Jefferson Ten-Cent Store (Location Key)


Jefferson's "ten cent store" is where Susan Reed gets a job after dropping out of school in "Hair" (135), where the narrator of "Shall Not Perish" first encounters the "zipper" as a way of closing things (105), and where Old Het gets the "succession of paper shopping bags" in which she carries her belongings in The Town (242). Het used to carry her few possessions in a carpetbag, but that was before "the ten cent store came to Jefferson" (242) - a detail like the newfangled "zipper" suggesting how this kind of store is another sign of 20th century progress. Sometimes called 'dimestores' or 'five-and-dime stores,' the first "ten cent stores" were opened in Pennsylvania by the Woolworth Brothers in the late 19th century. By the early 20th century they were common in the South. They were known for the variety of low-cost merchandise they stocked, and for giving their customers direct access to the merchandise (instead of having to ask a clerk to get things). They also, as Het knows, "gave away" paper bags so that their customers could carry the goods they bought home themselves (242).

Display Name: 
Jefferson Ten-Cent Store
Sort Name: 
Jefferson Ten-Cent Store