Monday, November 28, 2016

Christmas Shopping the Way Our Families Did It, in 1936!

   It’s that time of year!  Christmas carols, church services, baking, wrapping, secrets, and best of all, shopping!  In 1936, Crawfordsville had many businesses that were eager to help you spend your holiday dollar. A scroll through the microfilm of the Crawfordsville Journal Review showed advertisements bursting with holiday sales and pictures of gifts that you just could not resist! Even during a depression! Every child in town must have loved a stroll through the Montgomery Ward’s at 127 E. Main St. Any little girl would have loved the $4.95 Shirley Temple doll, but many made do with the $1 dolly that had eyes that moved and made sounds.      

  Not to forget the boys that entered their doors, they also sold $1 train sets!

If you were in the market for some leather gloves for dad, you were good to go at McCullough’s in the Ben Hur building. While there, you could even find some “Ginger Rogers” lingerie for $1.29.

 Mom might need something a little more stylish in the coat department, so any husband who was half-listening at breakfast would know to run down to Goodman’s at 131 E. Main, next to Montgomery Ward’s, and find his lovely wife a very fashionable fur-trimmed coat for $23.88. 


As most families had very tight budgets in 1936, dads who had saved up a couple of bucks could go to the Firestone building at 125 W. Market Street and get little Johnny the present of his dreams, a new wagon!  

While the man of the house was at it, he could wander down the street to Horner's at 222 E. Market Street, and gaze at a new car for $765.

For any young man who was trying to make an impression on the love of his life, or her father, Resoner’s Jewelry, across from the courthouse, was the place to be. A beautiful ring to cement your relationship could be had for $13-30!
Shopping during the 1930’s held special challenges for our families.  Wallets were thin, pockets were empty, and families were large. I’m sure that our grandmothers had many tricks up their sleeves for scrimping and saving that allowed their families to enjoy a “Merry Christmas,” even on a tight budget. 


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