Posts Tagged ‘Christmas 1934’

Holiday deals at a defunct city department store

December 19, 2012

Finlay Straus describes itself as a jeweler/optician in this Depression-era New York Daily News ad from December 19, 1934.


But based on the merchandise they’re pushing as part of a Christmas sale (and their locations, like Fordham Road and Fulton Street), the store is more like a Macy’s or a Target—selling the “practical” gifts that make good presents for people you don’t know very well or are easy to please.


Seventy-eight years to the day after this ad ran, some of these gifts still pass as okay, such as appliances like mixers and juicers as well as tableware.

Of course, the typewriter, radio, and cigarette case/lighter have been relegated to the dustbin of Christmas presents past.

What’s on the radio: December 19, 1934

April 24, 2010

This radio guide, which ran in the Daily News the Wednesday before Christmas in 1934, is a neat little time capsule of news events and popular entertainment in the middle of the Depression.

George Burns and Gracie Allen’s comedy routine. Singer Kate Smith hosting a music variety show. Amateur night in Harlem. Even a broadcast about Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition.

One Man’s Family was kind of the As the World Turns of its time—a popular soap opera that ran for three decades into the 1950s.

The perfect Christmas present in 1934

December 21, 2009

Radios were kind of like the iPod of the Depression. The December 19, 1934 edition of the Daily News is thick with ads for them—like this model, which features “foreign reception.”

What happened to Spear’s, an appliance store with five locations in the five boroughs?

Sounds like they were the 1930s version of Circuit City, the Wiz, Crazy Eddie, and all the other electronics stores that never seem to last very long.