Cover image for Sales & celebrations : retailing and regional identity in Western New York State, 1920-1940
Title:
Sales & celebrations : retailing and regional identity in Western New York State, 1920-1940
Author:
Elvins, Sarah.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Athens : Ohio University Press, [2004]

©2004
Physical Description:
xxi, 222 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
A region develops -- Downtown retailers and "Main street towns" -- Selling in hub and hinterland -- The "chain store question" and the independent retailer -- The depression and local spending -- Hard times and good times at home.
ISBN:
9780821415498
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Item Holds
Searching...
HF5429.4.N56 E48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Searching...
HF5429.4.N56 E48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Searching...
Searching...
HF5429.4.N56 E48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Buffalo Collection Non-Circ
Searching...
Searching...
HF5429.4.N56 E48 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Local History
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Between The Two World Wars, the retail world experienced tremendous changes. New forms of competition, expanded networks of communication and transportation, and the proliferation of manufactured goods posed challenges to department store and small shopkeeper alike. In western New York, and in Buffalo and Rochester in particular, retailers were a crucial part of urban life, acting as cultural brokers and civic leaders. They were also cultivators of area pride. Even as they adopted the latest merchandising techniques or stocked the newest items, merchants emphasized their local roots and their ability to put a local spin on national trends and innovations. Regional identity became a powerful selling tool not only during the prosperity of the 1920s but also through the economic crisis of the Great Depression. affected the evolution of American consumer culture. It expands our understanding of American consumerism, demonstrating that local particularities and loyalties could often coexist with, and occasionally challenge, the spread of mass consumption. In her award-winning study, Professor Sarah Elvins provides new insight into the relationship between America's largest metropolises and its smaller centers. Retailers in Buffalo and Rochester did not simply imitate the practices of their counterparts in Manhattan and Chicago; they highlighted their unique ability to serve the wants and needs of their particular markets. By drawing attention to this persistent power of the local, Sales and Celebrations illuminates a neglected aspect of the story of American culture in the interwar period.


Author Notes

Sarah Elvins is an assistant professor in American history at the University of Manitoba.


Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
1 A Region Developsp. 1
2 Downtown Retailers and "Main Street Towns"p. 21
3 Selling in Hub and Hinterlandp. 47
4 The "Chain Store Question" and the Independent Retailerp. 78
5 The Depression and Local Spendingp. 106
6 Hard Times and Good Times at Homep. 139
Epiloguep. 169
Appendix Consumption Patterns in Upstate New York, 1920 to 1940p. 173
Notesp. 179
Bibliographyp. 205
Indexp. 219