Thread Number: 74255  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Sounds you don't hear when shopping on Amazon
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 980391   1/29/2018 at 10:25 (234 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Thought about this while reminiscing with a friend about the "Old Days".

The Department store sounds. Really starts at approx. 0:49.

And let's not forget the background music in Supermarkets.

I guess I'll have to play this the next time I'm on line shopping. Nah... Just won't be the same.

Post# 980393 , Reply# 1   1/29/2018 at 10:40 (234 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Hmmm the Dept Store sound video comes up Video Not Available

Post# 980424 , Reply# 2   1/29/2018 at 13:47 (234 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
The Department Store is just a audio.

Post# 980428 , Reply# 3   1/29/2018 at 14:24 (234 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Hmm I get no audio or video.. just a black screen saying it's not available, nowhere to even click to start it.

Post# 980435 , Reply# 4   1/29/2018 at 14:36 (234 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Now ?

I always (for the most part) do a proof read, preview the message and check to make sure the link works before I hit post.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO toploader55's LINK

Post# 980446 , Reply# 5   1/29/2018 at 16:15 (234 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        
What I don't hear

iheartmaytag's profile picture
Screaming kids.
Like when you go to Wal-Mart, no matter what time of day; there is always some kid having a melt down. Don't have that while shopping at home.

Also don't hear "Attention K-Mart Shoppers". Oh wait, you don't hear that here anymore anyway, all of our K-Marts are gone.

Post# 980449 , Reply# 6   1/29/2018 at 16:47 (234 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        

ultramatic's profile picture



I've found as I grown older I have less tolerance towards crowds and noise in stores. While I mostly shop on Amazon, quite a few times I'd had to return things either because they arrived damaged or defective (not working). On the rare occasion I do visit a store, weekday mornings tend to be the quietest times to go.  


One thing I do miss from my childhood, the "ding, ding, ding..." in department stores. Who would had thought those were coded messages for the staff?

Post# 980463 , Reply# 7   1/29/2018 at 17:44 (234 days old) by robbinsandmyers (Hamden CT)        

robbinsandmyers's profile picture
The audio sounds like a Sears store with the tone pager in the background which the name escapes me. One thing I dont miss while shopping on Amazon is all the rude people smashing into me with their carriages or all the mothers who fail at controlling their brats.

Post# 980468 , Reply# 8   1/29/2018 at 18:11 (234 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

petek's profile picture
Weird if everyone else is seeing it.. all I get is this..

  View Full Size
Post# 980487 , Reply# 9   1/29/2018 at 18:57 (234 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

How well I remember those paging tones from my very early department store days when I worked on the sales floor (very happy times to be sure). As a supervisor they'd assign a number to you for the day or evening like 24 and you'd listen...ding ding...ding ding ding ding. You'd pick up the nearest phone and ask what you were needed for. Long numbers made you "dingy". The old Emporium in San Francisco had no paging or sound system...too old and too big. There were several colored light bulbs at various locations on the sales floors. You were assigned a color and supposed to keep an eye on these bulbs. They were funky, regular full-size colored bulbs you'd buy in a drug store in white ceramic sockets screwed to the walls. Fortunately I never worked on the sales floor in that big place. 


When voice paging became popular stores discovered paging "SECURITY" helped to cut down on shoplifting, even if the loss prevention people weren't needed. I miss those department store paging tones. They went along nicely with the "quality smell" the stores used to have.


Maintenance guys would polish these bronze plaques every day. 



  View Full Size
Post# 980497 , Reply# 10   1/29/2018 at 19:55 (234 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

The way you talk about that department store makes me imagine how high quality shopping must've been back in those days. I truly wish I could've shopped at our Marshall Fields in its heyday. Now it's just a sad Macy's in the poorly maintained remains of something that used to be wonderful. Any older relative of mine speaks so highly of Marshall Fields it makes me almost want to cry not having been able to see it that way.

Post# 980514 , Reply# 11   1/29/2018 at 21:29 (234 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

daveamkrayoguy's profile picture

Playing the Grocery Store Music video & that has me wondering: Is it "Shopping Spree"????




-- Dave


Post# 980533 , Reply# 12   1/30/2018 at 02:21 (234 days old) by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

askolover's profile picture

For me the best time to go shopping is 2AM!  No one in Walmart or Kroger except the stockers (except at Christmas when you will see a couple with their 1yr old child out at 2AM).

Post# 980536 , Reply# 13   1/30/2018 at 02:41 (234 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The Dept store video doesn't work on either link.The grocer one does.

