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Grand Grocery: 1942

Grand Grocery: 1942

1942. Grand Grocery in Lincoln, Nebraska. View full size. 35mm Kodachrome transparency by John Vachon. Alternate version shows a different view.


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Along with Pepsi, there is also the 7Up sign below it. The name was chosen as a way to indicate more for the money, the pitch being that you got an extra ounce(7 instead of 6) compared to Coke for your 5c.


Aren't some of them just wrapped in red tissue paper?

Re: Blood Oranges

On the NewspaperArchive site I found some ads for these penny-apiece oranges in the Lincoln newspapers from 1942. They were described as "commodity surplus" and as "juice oranges - very thin skins." Basically they seem to have been giving them away as part of a program run by the Surplus Marketing Administration.

Blood Oranges

Those could have been blood oranges that had the peelings removed. They are common and we have them here in California. They are delicious.


i do believe i see the face of the Virgin in those oranges. either that or a man with a machinegun.


Maybe i'll have an apple instead...


This is the type of place my grandparents went to all the time.

Amidst the oranges, what are those redder things? I'm hoping/assuming those aren't rotten oranges, but I don't think rotten oranges turn red, but green to black. I can't figure those out.

[Maybe this is why they're a penny apiece. Eww. - Dave]


Note the Copenhagen sign under the left window. That's the same logo they still use.

Pepsi Cola

The Pepsi jingle - "twice as much for a nickel too" - was a bit of a double edged sword for them. It stated that the drink was a bargain but also indicated that it was cheaper to make - presumably by using corn syrup rather than real sugar which of course doesn't give the same taste. The cost issue tended to appeal to people on the lower economic side. In Quebec it wasn't uncommon for French-Canadians to refer to themselves as "Pepsis" or for that term to have been used as a derogative by Anglophones.

Pepsi Jingle

Interestingly, don't the lyrics imply that the competition (Coca Cola?) only sold 6 ounces for the same price?

[Yes. - Dave]

12 Ounces?

It's amazing how much we as a society have come to consume--both in terms of foodstuffs and material goods. I don't think you could purchase only 12 ounces of a soft drink today even if you wanted to. It's the behemoth 44 ouncer or nothing!!


Pepsi-Cola hits the spot! 12 full ounces, that's a lot! Twice as much for a nickel, too! Pepsi-cola is the drink for you!



Why the potatoes?

Ok first of all, why are the potatoes the only thing in discussion? Also, why is there a picture of a lady under the sign that says quality meat, how old are rice crispies, and does it say weiner over the red cross on the door?


1. That's the Old Dutch Cleanser lady, the Dutch Cleanser people having supplied the signs (probably for free).
2. Rice Krispies: Wikipedia says 1928.
3. It says Weiners on the glass for the same reason it says Oranges and Grapefruit on the glass. - Dave


My taters are 59 cents a pound at the grocery store today. On sale they would run about 39 cents. So for 1942 = 3¢ a pound. Not bad!

25 cents a pound

A local store here in Joplin, Missouri has Russet potatoes $4.99 for a 20-pound bag. Translated, 25 cents a pound.

Potatoes now cost about .99

Potatoes now cost about 99 cents a pound for Idaho baking potatoes, though it depends on the store and the season.


Potatoes at 4 cents a pound in 1942 would cost about 50 cents a pound in 2007 according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minnesota. They have a neat calculator that lets one compare prices back to 1913. The link below will take you to the site.

[Thanks. So how much do potatoes cost now? - Dave]


Inflation sucks!! Potatoes, 4 cents a pound??

[Something tells me that potatoes today are probably even cheaper, adjusted for inflation. Class? - Dave]

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