If you’ve spend your summers on the Jersey Shore than you’ll recognize this landmark neon fish. For decades it was the seafood restaurant in Ocean City New Jersey. It’s a foot thick hand-painted two sided sign. We restored the neon on one side to its original glory. All the paint is original and it has a beautiful aged patina. At seven foot six this is a real show stopper.


This is one of the best 19th Century examples of a Memento Mori I have ever offered. It’s at least 150 years old and in perfect condition. If you collect this type of rare Victorian oddity you already know just how unique this one is. There is some humor and irreverence in the fact that the skeleton is giving that final hand gesture. It is signed on what I believe is an engraved silver plaque.

What is a “Memento Mori”?

Memento Mori is Latin for “Remember death.” The phrase is believed to originate from an ancient Roman tradition in which a servant would be tasked with standing behind a victorious general as he paraded though town. As the general basked in the glory of the cheering crowds, the servant would whisper in the general’s ear: “Respice post te! Hominem te esse memento! Memento mori!” = “Look behind you! Remember that you are but a man! Remember that you will die!”

Memento mori. Remember that you will die.

Us moderns don’t like to think too much about death. It’s a bit too depressing and morbid for our think-positive sensibilities. Our culture is devoted to perpetuating the lie that you can stay young forever and your life will go on and on.

But for men living in antiquity all the way up until the beginning of the 20th century, rather than being a downer, death was seen as a motivator to live a good, meaningful, and virtuous life. To help men remember death, artists created paintings, sculptures, and mosaics depicting skulls, skeletons, and other symbols of death. Churches would display memento mori art to compel viewers to meditate on death, reflect on their lives, and re-dedicate themselves to preparing to meet God. Devout Christians would often ask that their tomb or grave marker have some sort of skeleton motif on it to remind their visiting family members to get right with God before they too bit the dust.

We have this item on display in our new showroom…. $4200
115 North Water Street, Peekskill NY 10566
Steve Erenberg – 914-257-1664


AAARRR! Anything can happen on the Peekskill Waterfront! Early today a couple strolled into our new showroom calling themselves Pirates. They were dressed the part and claimed that their ship was docked right outside… “We just sailed up from Florida”. I had to take this picture because proof would be needed. By the end of the day and armed only with their curiosity, the whole crew paid us a visit. They call themselves the “Caravan Stage Company” and it’s Cirque du Soleil meets Occupy Wall Street. These Pirates were friendly but not big spenders.
Shows are at the Historic Peekskill Landing – 8:30PM, September 4,5,6 and 7, 2014.

Radio Guy and Early Electrics Showrooms
45 minutes north of midtown Manhattan
115 North Water Street, Peekskill, New York 10566
Steve Erenberg, 914-257-1664


Peekskill’s historic waterfront district was alive with activity. Thousands from all over Westchester New York were drawn to one of the Hudson Rivers largest firework displays. It seemed like the perfect time to open our doors. The new showroom has a front row seat on the river and the street was packed and waiting for sundown. We were almost as big a draw as the show. It won’t go to our heads… The new found popularity was mainly because of our clean restrooms. Call for showroom hours.

115 North Water Street
Peekskill, NY 10566

Steve & Dan Erenberg

americanpickersSteve Erenberg travels to the Pickers Iowa shop to discuss the merits of a rare 1920s Morse Wave Genorator. (View American Pickers Clip)

We spent 4 days at Brimfield and filled the truck with some of our best finds yet. It was one of the best trips in years. The weather held up but the place was packed… I snapped a picture just seconds before this smiling crowd trampled me.

photo copy 2The Gregg Museum’s 2013 exhibition FARFETCHED: Mad Science, Fringe Architecture and Visionary Engineering. Their 122-page catalogue for that show (featuring a Shock Helmet from the Radio Guy collection on the cover) was awarded a Silver Medal by the Southeastern Museums Conference in their annual publication competition, and was glowingly reviewed in the major British publication Raw Vision.
“It was great fun and a pleasure to be of help.”
Steve Erenberg

For those of you who have been calling and emailing… We’re working as fast as we can… Sorry let me take that back! We aren’t working as fast as we can. This is a labor of love we want to get it right. and will soon have a fitting home for their showroom gallery, workshop and design studio. At this moment the 1880′s landmark building is finished and we are just starting to dust off and set things up. All the puzzle pieces are starting to fit into place. We are located facing one of the prettiest views of the Hudson River and just 45 minutes north of midtown Manhattan in the Historic Peekskill New York Waterfront District. Pictured above is just a sneak peek of this 8000sf building.
Steve Erenberg – 914-257-1664

americanpickers pickers_smokehelmet

Danielle and Steve Erenberg discuss the merits of an 1800s Sebe Gorman smoke rescue mask. (American Pickers clip)

Berlin, Planetarium

Over 50 years ago as a Cub Scout we took a trip to New York’s Hayden Planetarium. It wasn’t the show that impressed me the most. As we sat in the theater I couldn’t take my eyes off that large monster planetarium projector that towered over us . What you see is the main star ball from a large theater planetarium. Each lens has a film showing a portion of the night sky. There are 17 lenses that complete the picture. This was a very costly device. Few were made and I can’t even guess what the original cost would have been. Doing a bit of computer research leads me to believe this was a Minolta MS Series unit. It’s over two foot in diameter. The ball is mounted on a cast iron pedestal bringing the total hight to over four foot tall. I’m not sure if it can be made to project and have not tried to play with it. As complex as it looks the principle is simple… with a strong enough light source in the unit and a very dark room the film in each lens should project. This is an old style unit with a piece of film in each lens… The new planetariums are now all digital. The ball has a real space-age feel and an incredible sculptural presence. It stops people in their tracks. Height: 49, Diameter: 24,


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