Post# 980537 , Reply# 14   1/30/2018 at 02:43 (234 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Got it----Maybe when you are shopping on Amazon or other online service--they could play the bells,phones,screaming kids,complaining customersand background music over your computers speakers!

Post# 980573 , Reply# 15   1/30/2018 at 10:15 (233 days old) by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
Marshall Fields

Gus Herb, several years ago we had a thread where we all reminisced about the glory days of the department stores. Your Marshall Fields was of the stores that was mentioned by several members with fondness. You are right, it is a shell of what it once was in beauty and service. I included the link to the thread where we discussed the tearooms and cafes.

That State St flagship store had the type of paging system that Twintubdexter mentions above. I remember vividly hearing those "dings" in stores and knowing they were a paging system of some type.

Twintubdexter, thanks for deciphering the way they actually worked, now it makes complete sense.

I miss the sound of mechanical cash registers. Especially checking out at a grocery,those "checkers" could really move some inventory. When the "bleep, bleep, bleep" scanners came along, away went the mechanical sounds.


Post# 980591 , Reply# 16   1/30/2018 at 12:45 (233 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
Don't want to take this topic too far off track...

twintubdexter's profile picture

When greedy Macy's (worked for the California division for 5 years when they were at the top of the heap and it wasn't pleasant) took over Federated it was rumored that Marshall Field's would become a Macy's. Many people didn't believe it since Field's was much more than a fine store, it was an institution. My Chicago friends still shake their heads in disgust. Lunch in The Walnut Room doesn't taste the same. Neither do the Frango Mints.


Mechanical registers were fun stuff. One of the first things you learned was what to do if the power went out (there was limited emergency lighting). You opened a hole in the side of the register, inserted a crank and cranked your transaction through. There were flashlights at all the registers to help you see the correct keys. Like the high-wire artist that falls at the circus with a SPLAT!..."The show must go on". 


I was very young when I went to work for The Emporium as an executive trainee just out of San Jose State. It was the tail-end of department store quality and service. I should have been born 25 years earlier but then I'd be dead now. Department stores tried to be all things to all people, but times change. I could see the writing on the wall. Areas with low margins and pricey returns like major appliances vanished. TV/Stereo and Electronics held on for awhile due to technology but they were doomed too. The money-makers like women's ready-to-wear (where the department made big profits even at 50% off) and cosmetics where the vendors paid the salespeople's salary were safe until recently. The history of America's great department stores makes for fascinating reading. 


This cover looks a little like the San Francisco Big E's dome. By the time I started the openings to the upper floors were long covered up. Merchandise on the first floor was kept in glass cases during the time horses pulled street cars and the like. There was a lot of dust...and no, I'm not that old. The store kept a lot of old fixtures in a huge area called the Lincoln Building. You could sneak in there and look around, spooky and creepy.





  View Full Size

This post was last edited 01/30/2018 at 17:30
Post# 980594 , Reply# 17   1/30/2018 at 13:30 (233 days old) by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

toploader55's profile picture
Mechanical Registers...

I loved the Ca-Chunk Chunk sound of those Mammoth NCR registers at the supermarket. This was a close as I could find.

Post# 980640 , Reply# 18   1/30/2018 at 19:36 (233 days old) by Michaelman2 (Atlanta, GA)        
"Cashy" the Cash Register

I love ole Cashy....he is making the sound that I miss. I had tried to find that sound on YouTube and could not. This is IT!! In a grocery store when you had a bank of those mechanical registers going there was a distinct sound especially when you had some really good checkers in cadence. The bleep, bleep, bleep has completely replaced that sound.

Post# 980654 , Reply# 19   1/30/2018 at 22:12 (233 days old) by jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        
Bells at Macy's

jmm63's profile picture
I worked for Macy's in Brooklyn and Harald Square from 98 to 01 and they still used bells to paige a manager...mine was long long short short short...sometimes I still hear it in my sleep....that and "Jim Mohan 2212, Jim Mohan 2212" which means call the mgrs. office something was wrong. They were seriously behind in technology. Finally we got PAGERS in 01.

Post# 980659 , Reply# 20   1/30/2018 at 22:34 (233 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        
Mechanical registers

supersuds's profile picture
I remember, as a wee lad, being in a Piggly Wiggly during a power failure and seeing the boxboys cranking away on the registers (maybe I should rephrase that) synced up with the checkers. The checkers would enter the numbers and the boxboys would whirl the crank. They were fast, like it happened all the time.

There was enough light coming through the plate glass windows that everyone could shop almost normally. Of course, the store was not as large as supermarkets today.

