Skip to main content

Postcard Spotlight: Sin at the Sweet Shop



This confectionery, with its multi-color décor, light bulbs, and polka dot flooring, must have made for an exciting experience for those who went there. Postcard printed before 1907 in Germany .

Some American purists in the early 1900s denounced confectionery stores that served ice cream and sweet drinks because they were damaging the morals of young boys and girls. They also blamed Greek immigrants – who owned and operated many of the shops at the time – for engaging in unlawful activities to make money.

“The men who own the ‘joints’ are as a rule rascals, and stop at nothing short of murder to gain wealth,” according to Samuel Paynter Wilson, the author of the 1910 book Chicago By Gaslight. Wilson wrote that some of the shops had private quarters for boys and girls to engage in romantic activities.

He also believed that the ice cream and drinks were spiked with liquor. In one example detailed in the book, Wilson and a friend ordered a popular drink at one of these shops, and both concluded that it was probably 80% alcohol. Wilson said he promptly called the police, and the place was closed within 24 hours.

The postcard shown here is popular among collectors. The postcard was printed in Germany and has an undivided back, which indicates that it was most likely produced before 1907. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marshall Field's at Christmas

  The aisle on the first floor of the State Street store is 358 feet long. Postcard publisher is unknown.  Many Chicagoans continue to miss visiting Marshall Field’s during the holiday season. Just talking about the famed Christmas windows and holiday decorations brings about memories of the department store’s glory days. Many of us can recall the strong smell of perfume that would greet visitors upon entering the flagship State Street store, along with the huge white Romanesque columns decorated with Christmas fare on the first floor. The real fun, however, was taking the elevator to the 7 th floor to get a glimpse of the giant Christmas tree inside the Walnut Room restaurant. The best place to view the tree was one floor up on a balcony area. Christmas decorations on the first floor. Postcard publisher is unknown.  Frango mint chocolates were piled high in various areas throughout the store, and many visitors couldn’t resist buying a box. Frango chocolates were once made in a kitc

Chicago's Christmas Characters

Marshall Field & Company's State Street store decorated for the Christmas Holiday. Postcard publisher is unknown.           The Christmas characters known as the Cinnamon Bear, Uncle Mistletoe, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer can all be traced back to Chicago department stores.  The Cinnamon Bear radio program first aired in the weeks leading up to Christmas in 1937. The program was produced in Hollywood and aired around the country but was sponsored by Wieboldt’s department store in Chicago and the Oregon-based department store Lipman-Wolfe and Co. Wieboldt’s sold stuffed Cinnamon Bear toys for $2.98 a piece and gave out Cinnamon Bear buttons to children who visited the store to see Santa Claus.                Cinnamon Bear’s official name was Paddy O’Cinnamon, and he spoke with an Irish brogue. The show consisted of 26 15-minutes episodes and told the story of how the bear helps lead a pair of twins to Maybe Land to search for a silver star. Cinnamon Bear also had a shor

Burlesque Dancer Sally Rand Took the Chicago World's Fair by Storm

Sally Rand danced at the Streets of Paris exhibit. Postcard printed by Curt Teich & Co, Chicago. Sally Rand was never supposed to perform her iconic “fan dance” at the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago. The dancer’s requests to perform inside the Streets of Paris exhibit had been turned down several times. But Rand decided to take matters into her own hands by riding into a pre-opening party on the fairgrounds, uninvited, on a white horse wearing nothing but a velvet cape. The crowd loved it. Rand was arrested but released the next day, when she promptly accepted an offer to perform as the headliner in the Café de la Paix’s floor show for $90 per week. While her dancing broke boundaries and city decency ordinances at the time, her legacy was born and Rand made her cultural mark on the world. According to The 1933 Chicago World’s Fair by Cheryl Ganz, 29-year-old Sally Rand had previously worked as an acrobatic circus performer and film stuntwoman. She had also alread