Sidewalk maker: Gene Tribuzio

Gaetano “Gene” Tribuzio was born 3 July 1889, in Bari, to Francesco Tribuzio and Isabella Siciliano. The Italian records give his birthplace as Mola di Bari, a seaside village east of the port of Bari, but the family and the U.S. immigration records say he was born in Acquaviva delle Fonti. He emigrated to America with his brother Nicola (see Nick Tribuzio), leaving two brothers behind and entering the U.S. on 6 March 1913.

Nick and Gaetano operated briefly as the Tribuzio Brothers, which I mentioned in my post about Nick. The 1926 directory lists him as “Guy,” living with his wife Mary (born Maria Cerimele) at 425 Market Street. Soon Guy, or Gene as he later called himself, was working on his own. His earliest surviving sidewalk stamp in Oakland is from 1928.

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In the early years he would often stamp the month underneath the mark.

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After 1936, he filed the address off his stamp and continued to use it into the 1950s. Presumably that’s when he moved to 3706 Porter Street. (If I ever get over that way and the house is still there, I’ll take a photo and stick it here.)

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This hand-drawn mark from 1940 shows a hint of his style. Notice that he misspelled his name Tribuzzio.

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The Tribuzios had six children, five sons and a daughter. The 1940 census records list the couple as “Gene” and “Mary” along with their children, living at 3706 Porter Street.

Some of the sons joined Gene as “G. Tribuzio & Sons.” I’ve recorded marks with that name, all of them hand-drawn, from 1948 to 1955. Solo “G. Tribuzio” stamped marks survive in Oakland up to 1954.

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He was the most prolific Tribuzio, and he left his work all over this city.

Gaetano Tribuzio died 9 October 1974. Various of his descendants have left comments on this site over the years, and I greatly appreciate their personal information.

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