By Nicholas Kalis
Fifteenth in a series of glimpses into industries or warehouses that made for interesting freight operations on the Long Island. Information presented has included, where available, a brief history of the firm, how it was served by the LIRR, and what commodities were received or shipped from this facility.
Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings (June 1966), page 2 identifies Web Offset (Spot 17), located in Long Island City, as facing Yard A while with its own track it shared a spur with Louis Sherry (Spot 17a). Web’s siding actually crossed over the National Casket siding. Web was not, as was previously thought, the Universal Building at 31-04 Northern Boulevard (once known as Jackson Avenue). Instead, local telephone directories place Web Offset at 30-30 Northern Boulevard. The Universal Building could not have come close to the tracks given its meager depth. Web was squeezed between National Casket (Spot 16) and Louis Sherry (Spot 17a), also at 30-30 Northern Boulevard. While Hyde Atlas, Queens Vol. 1, updated through 1955 makes no mention of Web Offset, Hyde identifies the one and two-story Universal Building facing Northern Boulevard to its right.
Commodities shipped into Web Offset by rail were presumably paper carried in box cars. Can any of our readers tell us what form the paper came in, i.e. was the paper in industrial size rolls? These boxcars may have originated in Canada or other paper producing regions such as the American South from industrial plants I have been unable to identify. Can any reader tell from what plants the paper originated? Web may have produced envelopes or sheet goods but that is only my guess, in any case if it was a typical industry of Long Island City, only empties left this facility by rail. In 1970-71, Web moved to Brooklyn.
For readers who would like to model this structure in HO scale, I would suggest Fox Chemicals ($60.00) by Jeff Springer’s Custom Model Railroads of Baltimore, Maryland. I have built a foam core mock-up of this building.
Thanks to Rhoda Levenson of Brenner Paper, Carl Fabrizi, Bob Miller of the Queensboro Public Library, and Bill Myers
Author Unknown Maps of Freight Stations and Private Sidings (Reprint) June 1966