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When and Where Did this Store Open?

A peek into the archives of the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society.

If you think you know the answer or have a special memory related to the photo, respond in the "Leave a comment" box below this article. We'll run the answer next Monday, along with a new historical photo. The image has been provided by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society. For more information on the museum's collection and programs, visit www.noahwebsterhouse.org.

Last week's question was "What Are These Women Doing?" Either this one was easier than expected, or there are just some very astute readers in West Hartford.

The first few commenters thought these women were switchboard/telephone operators. David Whall got very close to the complete answer with his guess: "These are telephone operators, circa 1930, I should think. This is a small exchange, and the writing on the chalk board along with the note pads offers some good hints on its purpose. My guess is this is the switchboard exchange of a grocery store where people could call in their orders and schedule a home delivery. Sort of like an early Peapod!"

Tom Hine nailed it. "Burnham's Grocery store operators in West Hartford Center (across from Town Hall)," was his comment.

The answer provided by the Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society is: "This is the main office of the Burnham store, once located on Main Street. In the early years, Burnham’s offered delivery twice a week. As telephone orders increased so did the delivery service and eventually the store operated 10 delivery trucks. At its height, Burnham’s employed 80 people."

d harrington February 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Lord and Taylors, Bishops Corner, 1950s
Mary Jane Spencer February 27, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Lord & Taylor Bishop Corner. They had a restaurant in it The Bird Cage which was great. MSpencer
Lisa Petersen February 27, 2012 at 01:43 PM
Bishops Corner where Marshalls is now. It opened before 1960 because I remember getting my clothes there when I was a kid. There was a great restaurant on the back called The Bird Cage. I felt pretty special going there with my aunt on a Saturday afternoon.
Lisa Lenkiewicz February 27, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I lived 45 minutes away, but Lord & Taylor in Bishop's Corner is where I found my bat mitzvah dress in 1970.
Cathy R. Sullivan February 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM
As a child, my mother would take us to see Santa, and have lunch at the Bird Cage at Lord&Taylor,Bishop's Corner. Cathy R. Sullivan
Dianne Rechel March 01, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I still have a sweater that I bought there for $2.90. We all wore white gloves to go to the Bird Cage. Not so with Caldor's which took its place.
David I. Brandwein March 01, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Bishops Corners, February 1953 David Brandwein

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