Month: October 2016

Sunday Ads: Goodbye City Life!

Business:  Glendale Shopping Center Date of Ad:  December 2, 1958 Location:  Keystone Avenue and 62nd Street Years of Operation: 1958-present Notable: Even though it’s only Halloween, shoppers around the Circle City will notice Christmas decorations beginning to pop up any minute now. In 1958, a new way to buy goods promised shoppers all of the finest stores in town without any of the hassle. The 500,000 square foot Glendale Shopping Center featured L.S. Ayres, Blocks and a host of other stores surrounded by acres of asphalt insuring a parking spot for everyone. Additionally:  Glendale thrived through the 1980’s. Times...

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Deja Vu Tuesday: The College Avenue War of 1903

For Mrs. Lottie A. Kinsey, life on the corner of 15th and College Avenue was a lot like an AC/DC song. Although another eight decades would pass before the Australian rockers recorded their classic ballad, “You Shook Me All Night Long,” Mrs. Kinsey was experiencing many of the symptoms described in the lyrics, albeit for a different reason. In a voluminous lawsuit filed in July 1903, Kinsey complained that her walls were shaking, the earth was quaking, and her mind was aching — all because her once-quiet street had turned into the Highway to Hell. The reason for this...

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Sunday Ads: Be a Secret Agent and Win the Jackpot!

Business:  Burger Chef Systems  Date of Ad:  April 6, 1966 Location:  1300 West 16th Street, and across the nation Years of Operation: 1958-1996 Notable:  Over a dozen years before the Happy Meal, local fast food stalwart, Burger Chef was in the game of enticing youth and their parents’ wallets to area restaurants with the secret agent contest seen above. Burger Chef was an industry leader in gimmicks to attract children. The Fun Meal, established in the early 70’s, featured the cartoon characters Burger Chef and Jeff and included colorful boxes and toy prizes. Their Star Wars toys remain a sought after...

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Deja Vu Tuesday: 1835 letter sheds light on worst legislative fiasco in state history

In an old Saturday Night Live sketch, a rugged frontiersman named “Johnny Canal” travels to the White House in 1820 to pitch his idea of connecting every city and town in the country by an elaborate system of canals.  A skeptical aide to the President (played by Jon Lovitz) points out that Mr. Canal’s dream is “redundant” and “utterly ridiculous” because most of the U.S. was already connected by railroads. Shocking as it may seem, the SNL writers actually got this important historical fact completely wrong.  The “Johnny Canal” sketch was set in 1820, but it would be another...

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Sunday Ads: Music to Your Ears

Business:  Wilking Music Company Location:  120 East Ohio Street, near Massachusetts Avenue Years of Operation: 1922-1995 Notable: For over 70 years, Wilking Music Company was the place to go if you wanted that glamorous Steinway and Son’s grand piano. Founded in 1922 by Frank Wilking in a small storefront in the 200 block of Massachusetts Avenue, the business grew to occupy the entire building. Many ads list the business at 120 East Ohio Street. Anticipating a big boom after World War II, the company moved to the Vajen Building at 114 North Pennsylvania in 1946. The company was heavily...

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Sunday Ad’s: Hook’s for Drugs

Business: Hook’s Drugs Date of Ad: July 29, 1906 Location: Various Locations, Originally Prospect and East (demolished) Years of Operation: 1900-1994 Notable: A drugstore that became a household name across Indiana had humble roots. Started by a German immigrant named John A. Hook, his first pharmacy opened at 1101 South East Street not far from Fountain Square. Another early location stood at 318 East Washington Street. In 1950, the company opened their fiftieth store at the corner of Meridian and 38th Streets. By the mid-1980s, the Hoosier company dominated the pharmacy industry in Indianapolis and countless small towns in the area....

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