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Goodman Jewelers at 30 West Washington Street dabbled in “slenderizing” equipment back in the 1950s.
(Image: 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. Wouldn’t it be great to get that bikini bod without all the necessary running, lifting, and squatting? Who wants to bother with exercising, when you could just have a machine do all of the work? 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 1920s 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 is no shortcut to exercise and healthful eating habits.

Additionally: Goodman Jewelers operated at the downtown location and 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. (Image: W. H. Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society)

2 responses to “Sunday Ads: More Than Just Jewelry”

  1. Barbara Haunton says:

    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.

  2. Rose-Marie Goodman says:

    Goodman Jewelers was never a national chain. We had stores in Indiana and later on had three store in St. Louis, but that was it. All Goodman Jewelers stores are closed, last one in 2000. However, Bob Goodman, third generation, and his wife Rose-Marie opened Robert Goodman Jewelers in Zionsville, Indiana, in 2000. We are still there at 106 N Main St.

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