Things Forgotten

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DawnT
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2012/07/24 01:40:47 (permalink)

Things Forgotten

We've had several threads on items and phrases of the past. How about past institutions and services that have faded into history. Remember Fix-It shops? They used to be everywhere. Sort of a handyman shop that you brought just about anything to see if it could be fixed or patched instead of throwing it away or sending it to a service center. Anything from putting a new cord on an electric blanket to fixing that old toaster with the cloth covered cord your mom inherited from her mother made in 1936. Last one I remember probably closed in '68 or '69.
 
Remember the Umbrella man? He probably had been in business tucked into a corner or hole in an arcade downtown since before WW11. Just like his still surviving counterpart the shoe repairman who saved soles for a living, he fixed your otherwise thrown away umbrella. Every downtown had one somewhere.
 
Furrier storage? Hat repair and blockers? The TV repair shop is rapidly becoming the next casualty.
 
One thing we had here that may or may not have been an institution elsewhere was communal television. Usually found on an empty lot, a furniture store or appliance sales would sponsor a TV set set up on a small, stage each evening hooked up to a PA system. Folks from all around the surrounding neighborhood would gather each night and I'm not sure if they brought their own chairs or they were supplied to watch TV. I don't remember seeing these corner lot events after '63 or '64. Mostly older people that got out of the hot house for the evening.
 
Naturepats and Chiropractors that were grandfathered in to practice limited medicine rather then going to a Dr. Again, not many like that left after the 60's.
 
Are diaper services still around or did pampers put them all out of business?
 
Knife sharpeners? These were guys that drove around on a specially modified bicycle. They had a gimmick like an ice cream truck. The one in our neighborhood used to have a flute-like instrument that he'd play a musical sequence I still can hear in my head announcing he's on your block. There was some sort of mechanism that was connected to the rear wheel that when the bike was parked and raised, the pedals drove a sharpening wheel. These guys are still around here driving trucks, but rare.
 
Rooming houses?
 
Footmen? Maybe something we had. Another acade dweller, but not in the corners, somewhere out in the open complete with a mini stage that he'd do pitches for some patent medicine foot product he pushed. In between the pitches he had a special chair the weary shoppers would sit in or people that had minor foot problems would go see rather then a podiatrist. He could treat corns, bunions, callouses, ingrown nails, aching feet, custom fit your shoes with supports and inserts, some even practiced a sort of sanitized reflexology.
 
Real five and dimes. Not dollar stores. Neisner's, GC Murphy, Woolworths, Kress, and others and inependents. Maybe still around. I mean the full bore ones that sold a little bit of everything and kept the old ladies supplied with parakeets and canaries. They were like a Hallmark,toy store, pet shop,notion and sewing supply, candy store, craft store,and lunch counter rolled into one store. Then there was their close cousins the Sundry Store or Shop. You never knew what you'd find in one of those.
 
The world's changed dramatically in our lifetime just over a few years unlike yesterday when things pretty much remained the same for decades.
#1

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    Foodbme
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 05:03:22 (permalink)
    The Door-to-Door Fuller Brush Man. (Still a very few around)
    Debit Insurance Men selling Nickel Insurance policies.
    Neighborhood Grocery Stores where the clerk would take your list, go around the store picking up your items, writing up a slip and then allowing you to come in on payday and pay your bill.
    Encyclopedia Salesmen!
    Gas Station Attendents to check your oil and wash your windows. Check the radiator too!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/07/24 05:07:26
    #2
    Foodbme
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 05:16:09 (permalink)
    Coal Delivery Trucks where men shoveled the coal onto a chute, thru a little window, into a coal bin in the basement of your house.
    http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/index.php/exhibits/equipment/vintage-equipment/coal-delivery-truck
    Milk Delivery men!
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/07/24 05:19:15
    #3
    carlton pierre
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 08:25:37 (permalink)
    Tube testing machines where you would take the "tubes" fromyour TV and test them to see if they were still good.  If not, they had the spares in the lower part of the machine for you to purchase.
    Party lines telephones.  Either someone was listening to your call or you couldn't make a call because someone was already on it.
    #4
    kennyb
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 08:47:50 (permalink)
    we did a show in a small town a few weeks ago and there was a fix it shop there. i commented on it that they arn't around anymore. i don't think things are made now to be fixed.
    #5
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 08:56:45 (permalink)
    They are getting rare but Intimate apparel fit specialists. They really need to make a comeback since many women love to shop for clothes...and sadly...don't realize it all starts at the foundation.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/07/24 08:58:05
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 09:50:47 (permalink)
    Tourist homes - predecessors of the fancy "Bed & Breakfast".
     
    Burning your trash in a backyard barrel.
     
    "Numbers runners", put out of business by the "legal" government lotteries.
     
