Here’s What Black Friday Used to Look Like Before It Was Called Black Friday

In 1948, Black Friday wasn’t called Black Friday yet. Newspapers from that era offer no evidence of stampedes or overnight lines that have become par for the course on the day after Thanksgiving — but the kick-off to the holiday shopping season has always been a red-letter retail day.

Jane Pickens leads 9,000 Macy’s employees in “Jingle Bells” during giant rally designed to whip up fever of salesmanship for Christmas rush.
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Eager customers stand outside the doors of Macy’s, 1948.
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Holiday shoppers line the sidewalk outside of Macy’s, 1948.
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Macy’s shoppers wait to be allowed on the floor, 1948.
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Bulletin board lists price changes made as a result of comparison shopping. Macy’s gets around fixed prices by producing own brands, fixing own prices.
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Shoppers clamor for coveted items, 1948.
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This is how many pearls [salesgirl] Janet [Steurer] sells in one day.
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Santa Claus impersonators at Macy’s, 1948.
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Young salesman William Komlos (Yale ’48) is member of the 60-man executive training squad.
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