This vernacular photograph was given to me on my birthday by my best friend. She shares my passion for old photos, but she has enough sense to pass them on instead of burying herself as I have done. I'm very lucky.
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F. W. Woolworth was the place to shop. I always enjoyed Woolworths and wish they were still around just as I remember them. I can remember the one in Harrisburg, PA that had little sections on the countertops full of little toys. I loved running my hand through the marbles. Wish I still had my bag of marbles, but I lost my marbles a long time ago. I don't think I need to hear any comments about that.
My maternal grandparents lived in Harrisburg and whenever we went to visit my grandmother, my mother, and I would go downtown to Pomeroy's and Woolworths. At Woolworths we would sit at the counter and have lunch. The most vivid memory I have is when my grandmother bought me some little plastic Disney characters. Like the marbles, there was a section, sort of a tiny bin, full of all sorts of little people and animals. I was told I could pick out 4 figures, at least that's all I have left. I worried over which ones to get. I'd take one out and put it in my hand while I pushed aside others in the bin. I'm still pleased with my choices. Pinocchio, Daisy Duck, Dopey, and Peter Pan. All less than an inch and a half tall. Now mind you at that age I had two crushes. I was in love with Peter Pan and the Everly Brothers. I don't know, it's just how my mind worked. And I do have stories about Phil Everly, but I'll save them for another time. Anyway...
What really interests me in this photo are the Woolworth girls. I'm sure they were referred to as "the girls" and not women. I'd say the shot was from the late 20s to maybe mid-30s. I have no idea where it was taken other than the obvious...Woolworths. One sign says "Nothing in this store more than 15 cents." Can you imagine? A whole store where every item cost 15 cents or less? You can bet some of these items are now on sale at eBay for a heck of a lot more. Sure do miss the Five and Dime stores.
I have posted sort of a "companion piece" about working women at my ephemera site. When this shot was taken it hadn't been all that long that women were full-time in the work force. Were they married or unmarried? Seems to have been a bit of thorny issue with some people, but you'll have to read the letters from Comfort magazine here.