Patron Past Stories

FUNNY FRIDAY: I wonder how this man would react if he was suddenly thrust into today’s world?

A funny story—I bet he would be shocked at the world today. Do you know what the name of the store could have been on 23rd Street in Birmingham?

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He Protests Against Girls Selling Men’s Underclothing

(transcribed from the Weekly Iron Age, Birmingham, Alabama – July 28, 1887)

In the name of bashful masculinity, I want to protest against the employment of women in stores devoted to the sale of what is known in the trade as “gents furnishing goods.” A few days ago I had occasion to buy some summer undergarments, and searched through a big dry goods establishment on Twenty-third street until I found the proper counter, and to my dismay discovered instead of a clerk of my own sex, a rather pretty girl handling the goods with a business-like air.

Mustered up the courage

I mustered up courage enough to ask stammeringly for some undershirts. She produced the article, and, with cold perspiration all over me, I requested, “I want the—ah, that is, I want the rest of the suit.”

She surveyed me boldly and coldly, and drawled out in loud and distinct tones:

“You want a pair of drawers?”

The room was pretty crowded, and a general laugh went up at my expense, particularly from the girl clerks. I grabbed my purchase as soon as possible and went out with a flaming face. I believe other bashful men besides myself are kept away from such counters by the sex of their attendants.

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  1. I’m thinking maybe Loveman’s department store???

  2. My Mother, who is 94 and myself often wonder when talking about the internet or modern modes of transport how her parents and their siblings would react if they were to come back for a day. Born at the end of WWII in Europe, I have seen such changes in my life time as a UK and mainland Europe was re-built as well as how towns and Cities in the US have been re-modelled. But that is the way of time, we are only on earth for a short time and all want to make life easier to live. I just wish we could live in flash backs like we have in Movies to live in those days gone by for a day or two.

  3. Parisians? I think they started in Birmingham, just don’t know the year.

  4. It was probably one of these. Parisians opened in the 1870’s and Lovemans in the 1880’s.

  5. I would guess Lovemans. I admire this man. He was old-school then and I am now. I wonder what he would think about both genders using the same restrooms. If I caught a male going into a public restroom my wife was in it would be a sad day for him.

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