Thanksgiving time was a prime retail period even 100 years ago

History Matters

November 20, 2011|By Louise Vest

100 Years Ago

Warm wears at Turkey Day sale

In a large ad in the paper that week Caplans announces:

"Caplans Thanksgiving Day Sale: Caplans Underselling Store : R. Caplan Proprietor

Blankets on sale. $1.25 down to 69 cents; $l.50 and $2. women's dresses

Men's Heavy wool pants 87 cents; Dress pants, $1.25; Overcoats $5.50; Suits, $3.50"

75 Years Ago

High tech for the farmer set

"Rural Radio Buying Now on the Upgrade."

Rural radio buying is definitely on the increase according to J. N. Taylor, local radio distributor who quotes from sales reports during the past few weeks that more farm residents are buying radios right now than ever before.

"This is a decidedly healthy situation," Mr. Taylor declares." "At last the farmer is coming into his own again and purchasing this luxury he has been denied for several years."

And there was an ad pitch to the pitch fork set in that issue also:

"The telephone is an important item of equipment on the modern farm. It is a year-round implement that will save needless trips to town to get help in case of an emergency. It keeps you in touch with friends and relations.

Order your telephone now. The is low, only a few cents a day. Call The Telephone Company. And in brackets: The Farm Family Needs a Telephone More Than Most Folks!"

There was no additional name or contact information for this company just The Telephone Company.

Although there were millions of phones in the U.S. by then, not everyone could afford them. For those who could, the automatic phone was coming to more homes and businesses, and in the 1930s there was a push by the phone company to teach people how to use a telephone with a dial, rather than than local phone calls that were put through via the operator who would connect you with the party you were calling.

The phone company was The Bell Telephone Company, which had a worldwide market. In fact, several years ago, after I made a few calls at public telephones in Kiev, the Ukrainian friends I was visiting told me that in the late 19th century, it was Bell Telephone that installed the phone operations in many cities in Russia and the countries that would make up the Soviet Union. "Ma Bell" first opened in Connecticut 1877.

50 Years Ago

Entertaining in Daniels

From the Daniels social column:

"Mrs. Wm. R. Hall had guests Monday, Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon Beard of Annapolis, Junction, Maryland.

Daniels Mill of Ellicott City, now on the National Historic Register, was once the site of a textile mill. The first mill was opened by Thomas Ely in 1829. There's not much left of Daniels today, but once there was the mill, workers houses, a railroad station and stores. But the 130-year-old Gary Memorial United Methodist Church is still there.

Though the days of Daniels' residential social activities are gone, Gary Memorial is an active church. In addition to their services and events, Boy Scout Troop 1997 meets there and Gary Memorial opens their doors as a Cold Weather Shelter for those in need.

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