Saturday, December 10, 2016

FOR SALE--- Shopping Saturday

This classified ad was published in the Ohio newspaper, The Niles Standard, on Friday, December 19, 1941.  
FOR SALE—Kitchen cabinet,  $5;  por-
   celain sink, $2   Inquire Mrs. Robert
   Meinzen,  Mineral Ridge.        11-1t

It's always fun to find little notices like this in local newspapers contemporary to the lives of my ancestors.  Mrs. Robert Meinzen is my grandmother, the one who lived just a few doors down the street from my childhood home.

This notice causes me to imagine that my grandparents had recently updated their kitchen.  I imagine they didn't have a use for the porcelain sink and cupboard that had been removed and decided to sell them.  Had the updating of the kitchen been done during the previous week or had it taken longer?  It's possible the work was done by my grandmother's father and/or brother who were both carpenters.  What did the porcelain sink and kitchen cabinet look like?

Did they decide to sell these items at this time to have a little more money for Christmas gifts?  The value of $2.00 in 1941 is equal to $33.55 today.  The value of $5.00 in 1941 is equal in value to $83.87 today.  Looking at the December 19, 1941 issue of  The Youngstown Daily Vindicator I see that Gramma could have purchased enough food for a week or two of meals.  (Pearl Harbor had been bombed just 12 days before this ad was published:  rationing would not yet have been in place and food was plentiful.)  Or she could have purchased several items of clothing, but she would not have been able to buy any modern conveniences.

The biggest questions, of course, are whether Gramma was able to sell the sink and cupboard and, if she did sell them, whether she received her asking price. 

Gramma and Grampa had four daughters.  Two were already married at the time this ad was published; another would be married in February, 1942; and the last daughter, the youngest, was 13, turning 14 in 8 days.  With two daughters grown and living in their own homes, Gramma's budget would have been a little lighter than when feeding and caring for four daughters.

One of the daughters is still alive and it's possible she may remember the removal and sale of this porcelain sink and kitchen cupboard.  It's equally possible she won't remember, but I'll ask.  I have happy memories of being in Gramma's kitchen but she did not have a porcelain sink.


Copyright ©2016 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. What a great little ad to find. I found an ad where my grandaunt was selling a bowling alley. Her husband had recently died. Before I found that ad, I never knew he owned and ran a bowling alley.

    1. I love that newspapers can be searched now because of OCR, Wendy. I learn things that I would never have found because, well, who would guess that Gramma was selling a sink, or your granduncle owned a bowling alley and his wife was selling it. Bits like this help to fill in the life of an ancestor we may know little about. (And learning that your grandaunt was selling a bowling alley isn't really a bit, is it?!)


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