    Inkwells in school desks.
     
    Icemen cometh no more.
     
    Penny candy.
     
    A nickel for a Coke or a Milky Way.
     
    A dime for a loaf of bread.
     
    Two dimes for either a quart of milk or a gallon of gas.
     
    Silver coins.
     
    Come to think about it, two silver dimes now would buy more than a gallon of gas.  A $20 gold piece used to buy a tailored suit; that same gold piece still would - and it probably would be a nicer suit. 
    post edited by MetroplexJim - 2012/07/24 10:04:26
    #7
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 11:01:03 (permalink)
    My kids must think Tupperware is still a booming business. Whenever I need them to be out of the house for the evening...I always tell them it's because of a ummm Tupperware party!
    #8
    kland01s
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 11:06:08 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim

    Inkwells in school desks.


     
    Starting in Middle School around here, they don't even need paper! No need for ink!
    #9
    kozel
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 11:37:30 (permalink)
    Foodbme

    Coal Delivery Trucks where men shoveled the coal onto a chute, thru a little window, into a coal bin in the basement of your house.
    http://www.whippanyrailwaymuseum.net/index.php/exhibits/equipment/vintage-equipment/coal-delivery-truck
    Milk Delivery men!

    Coal is not gone, completely.  Here on Long Island we have 2 dealers.
    http://www.bethlehemcoalcompany.com/
    http://www.rellacoal.com/
     
    We have 2 coal stoves but haven't used them steadily for a few years.  When we did, we'd get 1 delivery (3 ton) of coal and 1 delivery of oil (about 450gal) a year.  The cats loved it; but we got lazy.  Still have a small amount of nut anthracite in case of a power outage.  I'm not alone; there's a very active forum for people who burn coal.
    http://nepacrossroads.com/
    #10
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 12:12:56 (permalink)
    Coal is a vital player in the outstanding Roadfood breads & pizzas of <<<Hoboken>>> It took such a beating delivery is on the hush hush.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/07/24 12:19:28
    #11
    mar52
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 12:59:15 (permalink)
    Cool topic!
     
    Dedicated Fabric stores are almost a thing of the past.  Now you have to go to Walmart around here for fabric.
     
    (Did that make you all think that I sew?  
     
    There used to be a gas station on every major corner here.  Sometimes four at an intersection.  Now you have to travel to find one.
     
    They also all used to have garages for your auto problems.  I know of one now.
     
     
    #12
    kland01s
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 13:12:30 (permalink)
    Some of this is regional too I think. We have milkmen that make door to door delivery of milk and other products from a large family dairy. My neighhbor owns a second generation auto repair business and I know of 3 such other businesses in our town. There is a knife sharpener who uses a foot operated grind stone that comes weekly to a local farmers market. we have independant tailors that will make you a whole outfit or suit. I'm not in a fringe area but within the Chicago Metro area.
    #13
    mar52
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 14:13:04 (permalink)
    Remember the bulletin boards at super markets?  Am I just missing them now?
    #14
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 14:24:34 (permalink)
    My Mother tells me all of my baby pictures were taken at home...by a Photographer. I never asked but I assume it was by appointment not door-to-door...since I was always wearing my fanciest kimonos and my hair was all done up. I'll have to ask if that was an everyday event.
    #15
    Foodbme
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 17:02:18 (permalink)
    The Photographer! What a flashback! Forgot all about them!
    Yes, they did come to the house, set up their equipment and took the kids pictures. Then came back the following week and sold you a Gazillion Pictures for a month's salary!
    Later replaced by Kiosks in retail stores.
    #16
    Foodbme
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 17:07:45 (permalink)
    Vegetable Peddlers. Guys with horse drawn carts that peddled fresh in-season Veggies door to door.
    Replaced by Farmers Markets.
    Guys with a team of horses that would come to your lot and plow the soil for your garden for you. 
    Replaced by Gasoline operated tillers and small garden tractors. 
    post edited by Foodbme - 2012/07/24 17:09:17
    #17
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 17:13:33 (permalink)
    That took care of the manure drop as well.

    #18
    BelleReve
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 18:27:38 (permalink)
    shoe stores that had those metal devices that measured your foot size
     
    shoe repair shops - I remember getting metal taps on the edges of the heels and toes of my loafers, thinking I was so cool. They may still sell them, but I think just in plastic, not the same effect at all -
     
     
    #19
    Louis
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 18:52:51 (permalink)
    I remember when the milkman from the local dairy used to come to our door several times a week and sell us bottles of milk from his truck.
     
    post edited by Louis - 2012/07/24 18:53:57
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    mar52
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 19:43:23 (permalink)
    Remember white shoe polish? The kind you used on your white Oxfords?   I think I can still smell it.
    #21
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 19:45:50 (permalink)
    The catalog showroom system like Service Merchandise. Fill out your order slip with a pencil...and wait for it to roll out on the conveyor belt. Exciting stuff!
    #22
    ces1948
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 21:56:43 (permalink)
    Yes Service Merchandise and a place called Luria's here in Florida. There was another one in Tennessee where we lived but I don't recall the name. I still wonder why that style of shopping fell out of favor.
    CCinNJ

    The catalog showroom system like Service Merchandise. Fill out your order slip with a pencil...and wait for it to roll out on the conveyor belt. Exciting stuff!


