Advertisements in Directory and Blue Book issued by Wayne Title & Trust Co.

Fully as interesting as the old times pictures which we have recently used in this column are some of the local advertisements of more than 50 years ago. The first one shown in today’s column is reproduced from the Directory and Blue Book issued by the Wayne Title and Trust Company in 1899, while the second is from a similar directory printed five years later.


Lorgnettes, used so seldom nowadays as to be almost a curiosity, were in common use in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Frequently the lady who raised them to her eyes would have seen more of the world about her, as well as of the printed page before her, had she frankly put on her spectacles. However, it is not to be denied that there is a certain charm and elegance about the lorgnette, shown in the slim hand of the lady with a wide lace ruffle around her slender wrist!

The advertisement of Bonschur and Holmes, “Spectacle and Eyeglass Makers,” located in 1899 at 1533 Chestnut street in Philadelphia, was doubtless placed in the directory by the late Arthur L. Holmes, who was then a resident of Wayne. With his family he occupied at that time one of the Wayne Estate houses on Summit avenue (now South Wayne avenue) just opposite the point at which Audubon avenue goes off in a westerly direction.

Although Mr. Holmes died some years ago, the house remained in the estate until rather recently. It is now occupied by Dr. and Mrs. Richard Cathcart, newcomers to Wayne. Under the old firm name of Bonschur and Holmes, the optical shop continues to operate in Philadelphia, although the present location is now 1900 Chestnut street.


The second advertisement features a picture of something far more outmoded than the lorgnette – an old time buggy, a “light carriage for two persons, usually with a folding top.” The wheels of the buggy in the illustration were evidently steel-rimmed, rather than rubber tired, as were those of a somewhat later date. Mr. Jaquett, “Carriage Painter and Dealer, Wayne Carriage Works,” lived in 1904 on West Beech Tree Lane.

Among the most intriguing advertisements in the 1904 directory are those of three Philadelphia grocers, all of whom evidently made strong bids for Wayne business. The names of all of them bring back nostalgic memories, since none are any longer in business. While Mrs. Wayne Housewife of the early 1900’s traded locally for the most part, there were certain delicacies and imports to be had in the big city stores. Showell and Fryer, located at Juniper and Market streets, were not only “importing grocers,” but “wine merchants” as well. They also dealt in “imported and domestic cigars” for the man of the house. Orders were “called for and goods delivered by our wagons every week in Wayne and vicinity”, according to their full page advertisement. “Priced catalogues” were “mailed free upon application,” showing a list of “the largest assortment of finest goods imported and domestic, to be found anywhere, and at moderate prices.”

Ackers, located at 121-125 North 8th street, as well as on Market street below 12th, offered “Choicest food products of the World” to “all residents of Wayne.” Orders for this suburb were “regularly called for and delivered,” while “Ackers Weekly” was mailed free of charge.

E.A. Bowker, located at 13th and Market streets, with a branch store at 40th and Market, specialized in coffee “made from Vienna Blend.” This “delicious stimulating beverage” sold for 25 cents a pound, four pounds for one dollar! Salesmen would call on customers and deliveries were made in Wayne and St. Davids every Wednesday, according to their advertisement.

Among the Wayne grocery stores were T.T. Worrell & Sons, “family grocers,” who advertised as specialities, “Pickles in Glass” and “Olives and Fine Oils.” In operation for many years, this fine old Wayne store was located in about the middle of the present so-called “business block,” on the south side of Lancaster pike. Hale and Menagh, dealers in “fine groceries, choice meats and provisions,” were located on the northwest corner of Lancaster pike and Aberdeen avenue. This was in 1899. By the time the 1904 directory was published, Ira V. Hale remained in that location, while W.H. Menagh had become the “North Wayne Grocer,” located “at the Station, north of the railroad.”

J.H. Beadle’s grocery store, a market house established as early as 1893, was located at the corner of Wayne and Conestoga roads for many years. They advertised fresh and smoked meats as well as “fancy and domestic groceries, country produce, fish, game, etc.”

(to be continued)