Friday, June 10, 2011

1999 :: Looking back at 1949


The Rockdale Reporter, June 10, 1999. Word from the wife by Peggy Cooke. Roberta Pounders was at the office looking through some 50-year-old issues of The Reporter to get some information and ideas for the 50th reunion of the Class of 1949 and this weekend's Homecoming celebration. I had to look over her shoulder — I love looking at the old newspapers — and I was fascinated, not so much by the news items, but by the advertising.

For instance, Stricker's Variety Store sold everything from soup and something to cook it in, to clothing, linens, "things electric" (that's what it said in the ad), hardware items, and on and on. Today's big superstores have nothing on Stricker's. Their slogan was, "Yes, you'll find it at Stricker's!" A few items from their quarter page advertisement were --

  • electric irons
  • alarm clocks
  • toasters
  • soldering irons
  • electric switches and plates
  • fluorescent lamps
  • Romex (what's that?)
  • wash cloths and bath towels
  • can cutters
  • rotary egg beaters
  • dishes of various kinds
  • oil cloth
  • coffee pots and dripolators
  • double boilers
  • tea kettles
  • dish pans
  • brooms and mops
  • window shades
Also . . .
  • men's khaki pants
  • undershirts and shorts
  • socks and gloves
  • men's and boy's T-shirts
  • dress shirts
  • ladies (get this) "new" brassieres
  • sweaters
  • belts
  • panties and gowns
  • slips and nylon hose
  • handbags
  • barrettes
Also . . .
  • cabinet hinges
  • hasps
  • drawer pulls
  • Bibb washers
  • shoe soles and nails
  • wrecking bars
  • hack saws
  • levels
  • glass cutters
  • dozens of tools
. . . and that was just a few of the items they offered.

McLeod & Timmerman Grocery & Market had specials on --

  • sugar — 10 pounds for 88¢
  • Oxyod, Duz or Super Suds — large size 37¢
  • dry salt bacon — pound for 45¢
  • pickles — 22 ounce jar 33¢
  • Texas oranges — 8 pound bag 25¢
  • bread — large loaf 18¢
  • sardines — 2 flat cans 25¢
Rockdale Dry Goods and proprietors W.H. (Brit) Hensley and L.C. Mehaffey (the forerunner to Mehaffey's) advertised a special on Women's nylon hosiery — irregulars 95¢ and first quality, $1.10.

In one lead story, there was an urgent call for rooms in town as the La-Tex Pipe Line Co. of Houston would have 125 working men in Rockdale the next week looking for a place to stay. Rockdale was to be headquarters for the entire job from Hearne to San Marcos if living facilities could be found. The story said office space was secured "over the bank" and storage for trucks and tools in "the rear of Salisbury's Garage." They were asking for anyone with a spare room — or even a bed for one, two or more men to call the office.

The Kay Theatre advertised Courage of Lassie and a Saturday double feature with Fit for a King and Hittin' the Trails with Joe E. Brown and Tex Ritter with a Hop Harrigan serial and a cartoon at no extra charge. On Sunday, Centennial Summer with Linda Darnell, Cornell Wilde and Jeanie Crane.

Perry Hardware & Furniture advertised . . .

  • flour sifters for only 25¢
  • five-strand brooms 85¢ each
  • white cups and saucers, set of 6, for 95¢
Louis G. Gest Buick Sales & Service advertised the new Buick for 1949 with white sidewall tires available at no extra cost. New Dynaflow Drive -- where there is no gear shifting -- you just step on the gas! And Gaither Motor Co. offered bargains in used cars from $395 to $850.

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