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Old-Time Shopping in Aberdeen
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Old-Time Shopping in Aberdeen

Online Exhibitions
David Oswald
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Old-Time Shopping in Aberdeen
Online Exhibitions
Old-Time Shopping in Aberdeen
On the 12th of April 1911 The Aberdeen Journal published an article looking at how shopping had changed during the preceding century. It's a wry glance back to a different time which also suggests that people and commerce have not changed all that much.

"Amongst the peculiarities of old-time shopping no one stood out with greater prominence than the feature which was locally known as "priggin'." To-day the price of goods is generally fixed and the market value is invariably respected. The ancestor of the modern shopper would have scorned such tame dealing. Even though goods were marked, a sale was seldom accomplished before much haggling had been performed, many variations of the truth had taken place, and not a few disrespectful words emphatically spoken.

"The stating of a price and the adhesion to it has done a great deal to lighten the labour of the shop assistant, and yet his tasks have increased in another direction. If he has not to haggle over prices, he has yet to push the sale of goods to the utmost of his ability. Moreover, he must keep smiling - outwardly - although he should have to overturn the whole premises for the grim reward, "I don't see exactly what I want, thank you." The old-time dealer indulged in no such servile simulation. He feared no competition, and not infrequently the customer was regarded as a nuisance. If the merchant was engrossed in reading, he not seldom denied possessing the commodity called for, even when it was staring brazenly in the customer's face."

This and other historic newspaper articles can be accessed at Aberdeen Local Studies: localstudieslibrary@aberdeencity.gov.uk
Items included in this Online Exhibition
St. Nicholas Street
Marks and Spencer's in St Nicholas Street
G.D. Henderson, Ironmonger
D. Cameron, Bakers