Thread Number: 74923  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Interesting electrical products catalog
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Post# 987449   3/20/2018 at 19:06 (183 days old) by CircleW (NE Cincinnati OH area)        

from McLaughlin Electric Supply in 1950. Includes Westinghouse and Hamilton Beach small appliances and vacs, Trumbull and Cutler-Hammer panelboards, Bryant wiring devices, and much more. Interesting to find that grounded receptacles like we have now were available by then. Link to catalog.


Post# 987453 , Reply# 1   3/20/2018 at 19:23 (183 days old) by Ultramatic (New York City)        
Very, very cool Tom!

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Thanks for posting!

Post# 987466 , Reply# 2   3/20/2018 at 21:38 (183 days old) by IowaBear (Cedar Rapids, IA)        

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Really nice catalog with great photos and illustrations.  Must have taken many weeks to put together before the computer age.


The prices are unreal.  For instance a Westinghouse 16" oscillating pedestal floor fan for $60.  Page 199.

That would be like $588 today! 

Post# 987467 , Reply# 3   3/20/2018 at 21:46 (183 days old) by fan-of-fans (Florida)        

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That was very fun to look at and I'll be looking at it again. I agree the prices are amazing, too bad can't buy all those things new today and at those prices!

I recognize some of the items there and even own a couple myself. Nice seeing the descriptions.

Post# 987480 , Reply# 4   3/20/2018 at 23:07 (183 days old) by Supersuds (Knoxville, Tenn.)        

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It's remarkable how expensive some things were back then, in relation to actual wages. $32.95 for the Westinghouse vacuum coffeemaker -- that was a VERY expensive appliance, and probably why I remember my parents making coffee with a stovetop percolator. The Westy automatic toaster was $22.95, again, not a minor purchase.

The Westinghouse upright vacuums were $59.95 and $69.95 without attachments. Were Westinghouse vacuums any good? I never remember seeing one.

Post# 987482 , Reply# 5   3/20/2018 at 23:26 (183 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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My favorite aunt that had the Westy Slant Fronts had a Westinghouse Vacuum just like the $69.95 model on page 334 of the catalog. She used this vacuum from probably 1953 until 1965, when she got a Hoover Upright. I was always intrigued by this Westinghouse upright because no one else had one like it. She never had room in the closet for it, so it always sat in the hall ready for use.

Appliances weren’t considered to be basically disposable then like they are now. People kept them until to wore out and/or couldn’t be repaired anymore.

This post was last edited 03/21/2018 at 01:42
Post# 987486 , Reply# 6   3/20/2018 at 23:35 (183 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Looking At Those Prices For Electrical Housewares

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You begin to understand why so much of that was given as wedding, housewarming or anniversary gifts. That and the usual Mother's Day and birthday gifts to a mother and or wife.

Average American household income in 1950 was $4,237.00. That breaks down to around $81.00 per week.

Keep in mind this was a wholesale catalogue; thus resale price at retail may (and likely was) higher. That is unless your uncle Hymie knew a guy, that knew a guy who knew a guy that could get it for you wholesale.

Of course by the 1950's (and really well before) one could have all these things on credit. Most appliance or other stores had in house charge/credit accounts and then there were charge "plates"/credit cards.

Post# 987490 , Reply# 7   3/21/2018 at 00:05 (183 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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There were also alot of door to door salesman and sales people that came around on a regular basis, kind of like Mr.Haney on “Green Acres”. In the Bay Area during the 50’s we had the Jewel Tea Man. He drove a brown and tan van loaded with everything from soup to nuts and he came by weekly. His regular visits were of a two fold purpose, both to still milady more merch and to collect on the account. He had a box with his customers account cards on file and he bought that in the house with him, My Mom would pay 50 cents or so aweek on account for the never ending array of stuff she would buy from him.

I recall that sometimes he would pull up to the house and Mom would not have the account paymt. money, so she would tell us to be very quiet until he left, and then we would go to my Aunt Imogene’s to visit our cousins. Well, one time this backfired when we no sooner arrived at Imogene’s house,and the Jewel Tea Man showed up next. Since Imogene didn’t know why we had arrived she let him in, and seeing Mom he sweetly said that since she was there maybe she would like to make her acct.pymt. So Mom had to borrow the 50 cents or dollar from her sister to pay Mr. Jewel Tea!

