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Junior Miss Fashions: 1951

Junior Miss Fashions: 1951

February 16, 1951. "Hahne & Co. department store in Montclair, New Jersey. Toward escalator. Fellheimer & Wagner, client." Miss Marsha White, about to step out. Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.


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From someone who once was close

I grew up about 10 long blocks from this store.

1. In the early 70's it still had nothing I could figure out that anybody in my family wanted.

2. Rumor had it that if you were on the varsity (Montclair High) football team, you could have an easy, very well paying (for a teenager) after-school job a Hahne's that would not interfere with team practice or games. I dunno - I was in the band :)

3. More on Hahne's here.

This is too much nostalgia for one day - I feel like I am seeing images from a foreign country.

The After Hours

Miss Marsha White on the ninth floor, specialties department, looking for a gold thimble. The odds are that she'll find it—but there are even better odds that she'll find something else, because this isn't just a department store. This happens to be The Twilight Zone.

Gracious shopping gone forever

There still may be a very few upscale stores left in America where one walks on plush carpeting, surrounded by luxurious one-of-a-kind items, while quiet background music sets an elegant mood and live flowering plants are not for sale but just to add beauty to the decor, but I have not seen one in decades. Once at Neiman-Marcus flagship store in Dallas some 30 yrs. ago, there was this type of atmosphere and it did give one a feeling of enjoying leisurely extravagance, but today's no-frills supply mills where hundreds a day flock to grab up their uniform-like jeans, flip-flops and t-shirts and just about everything is made outside the USA, we just clench our teeth, grab a shopping cart and get in line to find our size and color and get out. The beautifully-made alligator, ostrich and reptile skin handbags in the glass case is one example of the type of merchandise most people can no longer find available. Beautiful shopping and full service is now only a memory.

Re Twilight Zone

The reference to Miss Marsha White (Anne Francis) from the 1960 episode is quite appropriate, but creepy.

Dick and Jane

Well over 50 years ago, back when I was learning to read, I remember an episode in the Dick and Jane series where some rural cousins or friends of theirs came to town, and the thing that amazed them most about the big city were the escalators in the downtown department stores. Moving stairs! I do recall realizing how incredible an escalator would seem to someone seeing it for the first time.

Stores with Nothing You Want in Them

The 50s had stores like that, aimed at the tastes of somebody completely different from you.

Your mother would make you come in with her.

How opposite online shopping is today, but I don't know how a photo record could be made of it.

Incidentally that's a lot of film grain for a large format negative. 35mm Plus-X would do as well.

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