Post# 980781 , Reply# 21   1/31/2018 at 18:50 (232 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

I worked at Shillito's (was Lazarus later, now Macy's) downtown store during the Christmas '79 season, and off and on for the next couple years. They had just installed new computerized registers not long before I started, so never got to use the big old NCR's they had for many years. New isolated ground wiring had been installed for them, and they also were connected by communications cable to the main office. There was only one power outage while I was working there, and the registers came back on very quickly, along with selected lights.

I do remember an old cash register at my dad's uncles grocery store that could be operated manually. It was a Burroughs from the late 40's, and not the main one.

Post# 980794 , Reply# 22   1/31/2018 at 20:52 (232 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
oh no, another one of those boring green posts...

twintubdexter's profile picture

I remember the cash registers were so old in the San Francisco store they had the receipt tape mounted outside above the top and it fed down inside. These were still being used when Macy's up the street (Union Square) installed flashy POS terminals which allowed the company to monitor the salespeople's productivity on an hourly basis and patrol the floor with a whip. They were so very kind tongue-out.


The Emporium also sounded royal-like trumpets at opening and at closing sort of like "The Queen Approaches!" They never announced the store was closed. It remained open until the last customer was finished shopping. There were no wall clocks either. No customer was supposed to feel rushed. 

  View Full Size
Post# 980821 , Reply# 23   2/1/2018 at 06:21 (232 days old) by jamiel (Detroit, Michigan)        

I worked at LS Ayres in Cincinnati during grad school in 1986-1987--one of the branch stores (Tri-County Mall). LS Ayres was out of Indianapolis, and was #3 in a 4 store market in Cincinnati. Had previously been the "carriage trade" store, but had moved downmarket by the time I was there (Shillito Rikes was the broad-line department store, McAlpins was the lower-end promotional store, LS Ayres was the aging upscale store and Elder-Beerman (from Dayton) was not a huge factor with 2 or 3 stores. We were using the 1st generation computerized POS terminals which by that time were about 7 or 8 years old (they were the common Associated Dry Goods terminals). Most terminals had tractor-feed printers (saleschecks were fan-folded tractor feed); furniture had no printers (all saleschecks were hand-written). We had a book of saleschecks tucked in the back of the cash drawer in case the registers went down--you then hand-wrote all sales; entering them into the system when they came back up. They carefully explained that you voided the handwritten check if it was a cash sale (upon entering into the POS terminal), but voided the POS check if it was a charge sale (transferring the transaction number onto the handwritten check, to preserve the customer signature).

Post# 980844 , Reply# 24   2/1/2018 at 10:57 (231 days old) by superocd (PNW)        

I do miss quieter shopping experiences and believe it or not, Muzak instrumentals. I also miss the sound the simpler electronic or older PC-based registers would make as the clerk keyed in your purchases; it printed the receipt line by line. Those were miniature dot matrix printers, usually built into the register. Some independent gas stations still use something like this, but I remember when department stores were still using DOS with the old computer registers and the shrill signature sound the receipt printer made.

I don't, however, miss the screaming/yelling/otherwise noisy kids or the obnoxious pop music most stores tend to play over their intercom (which this here millenial does not like).

I also don't miss the crowds or people blocking aisles. Has anyone ever encountered two people (or more) having a long conversation amongst themselves, in an aisle or in a major pathway? It always happens at the busiest times, too, like after everyone gets off work or on weekend afternoons. These people are usually oblivious to other shoppers and won't move out of the way. It's almost as if they might as well take a picnic table to the middle of the store, throw some burgers on the grill and have a big ol' family/friend/acquaintance/coworker reunion during peak shopping hours.

Oh, parking lots and shopping carts. If possible, I park far away from any shopping carts, usually off to the side of the store.

Post# 980871 , Reply# 25   2/1/2018 at 16:04 (231 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I strangely find I'm least likely to be hit by a runaway cart if I park near the corral. Usually cuz people don't leave random carts laying around near the corral, but do in spots far from it. 


If someones blocking the way I'll usually walk right through their conversation. I'll bump into them if I must. 

Post# 980902 , Reply# 26   2/1/2018 at 19:00 (231 days old) by Imperial70 (******)        

I wonder how long it will be before on line shopping becomes boring and people want to get out and enjoy a trip to a department store again.

Cash registers. I remember the earlier NCR electronic registers that made computer sounds but the printer was clunky and made plenty of noise. It was amazing how much would happen at the end of a transaction just to get the receipt to print Total, AMT tendered and change. :-)

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy