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New York Prism Company tile
Photo: MidlandAntiqueCenter.com


  • 473 West Broadway, New York


  • 1900-1919-?


  • Started up by Androvette after the Luminous Prism Co was shut down by Luxfer's lawsuit in 1900.
Sweet's Architectural Catalog File, 1906
1906 Sweet's Catalog
Internet Archive
New York Prism Company ad in John E. Nitchie
PRISMS Stores 200 feet deep
Lighted with Daylight.
Basements made available
for Salesrooms.
Write for Particulars
John E. Nitchie, Architect
Sweet's Architectural Catalog File, 1911
1911 Sweet's Catalog
Google Books
  • "The Luminous Prisms. — Another firm which has begun to do some work in the way of school installations is the New York Prism Company, of 473 West Broadway, New York. Their business thus far has been principally with private schools, tho they have had some orders from the boards of education of Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Chicago. In New York city they have supplied prismatic glass to the following institutions: The Normal college; the Brearley school; the Berkley school; the Cornell medical college; the Chapin Collegiate school. This prism company has recently printed Natural Light for School-Rooms, an essay addressed to the National Educational Association, at Charleston. In this essay the facts about prismatic lighting are very succinctly and forcibly stated. It should be in the hands of every student of school hygiene in the country. This firms employs a lucical engineer who makes scientific studies preparatory to each installation." —The School Journal, December 1, 1900
  • "George E. Androvette. Pres.; J. Franklin Blanchard, Sec. Capital, $10,000. Directors: George E. Androvette, J. Franklin & Emma Blanchard" —The Trow (formerly Wilson's) Copartnership and Corporation Directory of New York City, Volume 49, 1901
  • Patent No. 705,372 by G. E. Androvette: Prism Glass for Skylights, 1902
  • The Architect's and Builder's Pocket-book · 1904
  • "N. Y. Prism Co. (N. Y.) (George E. Androvette. Pres.; J. Frederick Wordworth, Sec.; William E. Cash, Treas. Capital. $10,000. Directors: George E. Androvette, William E. Cash, J. Frederick Wordworth) 473 W. B'way" —The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx (City of New York) · Volume 52, 1904
  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers · 1905-06
  • Sweet's Architectural Catalog File · 1906
  • "Mr. Geo. E. Androvette, the president of the New York Prism Company, of 473 West Broadway, has been striving to convince property owners and tenants, as well as architects and the world generally, that prisms solve a problem which nothing else can, for many years. "The day dawns at last," said Mr. Androvette, "and prisms are no longer an experiment with the public, but tenants and owners are demanding their installation." Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide · Volume 77, 1906
  • "N. Y. Prism Co. (N. Y.) (George E. Androvette, Pres.; Kenneth G. White, Sec. Capital, $10,000. Directors: George E. Androvette, Kenneth G. White) 497 W. B'way" —The Trow Copartnership and Corporation Directory of the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx (City of New York) · March, 1908
  • "Mechanics' Liens. ... 125TH ST. 543 West; New York Prism Co. against Cataline de Vere Potter, owner; Octave D. Potter, contractor, $146" —New York Times · December 15, 1908
  • "New York Prism Co. A. Willkomm, Agt., 779 Market St., S.F." —Western Architect and Engineer · Vol. XIII, No 2, 1908 [Willkomm Building Supply Co.]
  • "Recorded Mechanics' Liens. ... 125TH ST, 161 East; New York Prism Co agt Emma L Harris and Sarah C Mitchell, owners; Joseph Wielar & Co, lessees; F Siegel & Co, contractors ... $410" —New-York Tribune · October 26, 1909
  • "Mechanics' Liens. ... 34TH ST. 142 East; New York Prism Co. against Carl Damschinsky, owner; D. J. Comyns & Co., contractor, $800" —New York Times · August 18, 1910
  • "Judgments. ... Schoenberger, William—New York Prism Co., $115" —New York Times · September 29, 1911
  • "WARRANTS MADE READY FOR PAYMENT IN DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE · [Invoice date] 11-17-17 [Received] 2-20-18 [Name of Payee] New York Prism Co [Amount] $18.00" —The City Record · Vol. XLVI, Number 13621, March 6, 1918 (PDF)
  • "N. Y. PRISM CO., 509 W Bway" —White-Orr's Reference Register · 1918-19

The term prism lighting does not convey its full meaning to all. Direct light is transmitted only in straight lines. Everybody knows that. Given a room with two windows, or a basement with two skylights, with ordinary glass, direct light will be obtained only in front of the windows or directly beneath the skylights. The light elsewhere in the room will be only diffused. By the scientific use of prisms, however, a direct light can be thrown to any part of a room. Prisms are small squares of glass, smooth on one face, and moulded with rows of projecting ribs of varying depth and of differing angles on the other face, which, when scientifically applied utilize the principle of refraction to a degree that is a revelation to those not familiar with their working. The effect of an adequate prism installation of proper angle, is in fact the same as placing every part of a room at such an angle that the sky could be seen through the openings. Prism lighting is by no means purely mechanical and simple, for each room requires special study and treatment. The application of the various angles to meet and overcome varying conditions make scientific problems of each proposed installation. For the varied devices for directing light the New York Prism Company, 473 West Broadway, New York, stands pre-eminent: and its president, George E. Androvette, is a pioneer in prism lighting, and is eminently qualified to direct the scientific and mechanical features of prism construction. J. Franklin Blanchard, secretary and treasurer of the company, is throughly conversant with all points bearing on the efficient installation of prisms, and his long training in architectural and building interests gives special value to his services in this line.
Every facility that experience can suggest for the prompt and satisfactory completion of contracts is provided, and a positive guarantee given for superior mechanical construction and the best results that can possibly be obtained by the use of prisms under any given conditions. Estimates of cost of equipping any premises will be made on application, with clear statement of results that can be obtained. To those at a distance, blanks will be furnished to be filled out, and all inquiries will receive prompt and courteous attention.

Journal of Education · Vol. LX, No. 8, August 25, 1904


To have a schoolroom well lighted, it is necessary to have ample window space on two sides of the room and no obstruction to the light opposite the windows. When opposite buildings darken the windows, prism glass installed in the top sash will remove the shadow and produce as much light as if no such buildings existed.
Under any and all conditions the use of prism glass increases the light, improves the sanitary conditions and saves the eyesight of children, because it brings in and distributes the light uniformly to all parts of the room, giving every scholar equally good light.
It is admitted that defective eyesight and the use of eyeglasses are constantly increasing. Is it not plain that the cause is bad light? Is not our remedy most important to consider?
Sheet prism glass used instead of common glass will cost no more than plate glass, and is a cheap remedy for bad eyesight. This question deserves equal consideration with heating and ventilating by architects and school committees.
For further information address Mr. Geo. E. Androvette, Lucical Engineer, or the New York Prism Co., 473 West Broadway, New York.

The American School Board Journal · Vol. XXX, No. 1, January, 1905


Wherever an interior admits insufficient day light, making the use of artificial light compulsory, prism glass will pay for itself in two years in the saving of artificial light. It is therefore economical as well as beneficial to the sight. Its practical value demonstrates itself. It removes all shadows, brings in the natural light in its full volume and natural light is the only healthy light.
In the form of sheet prism glass its installation is as simple as common glass and only the same care is required to maintain and keep clean. Attention must be paid to but one essential—have the proper angle of prism suited to the special conditions existing at each opening, and have the glass set with the ribs running horizontal, the short angle on top and the smooth face out.
Prism glass is only required to be set in the top sash to obtain the results desired. Set in the bottom sash it increases the light very little, as it can only raise the light at the window and distribute it over the entire room by being placed as near the ceiling as possible.
It will make a room more light on a dark and cloudy day than at any other time, simply from the color effect of the sky. In this way weather conditions cause no diminution of light when prism glass is used. If on a sunny day the prism glass makes too bright a light (as it sometimes will), white Holland shades over the glass will soften the light pleasantly.
May not the restlessness of children in a schoolroom, in a measure, be attributed to their eyes becoming tired because of insufficient light? If so, the use of prism glass would be helpful in this way in addition to saving the eyes. Therefore, it should be installed whenever its use would increase the natural light in a schoolroom.
Any Architect or School Committee desiring full information as to the use and cost of prism glass will do well to write to Mr. Geo. E. Androvette, Lucical Engineer, 473 West Broadway, New York.

