Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Video: Food Shopping Tips for 1950

Friday, May 20, 2016
Interior, Marden-Abbott Store
Strawbery Banke Museum
Loretta reports:

Today's video called to me because I grew up living behind the shop, that is to say, behind a small Mom and Pop store. In those days, what today we’d call a convenience store was "the corner store," which Worcesterites called a spa—and no, I have no idea why.

The main articles on offer at our place were canned goods, bread, milk, soda, cigarettes, and penny candy—and then, a few years after the store opened, there was a snack bar, too, which became very popular. In any case, neither our shop nor even the supermarkets, as they were then, were anything like today's mega-super-duper-supermarkets. A tangerine was about as exotic as things got in the produce aisle.

Though my parents set up shop a decade or so later than today’s video, we girls learned these same shopping principles, at home and in Home Economics classes. No, the boys weren’t taught, although, if the video offers a clue, they could have used the lessons.

Image: Interior of Marden-Abbott Store (WWII era)  at Strawbery Bank Museum, courtesy me.

Readers who receive our blog via email might see a rectangle, square, or nothing where the video ought to be.  To watch the video, please click on the title to this post.


sarah c said...

Fun to see corner stores called spas. . .. I grew up in Watertown & we called them spas too. Like you I have no idea why.

Lisa said...

About only the girls being taught Home Ec: In high school, I had a favorite art teacher who joked about bringing back Home Ec only for the boys (who seemed to need it most), and calling it "Bachelor Survival"!

mamafrog said...

Man, I don't remember much about grocery shopping until about the late 60's. I got my driver's license and became chauffeur and cook for my younger brothers and sisters, my mom was divorced and working a job to support us by then. We had a corner mom and pop (literally) store near us, and several larger grocery stores an easy drive away. I wish I'd paid more attention then to what mom had me buying, she usually sent me with a list and the money, but did the major shopping herself. I definitely learned to read shelf labels now, thank goodness they put the per ounce/pound info on them!

Alison Sauer said...

I strongly suspect they were called 'Spars'. Spar was a European /British company with a chain of corner shops. Today Spar has morphed into a massive concern running petrol stations and motorway service stations across Europe

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