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.
Eager customers stand outside the doors of Macy's, 1948.
Holiday shoppers line the sidewalk outside of Macy's, 1948.
Macy's shoppers wait to be allowed on the floor, 1948.
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.
Shoppers clamor for coveted items, 1948.
This is how many pearls Janet sells in one day.
Santa Claus impersonators at Macy's, 1948.
Young salesman William Komlos (Yale '48) is member of the 60-man executive training squad.
The sales floor at Macy's is crowded with people and Christmas decorations, 1948.
Women try on furs in the Macy's dressing room, 1948.
Comparison shoppers buy in competing stores, bring back merchandise priced under Macy's. Macy's then lowers prices to undersell competition.
A child sits with her doll at the crowded Macy's world heardquarters, 1948.
Store hospital treats 65,000 patients a year. This is usual Monday morning lineup having temperatures taken. The lineup is longer after big sale days.
A pageant is performed for the store's thousands of employees before the holiday rush, 1948.
The mess in the wake of a major sale day, 1948.
Photos: Nina Leen—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)