shopping – The British Newspaper Archive Blog

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The Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker – Shopping in the Eighteenth Century

On 2 April 1748 the Ipswich Journal reported on ‘the most terrible‘ fire which had broken out at a Mr. Elridge’s, a peruke maker, in Exchange Alley, London. Rumours soon spread that a boy had left a candle near some wig boxes, which had been set on fire, and then: The Flames [had] extended themselves into Cornhill, and burnt down the Houses of Mr. Walthoe, Mr. Strahan, Mr. Meadows, Mr. Brotherton, and Mr. Astley, Booksellers; Toca’s and the Rainbow Coffee-Houses, the Fleece

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Selfridges Steps Out – The Opening of a Department Store As Told By Our Newspapers

This December, we have been looking at the history of shopping, and no history of shopping would be complete without looking at the one of London’s most iconic department stores – Selfridges. The brainchild of American entrepreneur, Harry Gordon Selfridge (1858-1947), the Oxford Street department store was opened on 15 March 1909, to great fanfare. And in this special blog, we will look at the opening of ‘London’s biggest shop,’ and how the opening was reported in the newspapers to

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The Top Ten Christmas Presents to Give in the 1920s

Imagine yourself back in December 1925, with Christmas fast approaching, in London where: All the pavements are alive this week with purchasers moving in ceaseless procession from window to window as they search for the particular Christmas gift for the particular person who is to receive it. They wander down street after street, for London nowadays is the finest city in which to purchase a gift – humble, rich, or rare – that the world knows. It’s time for Christmas

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Christmas gift-giving guides

Christmas shopping

We are now counting down the days until Christmas, and there are only a few days of shopping left.  Many of us are looking for inspiration for that perfect gift.  The newspapers found in The British Newspaper Archive can provide a number of gift-giving guides. We can see an increase in Christmas advertising and gift guides from the late 18th century as mass consumerism became a trend of Christmas. Before the days of social media, Pinterest, and Amazon wish lists,

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Pushing girls through windows and throwing punches in the street: What would you do for a bargain?

    The Christmas rush is over, but now it is time for the January sales to begin.  A search through the newspaper archive for bargain hunting mishaps proved shockingly easy. It turns out that shoppers throughout history have been prepared to go to incredible ends to get a good deal, with confrontations often leading to brawls on the streets. However, not everyone was so ruthless. One group of women sang songs while queueing for a summer sale at a clothing

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