Wednesday, May 14, 2014
William Hain and the General Store
"The American general store flourished throughout the 19th century but declined rapidly in the 20th century, particularly after the 1920s. It was mostly succeeded by specialized stores, each handling a relatively narrow product range or a particular type of good....The general store served as a meeting place for members of the community, of which the storekeeper was an important member not only because he supplied material goods but because he was also the source of news and gossip. Because produce from the land and forest tended to yield a seasonal return, the storekeeper also sometimes extended long-term credit of from six months to a year to his customers."
The concept of the general store where customers were assisted with there orders as opposed to self service was practiced during that period of time. My Uncle would not only gather the order but ring it up and bag it as part of the service. This was all done while the customer sat waiting for his order to be filled. Cans goods lined the shelves with price tags on the shelves displaying the current cost. Every nook and cranny was filled to capacity in an orderly manner. Popular advertisement lined the top shelves while below a coffee grinder appears to be waiting for use. Gas light fixtures were probably converted to electric by the time the photograph was taken.