Monday, December 21, 2009


We have two people to thank to today's posting which further illuminates some of our mysterious sign reflections. First, Vince Sweeney posted some superb comments to Friday's post which tell us about Eugene Jacobs and some of the other businesses in the 300 block of Lackawanna Avenue during the Household era. Judi Keller, from the Reference Department here at the Albright Library, verified the existence of the Triangle Shoe Co. at 305 Lackawanna Avenue and Scranton Talk at 315-319 Lackawanna Avenue which sold clothing, appliances, and furniture. Vince's comment also included a link to a photo of him taken with Santa likely at Household. Since hyperlinks do not work in the Comments, you can see to it here. Thanks, Vince! My parents have a photo of me testing driving a toy boat in the Globe Store in December 1966. I was three years old. I do not remember it. I do, however, remember seeing Santa in the then-brand new Viewmont Mall just a few years later. Vince's comment speaks of some of the downtown Scranton retailers from the Household era that tried to make it in the new mall. The Household Christmas windows and the reflections of lighted store fronts and signs in the windows themselves tell of a vibrancy that, just a few years later, was gone.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being so nice! I only wish there were more to offer on my part. How could I possibly forget Scranton Talk?

    "Scranton Talk makes Scranton talk!" was their catch phrase for years and years, mostly radio advertising, but I do recall some TV spots as well.

    I'd often think; what a goofy name for a business.

    Turns out that Scranton Talk began life as The Scranton Talking Machine Company. The Victrola, the early wind-up phonograph, was initially called a talking machine, and that's how Scranton Talk got its name, they sold talking machines.

    In time, Scranton Talk morphed into a "furniture warehouse" type of operation and relocated to North-South Road over in the Keyser Valley section of Scranton. I don't know when they folded.

    Triangle Shoe is another one on which I am going to take a wild guess. I *think* that Triangle had an entrance on Wyoming and also one on Lackawanna. Kind of hard to envision, since Triangle did not sit on a corner. The only reason I remember is because Triangle was big with the girls in high school - they dyed shoes to match any dress or gown. Do shoe stores still do that?

    Whenever I was dragged into Triangle, I thought it was sort of unusual that you could walk in from one street, then walk out onto a street that was perpendicular. Triangle was L-shaped, it pretty much wrapped around Eugene Jacobs, if you will.

    Which reminds me that The Globe had an oddity which most never noticed.

    In The Globe's Mens Department was a glass door that opened up into the lobby of the Hotel Jermyn. An interesting arrangement between two businesses and I never knew how or why it developed. You'd have to believe The Globe wanted to encourage any guests staying at the Jermyn to easily stroll into their department store.

    A lot of this I know from having worked in downtown Scranton for a while during the early '70s and I called on clients in most every building then existent, so I came to know the strange little shortcuts of making your way around downtown.

    Your test-driving that toy boat in The Globe was during what had to be a time when the store was still on top, still prosperous and busy all the time, even more so at Christmas. In 1966, Globe executives likely thought that there'd never be an end to it all. Do we get to see the photo? It can't be any worse than me in a snowsuit, right?

    Your last sentence is sadly poignant. Just how rapidly downtown businesses declined to the point of simply going out of business is remarkable. Alive and well one year, gone the next. I was out of the area for several years and couldn't believe the decay, the blight, that had overtaken downtown by the early '80s.

    Thanks for shaking loose memories that hadn't crossed my consciousness in well beyond 25 years.

    Thanks for all of it!