Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Holidays from the Shockoe Examiner.

Two new exhibits from Special Collections and Archives,
James Branch Cabell Library, VCU Libraries
(thanks to Tom Ray for the Miller & Rhoads boxes
and the Reynolds foil wrapping paper).
The exhibit cases are located on the fourth floor of the Cabell Library.

Double Click on the
Images for a Much Larger View.

Holidays Past
Ukrop’s, Miller & Rhoads, and Reynolds’s Metals Co.

A grocery store, a retail department store, and a firm that sells aluminum foil. They were all long time Richmond companies that had strong cultural and economic ties to the city. They are all gone now.

Ukrop’s was the Richmond area’s leading local grocery chain. Established in Richmond in 1937, the supermarket grew to 25 stores in central Virginia by 2000. The store had a reputation for great customer service and community involvement. When the chain began to lose market share the family owned business decided in 2009 to sell its stores to the Giant-Carlisle's Division of the Dutch based conglomerate Ahold. Their former stores now operate under the name Martin’s. 

These items were collected by library staff before the store closed in the Spring of 2010.

Miller & Rhoads

Miller & Rhoads was founded in Richmond in 1885. The firm expanded in the first few decades of the 20th century and by the late 1940s it had become one of Virginia’s most successful retail stores. After just over 100 years of success, competition from other stores forced the chain to close in 1990.

Their large store on Broad Street in downtown Richmond was a key destination point for Richmonders.  For many years, Miller & Rhoads' Santa was purported to be "the real Santa Claus." A number of actors, many featuring a snowy white real beard, portrayed Santa. 

The Miller & Rhoads green (1970s) and yellow gift boxes (1980s) were donated by a friend of the library in 2009.
Eddie Weaver Plays Christmas Music – Phonograph record produced in 1969 on the Miller & Rhoads Custom Records label. Eddie Weaver (1907-2000) was a well-known local organ player who played at the Lowe’s Theatre (now the Carpenter Theatre) for over twenty years and the Byrd Theatre for many years as well.

The Reynolds Metals Co.

The Reynolds Metals Co., now part of the Alcoa Company, was founded in 1919 in Louisville, Kentucky by Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., a nephew of R.J. Reynolds, the tobacco magnate of Richmond. The company is known primarily for producing Reynolds Aluminum Foil. The company moved to Richmond in 1938 and operated here until 2010.

The Reynolds Gift Wrap displayed here dates ca. 1970 and was a gift to Special Collections and Archives by a donor in 2009.

Wondering what do get someone
special for the Holidays?
Why not recently published works
on Richmond history?

These titles are available in Special Collections and Archives
and at your local bookstore.


Bruce said...

My parents played that Eddie Weaver album ever Christmas. It burned into my memory for better or worse. My dad was a pilot for Reynolds and always brought home lots of that foil giftwrap.

jimi said...

that's great.