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The Dime Store w/thread drift about pens & an objection


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#1 hollywood

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:49 AM

When I was younger so much younger than today....

 

I went to the dime store aka five and dime aka Ben Franklin's to get things that generally I did not need but definitely wanted. 

Many of these things were apparently imported from a place in Japan named "usa" as opposed to USA.  For some reason, I specifically recall lots of paint brushes for water colors or tempera paints were from good old usa.

Another item I recall was a type of key chain with a rabbit's foot as a central element.  https://www.pickperf...CFUMbgQodiaEJFw

For some reason, the rabbit's foot was supposed to be lucky.  Sitting on the couch, looking at my cat, I was wondering if all these feet were truly from rabbits?  


Then that happened.


#2 Rail Paul

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:10 AM

The "panker pen" was made in usa, too.  Must have been a big place.

 

Parker Pen, for those of a certain age, was a quality writing implement made in the good ole USA, not usa...

 

W. Edwards Deming, and others, played a role in creating an obsession with quality manufacturing processes in Japan.


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#3 hollywood

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 04:21 AM

Forgot about the T-ball jotter.  Good pens,but not cheap.  Seemed to have been supplanted by Cross.


Then that happened.


#4 taion

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:53 AM

Really? I'd have thought more Caran d'Ache ballpoints or something for iconic ballpoint pens.

 

Pen nerds these days seem to usually prefer Pilot Hi-Tec-Cs.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#5 joethefoodie

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:04 PM

Just got a new one...

 

32583447643_d5f1f2b21f.jpg

 

Made in France.



#6 Suzanne F

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 03:08 PM

If this is a thread about pens, Admins please retitle. Dime stores were the total antithesis of such conspicuous consumption.

 

I thought this was a thread about dime stores, aka five-and-ten-cent stores (as we referred to them in my youth, a long long time ago). Woolworth's was ours, although I later heard there was also a store named Kresge's. Our Woolworth's was a wonderland of stuff. Needles and thread and other sewing supplies (including patterns). simple sundries, toys, houseplants and pots for them, school supplies. Ours had very worn wooden floors, and standing bins with drawers underneath. And a lunch counter, probably not that different in look from the one in Greensboro, NC except for the absence of Whites Only signs (if that one had them; I can't tell from the photos).


[B]ragging rights are a side effect of hype. -- Sneakeater, 4 January 2017 - 02:21 PM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#7 Sneakeater

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:04 PM

You know, I was telling a Young Person recently that, when I was a boy, "Made in Japan" signified something that was cheap and poorly manufactured, and she refused to believe it.  She said I must have misconstrued.


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#8 hollywood

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:13 PM

She doesn't know about the pre-Sanrio world.


Then that happened.


#9 Lex

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 04:15 PM

I loved Woolworth's.  If I went with my mom I could always count on her buying me a toy.  Something inexpensive but for a kid it would make my day.  Often my week.

 

The sheer variety of the place was dazzling.  No other store carried such a wide variety of stuff.  (Good word Suzanne.)  On a rainy day I would just wander the aisles.  It made me feel good that if I wanted to I could buy something.  There were lots of things that a kid could afford.

 

The Woolworths that I knew all had lunch counters.  I think the first meal I ever bought for myself was a burger at the counter.  The prices were ridiculously low, even for the times.  I remembered the counters as being green.  Looks like I was right.

 

4155007619_37c2d5d492-3.jpg

 

4155768840_5c8ae5f13e_z.jpg

 

At one point in my 30s I worked in the Pan Am building and there was a big Woolworth's nearby on the corner of 42nd St. and Third Avenue.  I was too young to recognize what nostalgia was but I did get a kick out of walking around the store at lunch time.  They seemed to carry everything.  Socks.  Little bathroom night lights.  In season, Christmas decorations.  They even had a lunch counter.

 

Eventually the parent company who owned Woolworth's and other retail stores turned it into a Footlocker.  I missed it and I was surprised to hear a lot of my co-workers say the same thing.  I thought I was alone.

 

In NYC over the last 20 years we've been invaded by chain drug stores - Duane Reades and Rite Aids and others.  A funny thing has happened.  Bit by bit they've started offering more and more items that were never found in traditional drug stores until their drug store inventory is only 30% of the total. 

 

They're morphing into Woolworths.


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#10 Suzanne F

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 07:56 PM

<snip>

 

In NYC over the last 20 years we've been invaded by chain drug stores - Duane Reades and Rite Aids and others.  A funny thing has happened.  Bit by bit they've started offering more and more items that were never found in traditional drug stores until their drug store inventory is only 30% of the total. 

 

They're morphing into Woolworths.

Yeah, but they'll never instill that sense of joyful discovery.


[B]ragging rights are a side effect of hype. -- Sneakeater, 4 January 2017 - 02:21 PM

 

notorious stickler -- NY Times
deeply annoying and nitpicking -- Molly O'Neill, One Big Table


#11 taion

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:00 PM

You know, I was telling a Young Person recently that, when I was a boy, "Made in Japan" signified something that was cheap and poorly manufactured, and she refused to believe it.  She said I must have misconstrued.

 

The same was true for Swiss watches, back in the day. Rich probably still even remembers this. https://www.nytimes....atchmaking.html


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#12 taion

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

My impression is that something like the Monocle Shop these days is almost a bizarro-world mirror image of the old dime stores.

 

Of course, there are plenty of dollar stores still – just not so much in New York.


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#13 taion

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 08:06 PM

Snopes says the "Usa, Japan" thing is fake: http://www.snopes.co.../genius/usa.asp


I didn't tip at Per Se either.

#14 bloviatrix

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 12:44 AM

My parents had friends who owned the local 5 and Dime, which was the most wonderful store in the world. It's where you went to buy supplies for school and for all sorts of odd and ends. The store was packed full of all sorts of stuff and you could spend hours wandering around. Where does one by oaktag today? Because that's where we got it when I was young.


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#15 voyager

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Posted 13 March 2017 - 01:03 AM

Woolworths was probably my generation's quintessential 5 & dime.    Polished wood fixtures.    Aisles behind the counters where the salespeople waited to help you find what was stored in the drawered fixtures.   And you knew every clerk and they knew your family.    Departments.     Notions.   Underwear.    Kitchenware.    Hardware.   Stationery.    And the lunch counter!    Hot roast beef sandwiches.    Plat du Jour.   And soda fountain specialties.    Shakes, malts and "tulip sundaes", ice cream and sauces, hot and cold, served in footed cups with tulip shaped bowls.    But back to the aisles, cosmetics and perfumes!   Nirvana for a 10 year old.    "Blue Waltz" perfume!    Even "Evening in Paris" for a mother's day gift, which your mom would pretend to love since she knew how long you'd saved up.   And Tangee's magic (and forbidden) lipstick, the one that looked clear but changed to rose once you put it on.   

 

Yeh, Walgreen's et al have become our current 5 and dime, but they can never provide the ambience and wonder of a '50s to 70s Woolworths.      In fact, we have an extraordinary 5 and dime in our neighborhood.   You can always find what you need, if not exactly what you would prefer.   Stand in line and the guy in front of you is buying a plumbing snake, and you don't ask him how his weekend if going.   Kids spending their allowances.    Everybody else buying sundries and greeting cards.  But no lunch counter, and nobody knows your name.   .   


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