NAIROBI NEWS JANUARY 19, 1920: “A WONDERFUL SALE”
In our modern day, we're used to big sales. We expect them to hit the stores on the day after Thanksgiving, and again just after Christmas. For some reason, President’s Day is a time for white sales. 1920 Nairobi had its sales, too. Whiteaway and Laidlaw & Co., Ltd., on 6th Avenue in Nairobi was an important store to the settler soldiers and farmers of the colony. They were purveyors of just about anything a household could need, from undergarments to outerwear, cooking utensils, toiletries, and farm implements. And on Monday January 19, 1920, they were having a big stocktaking sale.
The advertisement on the front page of The Leader of British East Africa displayed just a few of their wonderful items and prices. Maw’s Parex Talcum Powder in your choice of carnation, white rose, or violet was marked down from 1.76 rupees to 1.25. Double warp cotton sheets went from 21.50 rupees to 16. Ladies hosiery, Palm Olive Toilet Soap, Swan fountain pens, men’s felt hats, and men’s khaki putties were all marked down to clear out stock before new inventory arrived. Even ladies dresses in cotton, voile, muslin, silk, crepe and velvet were reduced over half price “to make room for new stock coming forward.” As the advertisement explained, “Our custom of importing only one dress of each model makes it impossible to detail these bargains.”
At least someone buying a sale dress knew that they weren’t going to see another customer wearing the same outfit later on.
And did any of my readers note that January 19 fell on a Monday this year as well? How timely.
NEXT WEEK: A GANG OF CRIMIMALS
NOTE: These blogs are meant to give some insight into the life and times of my fictional character, Jade del Cameron. Jade’s mystery adventures take place in post WWI Africa. To date they are: Mark of the Lion, Stalking Ivory, and The Serpent’s Daughter NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK. The fourth book The Leopard’s Prey, IS available in hardcover. For more information, visit the website: www.suzannearruda.com