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Historical Photos of American Stores from the Late 19th Century

During the 19th century, it was challenging to keep perishable food fresh. People would go shopping every day and buy small amounts of groceries. In the 19th century, there were no supermarkets but small shops of various kinds. The stores were open six days a week and stayed open until the last customer left in the evening.

The poor often bought from street vendors because they were cheaper than the stores. They would often purchase from markets or street sellers since they were cheaper than shops.

Discover what 19th-century American stores looked like with these amazing vintage photos.

#1 Exterior of Hardie & Darling store and auctioneer store, 1860s

Exterior of Hardie & Darling store and auctioneer store, 1860s

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#2 Exterior of J.S. Lytle & Son’s horse furnishing goods store, 1870s

Exterior of J.S. Lytle & Son's horse furnishing goods store, 1870s

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#3 People outside of general store, New York, 1870s

People outside of general store, New York, 1870s

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#4 People outside of tinware store, New York, 1870s

People outside of tinware store, New York, 1870s

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#5 Three women outside general store, 1870s

Three women outside general store, 1870s

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#6 Exterior of F.W. Eaton & Co. Hay, Grain, & Coal store, 1880s

Exterior of F.W. Eaton & Co. Hay, Grain, & Coal store, 1880s

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#7 Interior of James Heaney’s grocery store, 1880s

Interior of James Heaney's grocery store, 1880s

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#8 Man and woman outside tobacconist shop, 1880s

Man and woman outside tobacconist shop, 1880s

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#9 Man outside dress and cloak making shop, Gloversville, New York, 1880s

Man outside dress and cloak making shop, Gloversville, New York, 1880s

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#10 Men and boys outside Adam Wachter’s Meat Market, 1880s

Men and boys outside Adam Wachter's Meat Market, 1880s

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#11 People outside grocery store, Washington St., Boston, MA, 1880s

People outside grocery store, Washington St., Boston, MA, 1880s

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#12 People outside Locher’s Drug Store, Philadelphia, PA, 1880s

People outside Locher's Drug Store, Philadelphia, PA, 1880s

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#13 Three men outside of F.W. Eaton & Co. Hay, Grain, & Coal store, 1880s

Three men outside of F.W. Eaton & Co. Hay, Grain, & Coal store, 1880s

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#14 Two men outside corner general store, 1880s

Two men outside corner general store, 1880s

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#15 Two men outside grocery store, 1880s

Two men outside grocery store, 1880s

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#16 Two men outside grocery store, 1880s

Two men outside grocery store, 1880s

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#17 Two men outside storefront, 2336 Broadway, New York, 1880s

Two men outside storefront, 2336 Broadway, New York, 1880s

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#18 Two women outside store selling Horton’s ice cream, 352 Pleasant St., New York, 1880s

Two women outside store selling Horton's ice cream, 352 Pleasant St., New York, 1880s

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#19 Butcher standing outside Otto Hoffmann Adirondack Market, 1890s

Butcher standing outside Otto Hoffmann Adirondack Market, 1890s

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#20 Exterior of tinware store, Boston, MA, 1890s

Exterior of tinware store, Boston, MA, 1890s

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#21 Interior of a shoe store, 1890s

Interior of a shoe store, 1890s

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#22 Interior of hardware store, 1890s

Interior of hardware store, 1890s

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#23 Interior of Herman Lemp’s jewelry and watch store, 1890s

Interior of Herman Lemp's jewelry and watch store, 1890s

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#24 Man standing outside Working People’s Bargain Store, New York, 1890s

Man standing outside Working People's Bargain Store, New York, 1890s

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#25 People outside Adam Wachter’s Meat Market, New York, 1880s

People outside Adam Wachter's Meat Market, New York, 1880s

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#26 People outside grocery store, 1890s

People outside grocery store, 1890s

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#27 Three men at counter of grocery store, 1890s

Three men at counter of grocery store, 1890s

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#28 Two men outside haberdashery, 1890s

Two men outside haberdashery, 1890s

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Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

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