There was also a bakery man named Peter Wheat, and of course the Avon Lady, the Fuller Brush Man, the Milkman and the Watkins Man. And the small grocers all delivered and kept charge accts. During the early to mid 50’s it wasn’t uncommon for a family to only have one car and the man of the house took this to work. Housewives could get just about everything they may have needed delivered or sold by one of these door to door merchants.

Post# 987493 , Reply# 8   3/21/2018 at 00:31 (183 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Nice catalog-and Aberdeen,SD-been to their airport-the plane I was on was bigger than the airport-in the early 70's.Liked the MV supplies-have some of that here at the transmitter plant.And some dates to that time.MV current transformers-some of those in the older CEMCO transmitters that are being removed to install newer ones.The heat exchangers are on a truck outside-driver sleeping.Weird the heat sinks came before the transmitters!Also liked the HB and Westinghouse appliances.You could also order "pole pigs" thru that catalog!Some of the prices that I could see were actual LIST price of the goods-esp the appliances.That would be what the retauil customer would pay-most likely ordinary folks went there to buy them.Aberdeen,at that time was a farming area.

Post# 987535 , Reply# 9   3/21/2018 at 11:28 (183 days old) by washerboy (Little Rock Arkansas)        
I enjoyed as well

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esp. the lighting section. I remember my mother having the WH vac. When I was little I thought it was a rocket. Mother's got retired in the late 60's. I agree some items were very expensive considering the wages for that time. I guess that's why my parents did and also taught me to take of things as if they could never be replaced.

Post# 987572 , Reply# 10   3/21/2018 at 18:54 (182 days old) by bendix5 (Central Point, Oregon)        

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What a great catalog. It seems to have any part you would need for the time. I grew up starting in Rivera, CA. It soon changed to Pico Rivera merging two towns. It was suburbs in those days in the 1950's. Few wives had a car at home. So, We had Whittier Dairy milk man, Helms Bakery truck a couple of times a week. You would hear the whistle and my mom would give me a buck for a loaf of bread, a pack of cigs and three donuts. We had the rolling dime store that came on Tuesday. THe women would all go out and pick up threads and odds and ends they needed until grocery day. Us kids would stand around to see if Mom would come out with a goodie or small toy. We also had Fuller Brush man and the B&W CLeaners. Pick up and deliver back. We did not have Jewel T that I can remember but my mom did have a couple of bowls. My wife and I have been collecting Jewel T Autumn Leaf patterned dish and cook ware for about 40 years. I am starting to inventory and price it all out. I belong to the NALCC club for years too. These are fond memories but in the late 50's and early 60's it started to fade away as shopping centers were springing up around us. We moved to Napa Ca in 64 and that was a real change for us. Somewhat back in time but in a great way. Dano

Post# 987578 , Reply# 11   3/21/2018 at 19:30 (182 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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I loved your recollections of the time we both grew up in, thanks for sharing them. Your story about your Mom sending you to the store reminded me of how my Mom used to send me to the Safeway at the corner of San Pablo and McDonald Ave’s in Richmond, Calif. with a quarter and the instructions to get a loaf of Kilpatricks, thin sandwich sliced bread, and with the dime change I could get a candy bar each for my brother and I, usually a Snicker’s for me and a Milky Way for my brother. The store was a 3 block walk from home and the first time I recall being sent on this errand was in 1956, I was 5 years old and Captain Kangaroo was on the TV.

Oh, and BTW Tom, I really enjoyed the catalog too, thanks for sharing it. I’m glad that I can remember so many of these things, and AW is the best place for it!

Post# 987592 , Reply# 12   3/21/2018 at 21:45 (182 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Those Nicro Vacuum Coffee Pots

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Are in *HIGH* demand today. Have seen sets go for $$$ on fleaPay or elsewhere.

Silly me years ago when just getting stared on vac pot brewing listened to so called "experts" who derided metal in favor of glass. Some six or more Silex or Cory glass vacuum brewers later finally bought a "FlavorsSeal" (Nicro clone) and couldn't be more happy.

Now don't have to worry about either upper or lower chamber being dinged, chipped, or busted by a careless move while making coffee or washing up.

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