The 19th Century Does Black Friday

After the turkey and stuffing are gone and you’ve taken a snooze on the couch, you’re energized to rise before the sun, pull on your parka, and stand in front of that big box store to get the best deal on that Christmas present for your nephew.

The Friday after Thanksgiving has been known as the unofficial start of the Christmas season ever since the first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924.  The tradition of Black Friday began in the 1960s.  The term refers to businesses moving from the ‘red’ to ‘black’ in their accounts.  Retailers realized that they drew large crowds with super sales on this day.

Which Rockford shops might you have visited one hundred years ago on Black Friday?  Here is a small selection.

Department Stores were just as popular back then as they are today!



Nordstrom’s, c. 1871

Owned by Gust and Josephine Nordstrom

No connection to today’s national Nordstrom’s chain.


Henry F. Norris art goods store, 1920s

221 East State Street


DJ Stewart Department Store, 1958

113-117 South Main Street


Marie N. Freberg’s Exclusive Millinery, c. 1910

514 7th Street

Window shopping at its finest!


Swanson Millinery, c. 1909-1913

404 East State Street


J. Beale and Bro. Jewelry, c. 1900

406 East State Street

Looking for a sparkly rock or impressive timepiece for that special someone?  Head over to Beale’s Jewelry!


Joe and Art Beale can find something he or she will love!


Blomberg and Swenson Bakery, 1883-1891

603 7th Street

No time to bake?  Blomberg and Swenson will sell you delicious holiday treats!


Keigs Bakery, c. 1900-1910

405 State Street

Miss Ethel Shaw can help you pick out your Christmas cookies!

Midway Village Museum wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving and a safe and warm Black Friday!



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2 responses to “The 19th Century Does Black Friday

  1. The dept store photos R great. Can U Do closeups?

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