This blog explores the history of Phoenix, Arizona and a little bit of Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. This blog is not supported by advertising, it's supported by the generosity of my patrons on Patreon. Thank you!

Going shopping in 1920s Phoenix


It's the 1920s in Phoenix, so let's go shopping. We won't need to bring any money, we won't need to worry about carrying anything, we won't need to think about a parking spot.

The electric trolley stops right by. It runs so often that no one gives much thought to the schedule, there's another one along in a few minutes. It costs a nickel, which is a lot, but it's well worth it. It's gonna be a warm day, so you'd better take your parasol (which means "for sun" in Spanish). I'll be wearing a lightweight linen suit, and you'd be wise to keep the amount of layered garments to a minimum (allowing for modesty and correctness of dress, of course!). Do you have your nickel? Your shopping list? That's all you'll need! Let's go, here comes the trolley already!

Yeah, I know the trolley is noisy and rough. It's getting to be kind of an antique - I think this line has been running here for over thirty years. I suppose they'll have to replace these cars eventually, but that's expensive, and no one wants to ever pay more than a nickel for a trolley ride.

Here we are downtown. Let's go shopping. There are a lot of stores here, and most of them are the good old-fashioned type that allow you to put things on a tab, and do free delivery. Yeah, I've heard of those "Cash and Carry" places, but I don't like them - you have to pay for things right there, and you have to carry them out yourself. I prefer a tab and free delivery. I hope that "Cash and Carry" never catches on, but it probably will.

Let's go into a store. I need some groceries, so I'd like to start there. I have my list, and the clerk takes a look at it, says that he has everything except "Coca-Cola" in bottles, will fill my order, and will deliver it today. And it all goes on my tab! That was easy.

But now I'd really like one of those Coca-Colas. And how about some ice cream? Let's see, Donofrios is not far from here, at Washington and Cactus Way, which is half-way between Central and 1st Street. Come on!

Donofrios, Washington and Cactus Way, Phoenix, Arizona

That was delicious. You know, I've really got to send something on account on my Donofrios tab. I love that place! And I know that I only went in for a Coca-Cola, but I just had to have some of that Cactus Candy! How was the ice cream?

Goldwaters in the 1930s, Phoenix, Arizona

You've been wanting a new dress, and I understand that you can see the latest fashions from Paris at Goldwaters, so let's go over there, it's in the Dorris-Heyman Building, just north of Washington on 1st Street. Maybe you can get one of them! Do you suppose that your parents have a tab there?

Image at the top of this post: Looking south on Central at Monroe in the 1920s, Phoenix, Arizona.



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