This company was way out in a strip plaza on Gerling Street that still exists.
For many years ads for Schenectady Savings Bank featured a cut of their main building and the slogan, “Where Clinton Crosses State.” The bank was chartered in 1834, and was taken over by Northeast Savings sometime in the mid-1980s. Then it was decided that being a savings bank wasn’t cool, and the bank changed format and was acquired by another bank, which was acquired by another bank, and so essentially the institution we knew as Schenectady Savings is long gone. Its main branch had a clean, classy look inside, not as grand as some of the other old banks but stately and assured. It is now a Bank of America branch that looks like every other branch, though perhaps a bit more run down.
Bradford, named for the Pennsylvania county where W.T. Grant was born, was the name for many of Grant’s in-house lines, including its appliances. We had several Bradford appliances growing up, and they seemed to be eternal. We bought a Bradford air conditioner in 1968 that was still running when my mother sold her house in 2000, and by all appearances it’s still there.
I would love to see a Barney card.
This is one of the final Wallace’s ads. I’m sure a good chunk of Christmas that year came from the clearance of the old store.
By the way, I’d wager almost anything that the headline font was achieved with some form of press type, such as Letraset. It’s an astonishing example of poor kerning that only technology made possible.
Just because, it’s 1973 week. What was happening in the Electric City a mere 39 years ago? Well, Wallace’s was holding its 99th anniversary sale. It would be its last; the store closed in the final days of 1973. As venerated Schenectady historian Larry Hart wrote back in 1996, the store was in a way much older than that, having descended from a business that began in 1822 down on Ferry Street. It began as William McCamus Dry Goods in 1822; it moved to a new building on State Street, still west of the canal (the Schenectady Savings and Loan location), in 1840. In 1874 the business was sold and became Thomas H. Reeves and Company, and later was known as Reeves-Vedder. It is from this sale that Wallace’s traced its anniversary. The store built a sparkling new building way uptown in 1892, between North Center (now Broadway) and Jay streets, and in 1900 became Reeves-Luffman. In 1909, Andrew Wallace of the Consolidated Dry Goods Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, consolidated Reeves-Luffman into his chain of stores and renamed it Wallace’s, at the same time doubling its size with an addition to its building. And so it stood for another 64 years until the terrible collapse of downtown retail, which took out Wallace’s, H.S. Barney, W.T. Grant’s and Kresge’s, all in the same year.
As hard as it is to imagine an effort that would send Internal Revenue agents across the land in search of stores that were selling meat above their posted prices, it’s even harder to imagine that in 1973, the major media were still referring to “the housewife:”
The administration made clear that despite its enforcement mechanism it is counting on the housewife for success of the ceiling price program. She is the one who can make sure there are no violations, a spokesman said.
Lower on the page? Some stuff about Watergate. But the meat came first.
As this ad from The New Albany in 1891 proclaims, there is no better city on this continent to live in, all things considered, than Albany, and if you intend to make it your permanent home, here is Something you Ought to Read.
What follows is a glowing recommendation of the benefits of buying a property in Pine Hills from the Albany Land Improvement and Building Company. And who wouldn’t want to live there at the convergence of two magnificent thoroughfares, where there is pure air, abundant shade, smooth lawns, asphalt pavements, perfect drainage, detached residents, and rapid transit?
“Pine Hills is one of the distinguishing and remarkable features of the NEW ALBANY . . . This is no forced boom, no straw sales, no fictitious valuation.” Strange to say that this wasn’t just sales talk, as Pine Hills has proven to be one of Albany’s enduring neighborhoods, looking and feeling today very much like it did a century ago. Minus the streetcars, of course.
Two things about this ad that you don’t see in advertising much anymore: an admonition to “talk it over with your wife,” and the word “ought.”