eBay Report: Shopping In The '70s, and 'The Danvers Touch'
Part humor column, part local history and part nostalgia, the eBay report takes a look at items connected to your town that can currently be found up for sale on the popular auction website.
Here is a look at some of the items connected to Danvers and its past (in some cases very loosely) that can be found for sale on eBay.
The Ann & Hope Era: Back in December of 1976, Margaret Birmingham and her granddaughter Sheila Blais of Danvers took a break from Christmas shopping and ended up being photographed for the Boston Herald American – which somewhere along the line simply became The Boston Herald. Back around the time of this picture, the mall had two Brigham’s (pre-food court), and a Hickory Farms where you could get a sample of that summer sausage or whatever it was called. For this photo though, what really jumped out at me was the bag with the old Ann & Hope’s logo. Some semblance of that company still survives, apparently as a lawn and garden shop, up by the Planet Fitness on Route 1, but it’s obviously nowhere near the same. Speaking of Ann & Hope, for some reason its snack bar seemed like a great place to hang out as a youngster between visits to Aladdin's Castle, although I can’t quite recall if I ever actually once ate any food from it. I think I was there more for the little row of video games they had there.
Liberty Tree Nostalgia Redux: Here is a second shot up for sale on eBay bound to evoke some Liberty Tree Mall-related nostalgia. This press photo, also taken in 1976, was taken by Frank Hill and only has a note saying “Sunday Blue Laws.” I thought the blue laws might have been in place for a little longer than 1976, but I was pretty young back then and don’t quite know for sure. A lot of the guys shown in this picture have that “Only In The ‘70s” hair, with matching moustaches. It almost looks like a Bachman Turner Overdrive concert is about to get started. This photo sort of looks like it was taken at the old side entrance to Lechmere, near what in the late 1980s was the CD department. Either way, back in those days, the calculator was apparently enough of a new-fangled innovation to merit its own “Calculator Center.” Even better, you could pick one up and not make any payments on it until February, 1977 under Lechmere’s “Holiday Dollars” plan.
The Danvers Touch? - Much to the jealousy of the guys from surrounding communities, the men of Danvers are legendary lovers and ladies’ men. Or at least that’s what one can almost imply from this racy (OK, trashy)-looking paperback novel entitled “The Danvers Touch,” published by an outfit called Silhouette Intimate Moments. Judging from the shirt and hair he’s sporting, and the makeup and hair she’s sporting, this thing came out sometime at the dawn of the 1980s. Pick this one up for your next outing to Sandy Beach.
General Gage’s Headquarters: Shortly before I became the editor of Lynnfield Patch, I wrote some local history articles for Danvers Patch back in the late summer of 2010. One thing I touched upon back then was an old story claiming that as a group of Minuteman marched out of town, one of them took a shot at the house where the British Commander, General Thomas Gage, was staying. From what I recall, this house stood near present day Sylvan and Pine Streets, and it was reportedly moved to Washington D.C. many years ago. This postcard from 1909 however, shows the house very much still in Danvers at that point. The postcard was mailed to a Miss Smart, c/o the United Fruit Co., at Long Wharf in Boston. One obscure but popular pastime at the dawn of the 20th Century was trying to decipher the illegibly scrawled messages on the backs of postcards.
You Like-a The Juice? - Back in its agricultural heyday, Danvers was famous for its onions (Oniontown) and its carrots – and now, it turns out that celery juice was also produced in town. In other words, the words “Danvers” and “Delicious” have not always co-existed together, all of its legendary restaurants aside. I never knew that the Howards Company, which manufactures everything from piccalilli relish (a favorite of my grandmother, long-ago Danvers resident Lois Collins), to ham glaze to onion and garlic juice (what on earth do you do with those last two products?), was based right in my hometown.