Digital North Carolina Blog

Digital North Carolina Blog

This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from institutions across North Carolina.

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“Buy Local” Movement in 1907

The more we read old newspapers, the more we find what we assumed to be modern trends showing up long ago. The Sylvan Valley News, published in Brevard in the early 20th century, was a strong advocate for the “Buy Local” movement. In those days, local businesses weren’t threatened by large discount chain stores or online retailers but by another recently-developed and extremely popular shopping alternative: the mail order catalog.

This front-page ad from February 22, 1907, puts it in very clear terms:
“In the long run more of your money will come back to you if you spend it at home than if you send it to Chicago or some other large city.  You spend a dollar with Smith, up the street.  Smith spends it with Brown, around the corner.  Brown is just as likely to spend it with you as with anybody else.  Did you ever think of that?”
Chicago, of course, was the home of Sears, Roebuck and Company.

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