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1960s: Do you remember ‘Black Friday?’

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, Wikipedia tells us that the day after Thanksgiving has been regarded as the beginning of the United States Christmas shopping season since 1952. However, the term “Black Friday” did not become widely used until more recent decades, during which time global retailers have adopted the term and date to market their own holiday sales.

Since we’ve been “lost in the ’60s” in this series of offerings, let’s take a look and see what kinds of deals we can find in the Hillsboro area back when my folks were still teenagers.

If you have a girl between the ages of 4 and 12, Fairley Hardware Store’s Toyland has pink Frigidaire ranges and refrigerators for “just $2.98 each.” The ranges are a double oven with raised burners and plastic cooking utensils, while the refrigerators are two-door style with a foot-operated lower door and food packages included. And, remember, they’re pink!

Oh, and if you’re a big spender or just love to spoil your little tyke, you can buy a play sink and washer to match for a sale price of, you guessed it, $2.98. I assume it’s pink, too. Fairley’s advertisement says with these appliances, youngsters can “enjoy the use of these famous home appliances just as mother does,” and that “Santa brings you the best in Frigidaire.”

But Fairley’s has much more in its Toyland, calling it “your one-stop Toyland and unusual and practical gift center” with the “lowest prices” and “best choice.” Now why is this? It’s because of their “quality buying, factory direct, always assures you … 1. Brand-name proven quality and 2. Lower prices.”

Over at Murphy-Benham Hardware Company on West Main Street, they want us to stop in and take a look at guns and ammunition, clay pigeons and hunting clothes.

At Ludwick’s at 147 West Main Street, boys sweaters that are regularly $2.49 are now on sale for $1.25 (sizes 6 to 16), and thermal socks, thermal underwear, jackets and sweatshirts would also make nice Christmas gifts. Ludwick’s also offers clocks, radios, shoes, coats, planters, flower pots, window glass and other novelties, and we should ask them about their layaway plan.

Over at Pence Sewing Machine Company at 108 South High Street, they’re offering full-size round bobbin portable sewing machines that normally sell for $83.85 for just $69.95, but for three days only. Better shake a leg, folks!

At the Famous Store in Hillsboro and Greenfield, they’re having a Pre-Christmas Sale, so let’s swing over there. If you like fruitcake (does anyone like fruitcake?), you can get a “delicious” 2-pound fruitcake with 60-percent fruit and nuts, gift-packed in a reusable metal container for 87 cents. Men’s and ladies’ billfolds are 88 cents each, pocket radios that normally sell for $21.95 are on sale for $14.88 and TV tables are $1.27 each.

But wait. Santa says “Be sure to visit Toyland on the second floor,” and since we should never anger the big fella, let’s head on up to the second floor of the Famous Store. Good call, Saint Nick. There are tricycles for $8.88, walking dolls for $8.88, steel wagons for $6.44, cap shooting rifles and Tommy guns for 98 cents, doll carriages and strollers for $4.22 and your choice of Cootie or Skunk games for a “special discount price” of $1.78.

Maybe somebody can tell me, pray tell, exactly what a Cootie and Skunk game is, but in the meantime, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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