Saturday, May 23, 2015

For Sale— Shopping Saturday

FOR SALE—Kitchen cabinet, $5;  porcelain sink, $2  Inquire Mrs. Robert Meinzen, Mineral Ridge.          11-1t
I'm not in the market for a new (or used) kitchen cabinet or porcelain sink at the moment but I perked up when I saw this advertisement in a local newspaper -- published nearly 74 years ago.  Maybe I've changed my mind.  I'd like to see the cabinet and I'm sure I would love the porcelain sink.  I think they are the best.
This advertisement was published in The Niles Standard on Friday, December 19, 1941.  I find it interesting that neither phone number nor address were included in the ad. 

Mrs. Robert Meinzen is my grandmother, Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen.  In 1941 she and my grandfather owned a triplex on Furnace Street.  They lived in one section and rented the other two.  Of their four daughters, two were married.  The ages of the two youngest still at home were 20 and nearly 14 (with a birthday on December 27).

A few other facts:
  • Just 12 days before the publication of this ad, the U.S. had been drawn into World War II when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.
  • According to The Inflation Calculator in 1941, $5.00 was equal to about $80.00 and $2.00 was equal to about $32.00.  Some food prices from the same newspaper included turkeys at 37¢/pound; chicken for 35¢/pound; chuck roast at 23-29¢/pound; "hamburg" at 19¢/pound; cheese at 39¢/pound; medium eggs at 39¢/dozen; pecans at 19¢/pound; and oranges at 35¢/dozen.
  • Emma's father, Edward Jesse, had been, and her brother, William H., was a carpenters and building contractor.  Her father was 70, her brother was 49.

And now, my questions. 
  • Had Gramma purchased a new cabinet and sink and was she selling the used ones?
  • Had her brother and/or father built and installed new cabinets?
  • Had these items come from her own home or from one of the rental apartments?
  • Was she selling them to have money for Christmas purchases? 

I doubt I'll learn answers to any of my questions but it is always fun to wonder and imagine -- especially when I'm imagining using my grandmother's cupboard and porcelain sink in my own home. 


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