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"The A and P has good enough without payin' all kinds of fancy prices."
The company was founded in 1859 as The Great American Tea Company by George Huntington Hartford and George Gilman in New York City. It was renamed "The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company" in 1869. George and John A. Hartford, the founder's sons, joined the company in the 1880s and George Huntington Hartford bought George Gilman's interests out.
The company originally focused on the tea business, selling tea from a storefront on Vesey Street in lower Manhattan. They were successful in capturing a large part of the market in the northeastern cities in the U.S. They purchased tea directly from Chinese tea plantations. Their low costs enabled them to undercut most of the market and grow. By 1876 they had 67 stores.
The 20th century
In 1912, the first A&P Economy Store opened; it was a grocery store format that allowed cost-cutting and standardized layout. The new format allowed the company to grow to 1,600 stores by 1915. In 1925, A&P had 13,961 stores, with sales of $437 million. In the early 1930s, A&P was operating approximately 16,000 stores with a combined revenue of US$1 billion. In 1936 A&P opened its first supermarket in Braddock, Pennsylvania.
In 1949, an anti-trust suit was filed against A&P. The chain placed advertisements in many newspapers to defend itself against the claim that it had become a food monopoly.Everyone knows that A&P's policy has always been to keep costs and profits at a minimum so that it can sell good food cheap[ly]. The very heart of the anti-trust lawyers' case is that A&P's methods, which they claim are illegal, have enabled the company to undersell the competition. How can anyone possibly say that you will get lower food prices by eliminating the company that has done so much to bring them down?
In the 1950s, the pressure A&P put on its suppliers led Congress to implement anti-predatory pricing laws. The threat of having to break up the A&P company because of its near-monopoly of the food industry led John Augustine Hartford and George Ludlum Hartford to give an interview to Time, which put them on the magazine's November 13, 1950 cover. Time wrote that, next to General Motors, A&P sold more goods than any other company in the world. John was quoted in Time as saying "I don't know any grocer who wants to stay small. I don't see how any businessman can limit his growth and stay healthy". Into 1958, the company was still owned and controlled by the Hartford Family; efforts to make A&P a publicly-owned corporation ensued.
In the mid-1950s, A&P was the dominant food retailer. In some areas, A&P had 75 percent of the grocery-store share; the company was operating in 39 of the then 48 states. Downtown stores were being replaced with 15,000-to-20,000-square foot supermarkets, a large size for that period. In many situations, a 20,000-square-foot (2,000 m2) store in a town would replace several, obsolete, 5,000-square-foot (500 m2) stores. In most locations these new stores had a colonial design with a cupola and a weathervane on the roof; A&P referred to this as its "Centennial" store design. On the West Coast, the stores had a round marina design. After the Hartford brothers passed away in the 1950s, A&P was inherited by their nephew Huntington Hartford, since neither brother had children. Huntington Hartford did not take a active role in the company; instead, John Hartford's secretary Ralph Burger, ran A&P.
[There's lots more info on this food chain at WIkipedia. What I fid interesting is that in 1930, the chain had 16,000 stores, now in 2011 it has 362 stores...while Walmart has...how many?
The license plate number was 11-C-11.
License plates have been around for longer than there have been automobiles. The City of Victoria in the Province of British Columbia, Canada was the first to introduce the vehicle licence plate in 1884 for a horse-drawn hackney carriage. France was the first country to introduce the license plate, in 1893, followed by Germany in 1896. The Netherlands was the first country to introduce a national licence plate, called a "driving permit", in 1898. The first licences were plates with a number, starting at 1. By August 8, 1899 the counter was at 168. When the Netherlands chose a different way to number the plates on January 15, 1906 the last issued plate was 2001.
In the U.S., where each state issues plates, New York State has required plates since 1901. At first, plates were not government issued in most jurisdictions and motorists were obliged to make their own. Massachusetts and West Virginia were the first states to issue plates, in 1903.
The earliest plates were made out of porcelain baked onto iron or ceramic with no backing, which made them fragile and impractical. Few of these earliest plates survive. Later experimental materials include cardboard, leather, plastic and during wartime shortages copper and pressed soybeans.
Earlier plates varied in size and shape from one jurisdiction to the next, such that if one moved, new holes would need to be drilled into the bumper to support the new plate. Standardization of plates came in 1957, when automobile manufacturers came to agreement with governments and international standards organizations. While peculiar local variants still exist, there are three basic standards worldwide.
"Didn't you want some tickes for the Temp'rance Union garden party?"
The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) is the oldest continuing non-sectarian women's organization worldwide. Organized at a national convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1874, the group spearheaded the crusade for prohibition. Members in Fredonia, New York advanced their cause by entering , singing, praying, and urging saloon keepers to stop selling alcohol.
Although the oldest woemn's organization, it is not the oldest Temperance Union. The very first termperance union, the American Temperance Union, was formed from 1826-1833. It closed in 1866.
He chose the booth farthest away from the operator and manipulated a nickel. [put a nickel in the payphone slot]
Payphones were preceded by pay stations, manned by telephone company attendants who would collect payment for calls placed. In 1889, the first public coin telephone was invented by William Gray and installed at a bank in Hartford, Connecticut. The invention quickly caught on, and by 1902, there were 81,000 payphones in the United States. By 1905, the first outdoor payphones with booths were installed. By the end of 1925, 25,000 of these booths existed in New York City alone. In 1960, the Bell System installed its one millionth telephone booth. After the divestiture of Pacific Bell (California) and AT&T in 1984, it wasn't long before independent stores selling telephones opened up. After that privately owned payphones hit the market. In 2000, there were over 2 million payphones in the United States, today that number is around 700,000, the major carriers AT&T and Verizon have both exited the business, and this market is served by independent payphone companies now.
In the United States, the coin rate for a local direct-dialed station-to-station call from a payphone has been 50¢ in most areas since mid-2001, for an unlimited number of minutes. During the 1960s and 1970s, the same call in the United States and Canada typically cost 10¢. In inflation adjusted terms, in 2006 USD, this was 68¢ in 1960, and 28¢ in 1979. While some areas only cost 5¢, smaller companies occasionally charged as high as 15¢ to 20¢. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, this price gradually changed to 20¢, and again rose to 25¢ in some areas between 1985 and 1990 (47¢-39¢, inflation adjusted terms as above). In the late 1990s, the price rose to 35¢ in many areas. However, in most areas in California, for instance, the price is very often 50 cents a call (note that pay telephones rarely, if ever, accept 50 cent pieces (half-dollars). New York City is a notable exception, where Verizon's and other companies' phones still cost 25 cents for 4 minutes, except in hotels and airports. Verizon tried raising the price to 50 cents, but lowered it to 25 cents after customers started using their competitors' phones.