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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • THE TOY DEPARTMENT, 1913

The Commercial Vampire: 1898

The Commercial Vampire: 1898

For your Halloween enjoyment we present "The Commercial Vampire," a Leon Barritt cartoon from the July 20, 1898, issue of Vim, a short-lived satirical weekly published in New York. Painting department stores as bloodthirsty predators of small independent businesses, the same argument made today in some quarters against giant retailers like Wal-Mart and Amazon. View full size.

 

Lost D.C. Merchants

The pantheon of merchants shown here got me thinking about their Washington, DC (or at least Montgomery County, MD) equivalents:

Butcher: Murrays Steaks
Jeweler: Shaw Jewelers
Clothier: Raleighs
Hardware Merchant: Hechingers
Gent’s Furnishings Dealer: Britches Outdoors
Milliner: ? (the hat thing was before my time)
Piano Dealer: Jordan Kitts
Book dealer: Brentanos
Hatter: (same as the milliners)
Druggist: Peoples Drug
Bicycle dealer: Wheaton Cycles
Shoes: Hahn Shoes
Grocer: We still have Giant Foods…
EXTRA CREDIT
Toy store: Lowen’s in Bethesda
Music (guitar) store: Veneman Music
Record store: Kemp Mill Records
Fast food: Pappy Parker Jr.

Where's the outrage

for all the segar dealers done in by Mr G? The others are all still around as niche marketers but how long has it been since one could find a good segar at a neighborhood shop?

And now we know

... where Lugosi got the "hypnotic gaze."

Interesting to note that among the victims of the department store megalith is your friendly, neighborhood "segar" dealer. Guess it's mass-produced El Ropos for the 99 per cent from now on.

And so forth

I detect a decidedly anti-Semitic undertone as well. It is interesting how each period produces an ever bigger conglomerate that supposedly squeezes out the little guy. The two opposing entities today being online and brick and mortar Super Centers.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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