Sunday Ads: More Than Just Jewelry

Written by on April 10, 2016 in Sunday Ads - 1 Comment
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Goodman Jewelers at 30 West Washington Street dabbled in "slenderizing" equipment in the 1950s (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Goodman Jewelers at 30 West Washington Street dabbled in “slenderizing” equipment back in the 1950s       (Courtesy Indiana State Library)

Business:  Goodman Jewelers

Date of this Advertisement:  April 12, 1959

Location:  30 West Washington Street

Neighborhood:  Downtown

Goods:  Jewelry and more

Years of Operation: 1949-1999

Notable: Believe it or not, swimsuit season is just around the corner.  Seems we all are prone to falling for the idea of instant gratification. Who would want to bother with exercising, when you could just have a machine do all of the work for you? It appears a long-standing jeweler saw the sales potential in such a promotion and began offering devices to improve figure and appearance with little work. Vibrating belts actually came about in the 1920’s as a way to improve circulation. By the time the ad men of the Fifties got word of the device, they spun it as a low impact way of shedding the pounds. The fad lasted through the Sixties, eventually dying out in the Seventies, when people finally realized there just was no shortcut to exercise and healthful eating habits.

Additionally: Goodman Jewelers operated at the downtown location, as well as in all of the major shopping malls. The stores closed in 1999. Today Robert Goodman operates a jewelry business in the quaint suburban town of Zionsville. The location of the former flagship store now serves as The Capital Grille, the restaurant at the Conrad Hotel.

Goodman Jewelers as it appeared in 1951. The building still stands (Courtesy Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society)

Goodman Jewelers as it appeared in 1951. The building still stands today (photo courtesy of W. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society)

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About the Author

An avid runner who enjoys daily jaunts throughout Indy's historic neighborhoods, Jeff deeply appreciates the detail and workmanship of old architecture. So much so, that he lives downtown in a restored historic building. He also works downtown as a manager of a not-for-profit that promotes globalization throughout Central Indiana. In a past life, Jeff worked in the hospitality industry and may one day pen a book about the ridiculous things people do while staying in hotels. Stay tuned.

One Comment on "Sunday Ads: More Than Just Jewelry"

  1. Barbara Haunton April 14, 2016 at 6:56 pm · Reply

    Goodman’s was an odd duck. The national chain advertised in The New Yorker and had high ticket jewelry. In the back, they sold appliances on credit. This made for an unusual mix of traffic–women in fur coats and men in work boots.
    .
    I worked at Goodman’s one summer at about nineteen, haggling over credit contracts and calling people on the phone collecting debt. On the third day I stayed home with a sunburn; the manager said if I couldn’t come in should just stay home, so I did. I hated a job where I had to threaten people with various dire outcomes. Fortunately, jobs were plentiful then. Before and during college, I went from Ayres’ college shop assistant to Santa’s helper, Merry Christmas, on TV to two dime stores (who offered vacation work) to the Indy/Chicago law firm of Bamberger and Feibelman.
    .
    Goodman’s still has national locations, including three in southeast Virginia, only fifty miles from my mountain home for fifty years.

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