Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Doors Part 6

I remember one time when I was doing some research, looking through a Polks Directory from the late 1920’s, I could not believe how many grocery stores there were in and around downtown! It was just amazing. Neighborhoods that sprang up around the city perimeters created the need for the small, family-run stores (aka Mom & Pop stores). The little stores, meat markets, vegetable stands, and bakeries typically reflected the ethnic demographics of the neighborhood. Few households had any type of refrigeration, other than the standard icebox, so housewives shopped for food almost daily making convenience important. The stores had to be within walking distance of home.

The grocery stores that were still in operation in downtown Tulsa in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s served the many that lived in the boarding houses, apartments and hotels. I feel that some of the doors I was researching came from such little stores.
Here is a grocery store located in downtown Tulsa, probably in the late 1930’s (click to enlarge):

Notice the hardwood floors and hanging light fixtures. Ritz Crackers were introduced in 1934. If anyone has ANY IDEA what brand of coffee the sign is referring to, let me know. I blew it up and zoomed in but am still stumped.

UPDATE: Mike R. correctly ID'd this coffee brand as Airway Coffee- thanks Mike!

Here is a Safeway grocery store that was located at 18th and Boston in 1939:
And Standard Grocery store downtown at 1st and Boston. Looks like the 1950’s: And last of all, here is Scudders Market, circa 1964 that says they are “now selling groceries”: (photos courtesy of Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society)

There is a revival of sorts going on around the country. As many downtowns are revitalizing (like Tulsa) and people are returning to live in the downtown areas, there is a return of the little grocery stores as well. And I think that’s a good thing.

*If you know or remember anything about any of the above photos, feel free to leave a comment or email me at TulsaHistory@aol.com I'd love to hear from you! -Nancy

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I see Miracle Whip in the foreground. Lorretta

Nancy said...

Good eye Lorretta! Mircle Whip was introduced in 1931.

Nancy

Mike Ransom said...

The coffee name is a stumper. It looks like "Hrway" or "Kruay" or "Hiway" or "Jiway".

Mike Ransom said...

I've got it! Airway Coffee. It must have faded on the "A".

Look at this eBay link and this Flickr photo.

Nancy said...

Dang, you're good!!! Wish I had a price for ya!
Thanks Mike!!
Nancy

Nancy said...

I mean PRIZE lol

Mike Ransom said...

And here are Airway ads dating back to at least 1939. You're welcome.

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