Sidewalk maker: Milan Cvetich

As I surveyed Oakland’s sidewalks, I came to be amused by the marks of M. Cvetich for the variety of stamps he used over his career. At first, in 1928, he had this ordinary, understated mark.


At the time, he was listed as Michael Cvetich in the phone book, living and practicing with his wife Annie at 2515 Adeline Street.

In the mid-1930s, he was listed as Mike Cvetich and he used at least three different stamps. Two included his address and phone number.



The third left off the address, and the phone exchange had changed. This was the stamp he stayed with through the 1940s to 1950, the latest date I have from him.


By 1940, he was giving his name as Milan, which I assume was his real name. But eventually he dropped the phone number.


In addition to these basic stamps, he varied in the way he marked the year, sometimes inside the mark and sometime outside, sometimes with the month and day and sometimes not. He wasn’t very consistent. To me that implies a certain playfulness for someone in this exacting line of work.

So now I have to ask, because I don’t know anyone named Cvetich: How is it pronounced? It looks suspiciously like it might sound like “quidditch.”

3 Responses to “Sidewalk maker: Milan Cvetich”

  1. Andrew Says:

    My friend Joe found his grave in the Serbian cemetery in Colma. His dates were 1885–1966, he and his wife Nona (died 1938) had two children, Steve and Mary, and both of them emigrated from the Balkans.

  2. Mike Fitz Says:

    Great post, Andrew. There used to be a radio drama in the 50’s called “I Was A Communist For The FBI” starring Dana Andrews as a double agent named Matt Cvetich. It’s pronounced “Sev-ed-ik”- at least in that program.

  3. Pam Savin Says:

    Svetich. Our Kum knew him, Milan would come to the rooming house his grandmother owned to visit the family. Serbian community was thriving in Oakland. Kum Slavo loved the pictures and started telling stories about when he was a boy (he is a young 92). Thank you (hvala).

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