Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Brooklyn Historical Society Launch ‘The Business of Brooklyn’ Exhibition

February 15, 2018

February 15, 2018

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Brooklyn Historical Society Launch ‘The Business of Brooklyn’ Exhibition in Honor of Chamber’s 100th Anniversary

Exhibition to Feature History of the Last 100 Years of Business in Brooklyn

Opening event brings together three Brooklyn Borough Presidents

On February 23, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS) will open The Business of Brooklyn: An Exhibition on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which explores the past 100 years of business in the borough. The story spans booming factories, family shops, iconic innovation, and labor struggles. The exhibition showcases images and objects from companies large and small that thrived in Brooklyn, including Domino Sugar, Squibb Pharmaceuticals, Schaefer Beer, Drake Bakeries, Abraham & Straus, Gage & Tollner, and many others. It includes numerous artifacts from the Brooklyn Chamber’s history, including a gavel that the Chamber used to convene meetings in the 1920s, the telephone the Chamber used in its first offices at 75 Livingston Street, and a program for the Chamber’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, which honored entertainer Danny Kaye. It also includes treasures from BHS’s collections, including Eberhard pencil sets, Virginia Dare bottles and glasses, coasters and trays from Brooklyn’s illustrious beer brewing history.

The exhibit and event are supported by a group of sponsors led by the TD Charitable Foundation, the event’s title sponsor. TD Bank is the Chamber’s Brooklyn Bridge Sponsor.

The event was also supported by Century Sponsors National Grid, Investors Bank and Con Edison, Half-Century Sponsors Airbnb and Google, and Quarter-Century Sponsors Citi Commercial Bank, Verizon Communications, the NYU Tandon School of Engineering and Joseph M. Mattone, Sr. of The Mattone Group.

Using the lens of Brooklyn’s workers and entrepreneurs, the exhibition is rooted in three major themes: the local and the global, labor, and innovation. The story is told in six sections:
• The Building Blocks of Brooklyn Commerce
• Big Business: Brooklyn Produces for the World
• Mom-and-Pop Brooklyn
• Shopping, Dining, and Seaside Fun: Not Just for the Rich
• Brooklyn Business Today
• Made in Brooklyn

The Business of Brooklyn also sheds light on pioneering community organizations like the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, the first Community Development Corporation in the United States, which the Brooklyn Chamber honored with a Brooklyn Century Award at its Centennial Gala.

In addition, the exhibition will show the ways in which consumer culture has evolved in the borough throughout the last century, thanks to shopping thoroughfares like the department stores on Fulton Street.

“This exhibition is a fitting cornerstone for our year of Centennial programming, offered throughout 2018,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Andrew Hoan. “In a Century in which so much history has been made, it’s fitting to look back at our roots before planning for our next 100 years and the future of the borough.”

“The Brooklyn Historical Society exhibition is the culmination of a century of profound change that has rocked the borough, and the Brooklyn Chamber was there to witness all of it,” said Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Denise Arbesu. “As it surveys our history, this exhibition will also encourage us to redouble our efforts to bring further diversity to the borough and to combat challenges to prosperity.”

“This exhibition is an extraordinary timeline and display of Brooklyn’s history with local businesses, big and small, and demonstrates how this great borough has evolved,” said Peter Meyer, Market President, TD Bank. “It is so important to know your past in order to move forward, and TD is honored to partner with organizations that understand this concept, and as a result, are offering a chronicled look at Brooklyn’s rich past.”

“Under the guidance of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, local businesses have kept our community strong, and led to its tremendous growth over the last one hundred years,” said Deborah Schwartz, President, BHS. “Visitors to this exhibition will see that the history of Brooklyn’s business community is as much a story of the borough’s evolution as it is that of the country’s. We are tremendously proud of the work our longtime neighbors have accomplished over the last century, and are all too happy to share their accomplishments through the artifacts and stories that will be on display in our gallery on Pierrepont Street.”

The Chamber will preview the exhibition with an opening reception on February 22 at 12:30 p.m. in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s landmark building at 128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights. The program will feature a panel discussion with Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, as well as former Borough Presidents Marty Markowitz and Howard Golden. They will discuss how far Brooklyn’s economy and business environment have come in the last 100 years, and what the borough’s future should focus on.

The Business of Brookyn will be on view from February 23 until the end of 2018.

About the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is the largest and fastest-growing Chamber of Commerce in New York. It was named 2017 Chamber of the Year by The Business Council of New York State. The Chamber promotes economic development across the borough and serves as an advocate for its member businesses. Its mission is to promote a healthy and robust business environment throughout Brooklyn. The Chamber celebrates its centennial in 2018.

About the Brooklyn Historical Society

Founded in 1863, Brooklyn Historical Society is a nationally recognized urban history center dedicated to preserving and encouraging the study of Brooklyn’s extraordinary 400-year history. Located in Brooklyn Heights and housed in a magnificent landmark building designed by George Post and opened in 1881, today’s BHS is a cultural hub for civic dialogue, thoughtful engagement and community outreach. In May 2017 BHS opened a second site in DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park.

About the TD Charitable Foundation

The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. The Foundation’s mission is to support, respect and improve the quality of life in the diverse communities where we live and do business. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed more than $187.7 million and more than 17,000 grants in charitable donations from Maine to Florida. The TD Charitable Foundation focuses on supporting the following community needs: affordable housing, economic development, neighborhood revitalization, financial literacy, and human services. Recently, more than 90 percent of the grants awarded by the Foundation benefited low-and moderate- income communities and individuals. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including an online grant application, is available at

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit

Media Contacts

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Brooklyn Historical Society
Meredith Daniels Jeanne Hodesh
[email protected] [email protected]
718-875-1000 Ext. 134 347-381-3712