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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Art of Selling: 1941

The Art of Selling: 1941

July 1941. "Detroit, Michigan. Head of the art department at the Crowley-Milner department store." Which for the better part of the 20th century occupied this building. Photo by Arthur Siegel, Office of War Information. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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The price of entertainment

Average monthly rent in New York in 1941 was $39--the same price as that portable radio. Just goes to show you that what's true today was true in 1941--when some cool new tech gadget is invented, just wait a about 5 years and you'll pay 75% less for it than you would when it was first introduced.

It also is amazing how far and fast technology has come. Imagine paying the equivalent of $2,000 in 1941 dollars for something you can buy today at Wal-mart for ten bucks.

Interesting details

The photos under the desk glass show us a child (girl?) on a pony and four well-behaved dogs, the woodwork behind the man's head is nicely done (anybody recognize the insignia to the right of the deer?), and the memo on his desk reads:
TO Mr. Heidt (Reidt?) DATE July 7, (obscured)

We are opening (obscured) department in our Toilet Goods on August 4th. We (obscured) Large Country Cupboard display as a special courtesy from (obscured) material presents a very fine opportunity for an (obscured) window. We hope you will be able to arrange a (obscured) a grand opening on this date.
And finally, the other large advertisement on the desk - Keds (US Rubber), Big Deeds Are Often Born In Dreams.


$39.95 in 1941 is more than $600 today.

G-E LB-530

From the May 19, 1941, issue of Life. Click to embiggen.

I have that radio!

The thing is a bear with a 12V motorcycle wet cell in it! The button in the middle of the case side is a vent to get rid of the hydrogen from the charge cycle.

The Radio

It's a General Electric Self-Charging Portable, just like in the ad copy he's reviewing. I don't know what the radio sells for now if you can find one, but I've seen eBay prices for the ad of between $10 and $20.

Nice radio

My guess is that it is tuned to WWJ, 950 kHz.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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