East 86th Street were stocked for Easter, according to Paddleford. Geiger's Vienna Pastry Shop and restaurant, 66 East 86th Street, had rabbits in all sizes, pushing wheelbarrows, driving pony carts, in automobiles, running and sitting. They were chocolate dipped and cost from 30 cents up. Marzipan eggs, chocolate dipped, started at 30 cents. Paddleford also singled out the bantam-sized eggs filled with nougat, and the chocolate eggs hand-filled with coconut cream, “the first we have seen." A few doors down, Wisconsin Farms, where they sold Milwaukee sausage and Wisconsin cheese and "a scad of small favors for Easter baskets and tables," had rabbits and "rock-a-bye babies" in marzipan egg shells at five cents apiece. Colored marzipan eggs were 10 cents. Unique chocolate bars with a rabbit scene molded into the chocolate were 49 cents. Popp and Kramers at 240 E. 86th Street made its marzipan fresh. The smallest eggs, chocolate covered at 12 to a pound, cost 10 cents apiece; quarter pound eggs were 30 cents, half pound were 60 cents and one pound cost a buck. They were all decorated. Solid chocolate rabbits went for 20 cents to $2 and chocolate eggs foiled wrapped and filled with chocolates were 35 cents to $3. Small marzipan eggs, varicolored, were $1.20 a pound.