    #23
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 22:18:39 (permalink)
    We had a five & dime store called Mc Crory's. It had a machine that cut window shades to-size. I went with my Mother & Nanny...usually on a weekend evening. I always ran to the machine after saying hello to the fish in the pet dept. and waited and waited and waited for someone to come get a shade cut. It was the emptiest part of the store. Nobody ever came anywhere near it (like it oozed radiation) and no employees were ever close to it.

    We had fancy very ornate window shades...so no sale there. If I touched those shades at home...to inspire a purchase of the cheap vinyl shades...I'd be swimming with the Mc Crory's fish.

    Right in the middle of the parking lot was a tiny tiny building...a Fotomat.

    http://popupcity.net/2011...ooks-for-new-business/
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/07/24 22:38:33
    #24
    mar52
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 22:56:32 (permalink)
    Those wax pencils like they used at the bowling alley.... where you unwrapped the paper if the point was too short.
     
    X-ray machines at the shoe store.
     
    penny target machines
    #25
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 23:19:51 (permalink)
    Macy's Herald Square still offers gift-wrapping services but other than a few other stores...it's been phased-out.

    The remaining locations...

    Herald Square in New York, State Street in Chicago, Union Square in San Francisco, South Coast Plaza in Orange County, Calif., and Dadeland in Miami.
    #26
    DawnT
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/24 23:53:22 (permalink)
    We had Luria's and they started here as just a hole-in-the-wall jewelry and fine silver dinneware place that also had a catalog order desk. That's the way it was until the mid 70's. Service Merchandise beat them to the catalog showroom. JC Penny's built plaza's with their squiggly roof Treasury department stores and SV. Merchandise served as the co-anchor to all of them from the beginning. BEST moved down not long after and opened these HUGE stores with much more and higher end products in the same format. Luria's followed suit building large stores and then SV merchandise did the same and also in malls. They wound up last store standing. American Signature furniture moved into many of them.
     
    Do adult bookstores and theaters exist anymore? I remember them around the fringe areas before video clubs (hmm another relic of the past), All of them around here were painted a lurid yellow with those rotating lights around the edges of their marques. I think the last one I remember seeing was near the university during the latter 80's. Again, while I'm on the subject of books, will we be adding bookstores to this list too? I only know of one Barnes and Noble still open and one indie in the area.
     
    Electronics stores. Not what Radio Shack is today, but what they used to be. An electronics experimenters one stop paradise with parts and things you had to have a degree in engineering to figure out how to put together with a soldering iron and stereo equipment that looked like the control panel of a 747 and people still listened to those black,flat,round things with pretty covers.  Olsen's, 21rst Centrury, Lafyette, and Radio Shack when it was Allied. And again, when was the last time you seen a record/CD store?
     
    Hobby Shops.  The real ones that had balsa, dope (butyrate),paints, metal stock, chemicals to refill a chemistry set, model planes and rockets (balsa and paper), airplane engines,etc. Not these craft stores with an isle of plastic models and completely built RC vehicles for hundreds of dollars. A real model kit was nothing more then a cardboard box with a bolt of tissue paper, several sheets and pieces of balsa and plans/instructions. Oh yeah, good ones had a couple of slot car tracks. What's a slot car right?
    #27
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/25 00:07:15 (permalink)
    There are a few adult one-stop whatever shops near the Port Authority bus station in NYC. Reading material is mostly found in "candy stores" that magazine lottery tickets cigarettes are sold. Record stores are popular in the East Village.

    Used electronic stores are found all over Union City (mostly used equipment and parts)
    We have some art supply stores...and a few model railroad stores that carry other hobby supplies like dollhouse stuff model cars tracks airplane etc.

    Dedicated bicycle shops are very popular here.

    The automat restaurant concept might be the closest to a RF blast from the past. Bamn came and went a few years ago.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/07/25 01:32:47
    #28
    Hot Dog Empire
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/25 10:42:50 (permalink)
    Anyone still get S&H Greenstamps? I havent seen them in years!
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Things Forgotten 2012/07/25 11:47:28 (permalink)
    I haven't forgotten anything. I even remember my pet pterodactyl's name -- Lucybird. And that was back when I was 8 years old.
    #30
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