Goodridge Advertises Gifts for York Shoppers
We are bombarded with ads today for Christmas gifts, in print, on television and online. In 1840 York county residents managed to get their shopping, which was much sparser than ours, done with few ads to entice them.
Still, York entrepreneur William Goodridge managed to cram a lot of merchandise in the brief advertisement he ran in the York Democratic Press during November and December 1840.
Sugar and Wooden Toys, fresh Raisins, Prunes, Figs, Almonds, Lemons, Cranberries, Candies of all kinds, Dolls, English and German Harrison Song Books, and Anti-Slavery Almanacks for 1841.
A great variety of Soaps and Hair Oils; tooth and hair Brushes, Razors and Scissors, Silver and German Silver Spoons.
Call at Centre square, where Goodridge lives
Who for one cent a toy book gives.
York, Nov. 20, 1840.”
The Harrison song books undoubtedly referred to recently elected President William Henry Harrison, who would soon begin his extremely short term of office.
It’s nice to know that Goodridge, an African American, was selling Anti-Slavery Almanacks in York. The African American population wasn’t that large here, so that raises hope that other citizens were interested.
The little poem at the end is cute. Goodridge didn’t live at the site of the store on Centre Square. He lived on East Philadelphia Street. But then, “works” or “sells” doesn’t rhyme with “gives.”
Click here to read about the York Moravian Christmas tree in 1867.