Jenz thoughts and feelings

November 12, 2006

Shopping in 1869

Filed under: NOVEMBER National Blog Posting Month! — jenz @ 2:16 pm


In 1869 Mrs Eliza Davis went shopping in a grocery store in Smyrna, Tennessee.


This what she purchased:-

228.4 sugar

128.4 coffee

1 bbl salt

1/2 box of candles

1/2 box of pepper

1/2 box of spice

1/2 box of ginger

2 brooms


Mrs Davis and her family were properly coffee drinkers. They wouldnt have had electricity in their home (electricity wasnt used in people’s homes until ) so they would have had to keep their meat by salt curing it, she might have used the pepper, spice and ginger to add flavour to her meat. Or she might have used the pepper, spice and ginger for baking. If she wanted to further process the meat she could have put it into a sugar brine once it had been salted. Although their was no electricity by salt (and if desired sugar) curing her family would have been able keep their home-killed meat for 2 or 3 months. She would have needed the candles for lighting her house too. There would have been no vacuum cleaners so the brooms would have been used to keep their house clean.

The store she went to sold Grocieries, hardware, boots, shoes, clothing and crockery to just to name a few.

The store was owned by Mr Dudley and Mr Ross. The below photo could well be the store itself.


NB The town in which Mrs Davis lived was postwar by 4 years. It is possible that some of her family may have fought inThe Battle of Stones River which was only 8 miles away. At the end of the year she brought these groceries the town had got their 1st Major.

tag3_3_1_e.gif Reciept History of Smyrna Early History Smyrna shop




If this entry interested you why dont you check out this recently created blog of a good friend of mine and see more entries about how life was in days gone by.




  1. Is this in US Dollars or what country is the pricing in?

    The old days had better book keeping and also receipting etc compare with now is all electronic.

    my own father prefers the old days than the new technology as he says is more hassles with it now than what it used to be…

    Comment by Murray Whittington — November 12, 2006 @ 6:15 pm | Reply

  2. That’s really interesting history, I wonder if the store is still there?

    Comment by Amy — November 12, 2006 @ 6:38 pm | Reply

  3. Muzz its American

    Amy I dont think so apparently the town is now really bustling and while researching I did see a modern supermarket. Apparently once the railway made a stop there the town just took off rapidly.

    Comment by jenz — November 12, 2006 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  4. That is so interesting! My folks kept one of their budgets of when they were just married. It’s so interest to see how the price of things have gone up!

    Comment by supermom — November 13, 2006 @ 5:21 am | Reply

  5. I love to read old receipts and such as this. I live in Northeast Arkansas, and I actually remember visiting a few dry goods stores like this one. I was born in 1963, by the way. Things can be slow to change here in the South. We tend to be very big on tradition and like things to remain constant.

    Smyrna isn’t all that far from where I live. I’ve been close, but never actually in the city of Smyrna itself.

    Comment by Diane J. — November 13, 2006 @ 4:58 pm | Reply

  6. when we were in silver dollar city on vacation it is based on long ago times and people are dressed in long dresses and bonnets. i told my husband wouldn’t it be nice if the food and drinks were priced according to olden times as well.

    about the baby reins: i have just been thinking of getting one of those. also been thinking of posting my ideas on that.

    Comment by melissa — November 13, 2006 @ 5:38 pm | Reply

  7. Supermom that would be interesting to look at. How is your dad havent seen him on your blog for a while.

    Nice to have you visit Diane and Melissa. I found it really intewresting too may do another one sometime
    Id love to live like that Melissa except I wouldnt like to do housework like they did then LOL. Would be interested to read your thoughts on baby reins Melissa.

    Comment by jenz — November 13, 2006 @ 8:08 pm | Reply

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