A Balsam is a long time Brooklyn resident, listed in the Brooklyn Telephone Directories at 712 Hendrix Street from the early 1920’s until the late 1960’s. In addition, between 1929 and 1933 A Balsam is listed under milk in the Brooklyn Classified Directories at the same Hendrix Street address. Based on this information, it’s possible that Balsam may have run a small dairy operation at or near his home on Hendrix Street for a short period of time.
The company is mentioned in a September 23, 1932 article in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle as one of three milk dealers accused of price-cutting.
The three milk dealers, it was charged at the meeting, are advertising milk for 4, 5 and 6 cents a quart. The three concerns are the Eisenberg Farms Company, I Balsam Company and the Lincoln Farms…No one in authority could be reached for comment at the A Balsam Company Plant, 712 Hendrix Street, or the Lincoln Farms Company, 1625 Dean St.
The article refers to the company as both I Balsam and A Balsam. As a result, it’s possible that A Balsam is somehow part of the large Isaac Balsam Dairy Operation.
Isaac Balsam started the first Chalav Israel dairy farm on the east coast. He started the dairy farm in 1903 in Ozone Park Queens. The dairy farm was located on Old South Road, now Pitkin Avenue, and at it’s peak had 300 cows. According to Wikipedia, Balsam also ran a plant that processed milk from other farms. It’s possible that the Hendrix Street location was part of that operation although I can’t connect an “A Balsam” with the Balsam family.
The bottle I found is a machine made half pint that fits with a 1929 to 1933 manufacture date.