Sometimes It Was Called “The Five and Dime” or “The Five and Ten”
Back prior to the 1960s, one could go to the 5 and 10 store for all sorts of things. This is before the day of WalMart. This slim booklet was promoting Woolworths before the proliferation of dollar stores. I had fun looking through the list of what you could buy for 10 cents or less.
1910 F.W. Woolworth Co. booklet is from my ephemera collection
For ten cents, one could get some curtain rods, some candles for the dining table or a dresser scarf. It reminds me that back in the day, women spent quite a bit of time sewing for the home and their families.
Woolworths sold the needles and thread, the pillow pieces to be assembled, material to make curtains, plus lace and ribbons to decorate those.
Did you see the plastic cowboys and Indians at the top of this page? That was what we gravitated to while Mom shopped for household needs. The little plastic figures provided us with hours of fun in the sandbox in our yard.
Vintage plastic western figures that you could buy at the dime store back in the Good Old Days.
Here’s a YouTube video that looks back at a five and dime that is open today, although there isn’t much you can buy for a dime now. It still has the old candy counter at Berdine’s 5 & Dime Store – Harrisville, WV.
Read more memories of old-time dime stores.
Photos by Virginia Allain
Back in the 1920s and 1930s when Gail Lee McGhee was growing up, Halloween was celebrated in a simpler way than today. Since she lived in an oil field camp in the Flint Hills of Kansas, there was no door-to-door trick or treating. A community Halloween party was held at the Teterville School with adults and children wearing costumes.
Gail wrote about her clown costume that her mother made for her and her sister and about the fright she had when she saw her mother and father in gypsy costumes. The party games included bobbing for apples. You can read her story of that 1930 Halloween on the Our Echo website.
Bats and Girl Halloween CardView DetailsVintage Little Witch and Black Cat Halloween CardView DetailsGhost Jack O Lantern Pumpkin Child PostcardView DetailsJack O Lantern Pumpkin Ghost Child PostcardView DetailsHalloween Retro Vintage Children’s Costume Party PostcardView Details
Decorations from the time included carved pumpkins and black cats. There was none of the zombies and gory costumes that are seen today.
Retro Black Cats Can Be Scary or Cute
Several of Gail’s daughters and a number of grandchildren like to cook. Here’s a recipe invented one autumn day by her oldest daughter who had a craving for cookies. If you love pumpkin flavors in the fall and want an easy baking project, try this recipe.
Susan’s Easy Pumpkin Drop Cookies
1 yellow cake mix
1 can pumpkin
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice
1/4 t. cloves
Mix all together and drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees until when touched doesn’t leave an impression.
Susan shared this recipe via email and I’ve saved it for 9 years. I’m getting that fall craving for pumpkin-flavored foods so I might have to get out the spices and a mixing bowl to give this recipe a try.
Pumpkin Drop Cookies (photo from Pixabay) – You can add macadamia nuts or craisins, but those aren’t really necessary.
She said that she was taking the cookies over to the folks so she wouldn’t have them around the house tempting her. Mom and Dad enjoyed visits from their daughters and looked forward to their daughters’ cooking and baking binges.
“Sister Karen must have been in the same mood as she took them beans and ham. It is hard to cook for one.”
Seven years ago, Gail Lee Martin won the Ferguson Kansas History Book Award. Here’s the discussion on Facebook right after that happened. I’m glad Facebook keeps all this so we can relive the moment.
Facebook discussion from 2010 about Gail Martin’s award.
Cindy was the fourth child of Gail and Clyde Martin. Her birthday falls near the end of September. Here she is for her birthday party, dressed in her best dress and with a curly haircut. I tried to count the candles on the cake, but couldn’t decide which birthday this is.
Mom has gone all out with a festive lace tablecloth, crepe paper streamers, a cake, and presents. This was before the day when children went to Chuck E Cheese for their birthday or had 50 of their closest friends over for an elaborate, expensive party.
The border of the photo says March 1959, so it took 5 months to use up the film and take it to be developed. That shows how sparingly one used the camera in the days before digital and before cell phones. Or maybe it just shows how busy a mother of five children was.
Usually, the grandparents and the immediate family would enjoy the cake with the birthday girl. Sometimes there would be ice cream too. I see three presents waiting to be opened.
Happy Birthday, dear sister, and best wishes for the coming year.