The city business that made eyes for Columbo, Sammy

(Credit: Urbanite)

Peter Falk (aka Columbo), Sammy Davis Jr., Helen Keller, Joseph Pulitzer, Jay Vanderbilt: That’s a diverse bunch that share a common trait.

They all needed at least one artificial eye in their lifetimes and used the services of eye-maker Mager and Gougelman here in the city.

Mager and Gougelman started as Gougelman & Co. in 1851, when Peter Gougelman — originally from Sweden — emigrated from France to New York City. He brought with him knowledge of his unique craft: fashioning artificial eyes. It’s a trade he passed on to his descendants.

Today, Mager and Gougelman is one of the oldest family-run businesses in the city with a distinguished list of clients as you can see.

Last week, David Gougelman spoke with amNewYork about growing up in a family that crafted eyeballs. Check it out here.

-- Garett Sloane

Tags: columbo , peter falk , sammy davis , television , manhattan , history

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