Angelo Mezzapica’s ‘Continental Cake Shop’ on Norton Street opened in 1952 and it didn’t take long before it was considered the only place to go for Italian cakes, biscuits and pastries. I don’t know if the sign is as old as the shop but it’s been there as long as I can remember. The window display is always pretty interesting, especially around holidays when the theme-decorated cakes are humorous and imaginative. Angelo retired about 30 years ago but the cake shop has stayed in the family and retained its excellent reputation. For good reason: they make the best rum balls in the Inner West.
It’s funny how you can traverse the same streets countless times and then one day see something you’ve never seen before. I saw this sign for the first time last week above the doorway of a converted factory on a back street I often take to avoid traffic. All I’ve been able to discover about Shellonite is that it was registered as a trademark in Australia in 1930 and manufactured artificial amber, horn and resin. Very little evidence of their existence remains but it’s nice to see that whoever renovated the building decided to keep the sign.
This sign, nothing to do with Robert Palmer, is inside the Balmain Power Station pump house building. The power station operated from around 1909 until it was decommissioned in 1976. In its day it supplied electricity to Balmain, Leichhardt, Ashfield, Newtown and Petersham, which is pretty amazing when all we can see today is an old brick shell with a bit of scaffolding to hold it up and a great old sign. The letters are copper and were salvaged when the power station itself was demolished.