Sales Now and Then

Since my book is about a move from the United States to the Soviet Union because of the difficulties encountered by my grandparents during the Great Depression, I began to think about how people survive today when money is tight. You cut corners as much as you can, and use coupons wisely, particularly if you learn the art of extreme couponing. That is when you can buy a shopping cart filled with food for practically nothing. One of my children has become quite skilled at that and loves to tell me of her latest deals.

I wondered about the early history of coupons. I discovered that the first coupons were part of a promotion for Coca Cola back in 1888 where the company offered free glasses of coke to introduce customers to their new drink.

It was not surprising to learn how popular coupons were during the Great Depression, and they were not just for food. I decided to look at the local newspaper published during the week my father’s family packed up their bags and left their cozy little house in Rockaway, New Jersey in 1931.

Below is part of a full page ad which ran in the Rockaway Record on December 2, 1931 from a store in the nearby town of Dover. The store, S. Friedland and Company, appears to be a department store. On this day, the newspaper was advertising a three-day “Dollar Days” sale, selling everything from chairs, towels, lamps, and men’s neckties for just one dollar.


So in honor of that December sale during the week that my father’s life changed forever, I am having a similar sale. This week the Kindle version of my book will be on sale in the U.S. and U.K. (the first stop on their journey east) starting at 99 cents and then increasing incrementally during the week. I hope you will give it a try and learn what happens to the boy and his family on the cover of my book.




About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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