The American School Board Journal · Vol. XXX, No. 2, February, 1905


One of the main requisites in textile mill construction is to make certain that every part of the finished structure is well lighted by natural daylight. All of the processes in the manufacture of cloth demand good light; without it, the operatives are unable to detect and correct imperfections. In many textile mills there is a great deal of waste space where no machines are located because of the fact that there the daylight does not penetrate to such an extent that perfect manufacture of cloth is possible. In other instances, it is necessary for the manufacturer to use artificial light during the morning and afternoon. This, of course, is done at a considerable cost, and could be wholly obviated provided the daylight was brought into the mill and diffused. Particularly in weaving is it necessary to have perfect light. Because of this, many manufacturers have found it necessary to locate their weave shops in large, one-story buildings, having the roof almost wholly of glass. It is well known that the most expensive parts of mill construction are the foundation and the roof; consequently, a weave shop such as this is a very expensive building to construct. In wool sorting, also, the sorters can only work by daylight, as artificial light casts so many shadows that it is not possible for the most experienced sorter to determine the grade of the wool which he is handling. Provided in this case the daylight hours were lengthened, as they can be lengthened by a perfect diffusion of the daylight, a considerable saving would be the result. In the finishing room, also, where the cloth is examined, it Is often necessary to work by artificial light during the morning and afternoon. This, also, could be obviated by the above-named methods. The textile mills, built as they are of stone and brick, at a time before steel construction was common, are necessarily lighted by small window spaces. Another reason, also, why small windows are used is because of the fact that the larger the window space the more expensive it is to heat the buildings during the cold months. Now these windows are hardly ever of sufficient number or size to thoroughly light the centre of the room.
The New York Prism Co. manufactures and installs windows of prismatic glass, making a study of every individual case and constructing the windows so that the light is thoroughly diffused and the darkest corners of the room well lighted by natural daylight. In this manner the cost of artificial light is done away with, and more nearly perfect cloth is produced.
GEO E. ANDROVETTE, Lucical Engineer.

America's Textile Reporter · March 1, 1906

Gathering Daylight.

The scientific effect in the divergence of the rays of light when falling upon prisms has long been, known and often demonstrated, like many other technical facts, as matters only interesting to the cultivated mind. Years ago the manufacturers who sought to make prisms known as a great factor In the lighting of dark rooms, found that the world needed educating on the subject. This has been going on gradually on both sides of the Atlantic during the past twenty years. To-day it seems that there is a greater realization of the prisms value than ever. Property is more desirable where they are installed, because they render artificial light as unnecessary as it is undesirable in the day time.
Interior in Saks & Co.'s Store, Showing Effect of Prism Lights
Interior in Saks & Co.'s Store, Showing Effect of Prism Lights
One of the most notable examples of prism lighting in New York Is in the building of Butler Bros., at 495, 497 and 499 Broadway. This is a large building of 7 storeys, every one of which is lighted by prisms. Where tall structures are on every side it would be impossible for the direct rays of the sun to reach more than a few feet into the store through ordinary windows, but when this light strikes the prisms it branches out at a direct angle and floods the interior with a natural, delightful radiance. Butler Bros., like many other firms, are not slow to acknowledge the benefits they derive from the use of prisms. Anyone may note the prisms along the windows of the great clothing store of Browning, King & Co., opposite Cooper Institute, and see the natural light of day within diffused by the prisms.
One of the famous 5 and 10 cent store corporations, the S. H. Kress Co., whose New York offices are at 379 Broadway, have fitted up over forty stores in different cities of the United States with prism lights. Mr. C. H. Kress, who is at the head of the construction department of this corporation, said the other day that prisms made their property more valuable everywhere because they brought daylight where it could not otherwise be. They light the interior with natural light, said Mr. Kress, and our employes are in good health and happier than could be possible if we were compelled to use gas or electricity.
Mr. Geo. E. Androvette, the president of the New York Prism Company, of 473 West Broadway, has been striving to convince property owners and tenants, as well as architects and the world generally, that prisms solve a problem which nothing else can, for many years. The day dawns at last, said Mr. Androvette, and prisms are no longer an experiment with the public, but tenants and owners are demanding their installation.
The illustration is a direct reproduction of a photograph of an interior of one of the departments of Saks & Co.. New York, which gives a fair idea of how prisms radiate the light. Prisms can now be made in large sheets so that it is not necessary to always use the window frames of steel in which the small prisms were electrolytically fixed. Many, however, prefer the small square on account of their great strength and fire retardant qualities. The large prism sheets are being installed in factories and many buildings where there are great surfaces. Forty thousand ft. have been installed in the American Woolen Company's mills at Lawrence, Mass., recently. The prism sheets can also be made with a wire mesh embedded within in the manner of wire glass. A great future looms ahead for the prism business.

Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide · Vol. LXXVI, No. 1998, June 30, 1906 (PDF)


Most people do not understand the system of lighting dark rooms by the use of prism glass. This system was first inaugurated by Mr. George E. Androvette in Chicago, in 1886, by using glass having a smooth face outside and prisms on the inner surface to change the natural direction of light.
This was accomplished to the entire satisfaction of the architect and owner of a building at 35th st and Wabash ave, since which time Mr, Androvette has devoted his whole time lo the development of a system of prismatic lighting which embraces the use of prism glass In sidewalk lights, in extension skylights (the most effective form of prismatic lighting) and also by use of prism glass canopies over windows in narrow areas where it had hitherto been impossible to obtain natural light.
These methods of installation enabled him to contend with the difficult problems induced by the advent of tall buildings In close proximity which exclude the natural light.
The simpler problems, such as using prism glass In windows and transom sash, in stores, schools and factories have been achieved by the use of pressed prism units, 4×4 inches, glazed in hard metal electro copper plated, also by glazing sheet-prism glass in lieu of window glass in windows of all kinds.
The one essential is that, should you buy prism glass for lighting purposes, you should see that it is furnished and set by a prism-glass company who fully understand the surrounding conditions, which will enable them to specify and use the angle of glass that will effect the object intended.
Prism glass is frequently installed by those who have no technical knowledge and has failed to produce results. This is simply the result of a lack of knowledge, and should be guarded against. No ordinary glass dealer can comprehend the conditions without advice from a prism glass expert, Mr. Androvette, 497 West Broadway, will be pleased to advise any architect or owner as to the method by which the hest results can be attained.

Real Estate Record and Builders' Guide · Vol. LXXXI, No. 2089, March 28, 1908 (PDF)

Prismatic Lighting.
Lucical Engineer.

Prismatic lighting has become an important factor in modern buildings. The more intelligent public appreciate the value of natural light. The congested conditions involved in cities exclude the natural light, which in most cases can be restored by the use of various forms of prismatic glass, which changes the direction of light from vertical to horizontal lines and illuminates interiors previously dark unless lighted by artificial lights, which, aside from expense, are not equal to natural light.
There are several forms of prismatic lighting—window prisms, extension skylights, prism canopies, and sidewalk lights. Each method involves the use of glass having prism forms calculated to operate under a given condition, for the reason that the limitations of natural laws of light must be considered and either refraction or reflection must be used. The writer has had twenty years' experience exploiting the possibilities of this work, and any person can command his services, free of charge, to explain and suggest the most effective methods. Exterior conditions govern the methods to be employed, and success depends on intelligent installation.

Western Architect and Engineer · February, 1909