NBV businesses from Yesteryear stir old memories
Businesses in North Belle Vernon have always had a keen sense of marketing their services.
That point was emphasized by a reader in that picturesque community who sent several nostalgic clippings of advertisements from The Charleroi Mail and The Monessen Daily Independent.
“I found these pages in a family scrapbook and thought other people would enjoy them,” the reader said. “They brought back a lot of fond memories of growing up in North Belle Vernon and the enjoyment of shopping along Broad Avenue with my mother and grandmother many years ago.”
I realize there were, and continue to be, myriad other businesses along busy Broad Avenue and throughout North Belle Vernon.
The ones listed below are just a sampling of the tradition that has existed for so many years and reflect the memories of the reader who sent them.
Wednesday, Nov. 27, 1946
Broad Avenue Jewelers, 607 Broad Ave., North Belle Vernon, Visit Our New Store. Gifts for the Entire Family. Bulova watches, $55 – An Ideal Christmas Gift for Him or Her. Open An Account – Use Our Layaway Plan. Jules Bethem and William J. Mascara, proprietors. Phone 1484-R.
That ad was next to another calling attention to a Thanksgiving Dance at the New Italian Hall in Monessen on Thursday, November 28, Nine ‘Til One, featuring “Gus Rocko and His Captivating Music.” Admission $1.04, Tax 21 cents, Total $1.25.
Thursday, Aug. 8, 1947
Broad Avenue Jewelers Annex, 607 Broad Ave., North Belle Vernon.
Hold Everything “Ladies.” Gifts To Every Lady. Announcing The Opening of the Valley's Most Modern Up-To-Date Appliance Store Saturday, August 30 featuring the “All Star Cast of 1948” – The most wanted and most talked about appliances, with demonstrations on the following items: Servel gas refrigerators; RCA Victor Radios; Philco electric refrigerators; Philco radios; Universal sweepers, stoves and washers; Estate stoves and heatrolas; Royal sweepers; Hamilton-Beach sweepers; American Kitchen sinks and cabinets; Tray sinks; Seth Thomas clocks; Sunbeam mixers; G.E. clocks and small electric appliances; Thor washers (the new automated washers); Deep Freeze home freezers.
Terms? Why Certainly
A New Store Wanting To Make New Friends
Try Our Friendly and Courteous Service
Jules Bethem and William J. Mascara, proprietors
Phone 1484-R, B.V.
Tuesday, Feb. 23, 1951
The Paint and Wallpaper Store, 505 Broad Avenue, North Belle Vernon – Modernfold Doors, room dividers, operate like an accordion. as advertised in the Saturday Evening Post, $39.50 installed. George A. Boltze, proprietor.
(Mr. Boltze became a partner in a new business, Dart Supply, Inc., which opened in 1958 at Tri-County Plaza in Rostraver Townwhip.)
Tuesday, Aug. 19, 1952
Natalini's News Stand -- Model Aeroplanes, $1 to $9.95. We also carry boats, props, fuel, motors, tanks, balsa wood, control wire, glue, plugs, etc. “The Valley's Largest Hobby Center,” Open ‘Till 8:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 4, 1954
Vic's Fine Fashions – January Jubilee. Here's your 1954 wardrobe of picture-pretty cotton dresses. A colorful jamboree of fabulous fabrics. New-as-dawn silhouettes for fun now, for sun later. As advertised in Life magazine. Each $9.98.
Wednesday, May 15, 1957
Chuck's Record Shop, 607 Broad Ave., North Belle Vernon
Long Play Records – All Labels, $2.49, $2.79, $2.98, All Were Regularly $3.98.
$3.79 for all $4.98 albums; $4.29 for all regular $5.59 albums; 99 cents to $1.49 for all 10-inch long plays; 25 percent off all 45 extended pay albums, 2 for $1.00 all 78 RPM records now in stock; 59 cents 45 RPM records, selected group.
Limited Time Only
Chuck Galligan, proprietor.
Open Friday and Saturday ‘til 9 p.m.
Modern Art Studio, 514 Broad Ave., North Belle Vernon
Bell & Howell Sun Dial 3 Lens Movie Camera, Only $9.95 Down.
Open Friday and Saturday ‘til 9 p.m.
Vic's Fine Fashions
Ship ‘Shore summer blouse frolic, from $2.98. Come and get your fashion news. Lots of styles to pick and choose – scoops, blossoms, sports shorts too. Make a wardrobe with a few summer call for shirts galore. Sizes 28 to 42. Shop in Air-conditioned Comfort.
Open Friday ‘Til 9 o'clock.
A news story on the same page as those ads called attention to a Big Battle for Tax Collector in North Belle Vernon in the primary election next Tuesday (May 21).
Republican candidates for the post are incumbent Harriet Wilkinson and challengers Warren Williams and Ruby Owens. Democrats seeking their party's nod are Allen Ventura, Theresa Lupori, Raymond Deithorn and John Williamson.
