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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.


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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.

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