Friday, December 1, 2017

Hart’s Jewelry Christmas Layaway Ad – Nov. 22, 1957

Yesterday I posted an ad for Smith & Gerhart showing a selection of toys that could be purchased using the store’s layaway plan. Well, here’s another ad with a layaway theme, this time for Hart’s Jewelry.

The ad ran in the Lorain Journal on November 22, 1957.

Hart’s Jewelry was located at 575 Broadway. I posted a 1954 Father’s Day ad for the store here.
Hugh O’Brian, star of the
Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

But getting back to the Christmas ad shown above. Strangely enough, none of the gift ideas involve jewelry.

Electrical gifts are well-represented (Reddy Kilowatt would be proud), with several General Electric products, including a toaster oven, coffee maker and fry pan. There’s also a 9-piece Bell & Howell movie outfit, consisting of a camera, projector, movie screen, carrying case, filter and a year’s supply of color film. That $139.95 price tag would be the equivalent of about 1200 clams today. (Of course, we wouldn’t put it on layaway today; we’d just charge it!)

Most interesting to me of course is the Wyatt Earp 17-piece Frontier Marshall Set, comprising two official repeater cap pistols, jeweled double holster set, spurs, leather matching cuffs, deputy badge, bullets and bandana. The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp had already been on TV since September 1955 and was a Top Ten show.

By the way, I did try to find a two-foot-tall “panda” on Ebay resembling the one in the ad, but I was unsuccessful.

This summer I went on a real Western biography kick, reading multiple biographies of some of our greatest heroes of the Old West.

I’m happy to highly recommend Casey Tefertiller’s Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend. It’s most likely the best-researched book about Wyatt Earp ever written, as well as the most enjoyable. Most fascinating is how Wyatt Earp lived until 1929, and that his friend, movie cowboy William S. Hart, was one of his pallbearers.

If you happen to be a Bat Masterson fan, Robert K. DeArment wrote two great biographies of the well-known Western peace officer, Bat Masterson: The Man and the Legend, and Gunfighter in Gotham: Bat Masterson’s New York City Years. Both were well-written, with the later book about Masterson’s later years as a New York City sportswriter especially hard to put down.

I also read Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend by Gary L. Roberts. It was pretty good, but Doc had figured so prominently in the other two books I read that I was already familiar with his story.

(In case you’re wondering, despite the links to Amazon, I don’t get any kickback if someone happens to click through and buy any of the books indicated. In fact, I borrowed them all from the Lorain Public Library, cheapskate that I am.)

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