Meanwhile, incumbent mayor Leroy Jones, a Democrat, has no opposition on either ticket.
Friday, Dec. 11, 1957
Bedsworth Home and Garden Supply, Broad Avenue Extension – Christmas trees: Scotch pines and spruce, all sizes, from $1.25; live white spruce, from $3.95;cemetery wreaths, from 98 cents to $5.95; potted poinsettias, three-bloom, $2.50. Phone 1557.
Monday, Dec. 18, 1958
Ohio Furniture Company, 419 Broad Avenue – Still the best place to do your Christmas Shopping. On the Hill in North Belle Vernon. No parking meters or token; easy parking. Lower prices and higher trade-ins, plus those ever popular S&H Green Stamps.
Thursday, Oct. 12, 1961
A large North Belle Vernon Shoppers Guide reminded consumers that the business district does not have parking meters and is “Where You Do Not Pay To Park.”
Featured in the co-op ad were the following:
Vic's Fine Clothes – Flannelette dusters, sizes 12 to 20 and 20 to 44, $3.98. Open Monday and Friday ‘til 9
Sherman Rexall Drugs – New Rexall Instant Protein, 8 ounces, $2.49; We Give S&H Green Stamps. Dial Waverly 9-7111.
Chuck's Record Shop – Diamond Needle for any Hi-Fi or Stereo, $5.95 (Power Point Cartridges Not Included). WA 9-9291
Fantauzzi TV & Appliance, 516 Broad Ave. – Your Best Buy Philco Gas Dryer with exclusive criss-cross tumbling and full-drum airflow, Only $118.
Natalini's News Store – Coin Collectors Books, 35 cents to $3.50; Coin Guide Books, $1 and $1.75; Mini-Proof Sets, $1 to $2; Coin Tubes 10 cents. Open to 8 p.m.
Dolfi's Super Market – Maxwell House instant coffee, 10 ounce jar, $1.29; Joan of Arc kidney beans, 9 cans for $1; Crisco shortening, 3 pound can, 79 cents; Lemons, 39 cents a dozen. Phone WA 9-5450
Modern Art Studio, 514 Broad Ave. – Pre-Christmas Sale on all Cameras, 1⁄3 Off; Light Bars and Accessories, ½ Off. Pone WA 95333
Vizza Motor Company, 414 Broad Ave. – 1956 Buick, 2-Door Hardtop, $595. Phone WA 9-3195.
Thursday, Oct. 26, 1961
The same businesses mentioned above touted the following specials in another North Belle Vernon Shoppers Guide:
Vizza Motor Company – 1955 Ford convertible, automatic V-8, Real Nice, $495.
Chuck's Record Shop – Diamond Replacement Needle, $5.95.
Modern Art Studio – Pre-Christmas Sale.
Fantauzzi TV & Appliance – Philco Stereos, starting as low as $195.
Dolfi's Super Market – Old fashion harehound candy, 7-ounce package, 29 cents; bread, two loaves for 35 cents.
Vic's Fine Clothes – Men's new fall dress slacks, $7.95 and $8.95, most are wash and wear.
Sherman Rexall Drugs – 10 Big Days Sale, Starts November 2, This coupon good for 100 S&H Green Stamps with $3.00 purchase or over. American's Greatest Drug Store Ever.
Natalini's News Store – TV Games: Wacky Wheel, 98 cents; Flintstones, $2.95; Scribble Bug, $2.95; Presto Pain, 98 cents; Duncan Yoyo, 29 cents to $1/
Also on that page was a large ad urging North Belle Vernon voters to elect the following “civic-minded, aggressive, well-qualified, experienced candidates” in the November 7 General Election:
Mayor – William Mascara; Council – Frank Fundy, Tony Stringhill, John Luzanski Jr., Cleo F. Valdiserri; School Director – George W. Boston, Joseph Tintori; Tax Collector—Margaret Bercini; Justice of the Peace – Charles C. Smith Jr.; Constable – Joseph Delia Jr.; Auditor – Edward J. Lyons. “Vote Straight Democratic.” This ad paid for by the North Belle Vernon Democratic Committee – Carmine Natalini, Secretary.
Wednesday, Sept. 23, 1964
Roley Brothers Garage, 806 Broad Avenue.
Today is '65 Pontiac Day. 1965: The year of the Quick Wide-Tracks.
We wish to extend an invitation to all of our customers and friends in the Mon Valley to come in and see the All New 1965 Pontiac, Bonnellville and Tempest. Our cars will be on show starting tonight at 7:30 with a sneak preview and will be on display the rest of the week from 9 to 9.
(If you have memories to share or a story idea, contact Ron Paglia at email@example.com or c/o The Valley Independent, Eastgate 19, Monessen, PA 15062.)
Ron Paglia is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.