Way Back When: Keeping it Local

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Way Back When: Keeping it Local
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The “Shop Local Campaign” in 1918 -- this cartoon says it all! (Image: Santa Barbara Morning Press, March 30, 1918)

By Betsy J. Green

In 2018, the stores in Santa Barbara are feeling the pain of competing with online shopping, but back in March 1918, storekeepers here faced a different challenge: catalog shopping.

In the cartoon the store clerk asks, "For pity sake Mr. Brown, what's the matter?"

He responds, "Bought a pair of boots b mail an' they're almost killing me. Serves me right - ought to have come to you in the first place."


Learn more about me at my website: betsyjgreen.com

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Flicka Mar 11, 2018 11:28 AM
Way Back When: Keeping it Local

The catalogs were much appreciated by rural families. Saved the hassle of heading to stores that, in rural communities/small towns, didn't have such a large selection of merchandise. I have never ordered anything from the computer but understand the ease and time saving effects it provides. I have everything I need already and when I feel a need to shop I got to garage sales and thrift stores, saves tons on money, no over loaded credit cards. Empty stores on State isn't such a bad thing, national corporations had taken over with expensive goods. High rents took out our locally owned stores that were here for generations. Maybe make them into apartments or condos.

a-1574405819 Mar 10, 2018 12:31 PM
Way Back When: Keeping it Local

Legend has it my grandma used to curse Sears catalog for putting in any slick pages. You could hear her yelling about it when she was in the outhouse. (True story.)

Curmudgeon Mar 10, 2018 09:16 AM
Way Back When: Keeping it Local

In 1985 with dial-up we had our first service from Prodigy (then owned by Sears) and America-On-Line was blanketing the landscape with free discs in the mail to try the exciting NEW! service, little did we know that this brave new world of the internet would become such a curse as well as a blessing. P.S. - I can see the young thumbs texting a mile-a-minute asking friends, "Hey, what's dial-up?"

Curmudgeon Mar 10, 2018 10:01 AM
Way Back When: Keeping it Local

TOMTECH - AOL never gave up. I think we received twenty or thirty discs from them over several years. Also, I was mesmerized when an Accuweather map came up line-by-line on my screen for the first time. Must have taken 15-20 minutes to load. Ahhh... the new frontier!

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