Oct 2, 2013

Retail Meats, Wholesale Prices

In a previous post about my father's meat market, Allentown Meat Packing, I give a brief history of the business. There were not many retail businesses on lower Union Street, before the Hamilton Street Bridge. The Orange Car was there because of a railroad siding, which could provide fresh fruit from Florida during the winter. Allentown Meat Packing had previously been a slaughterhouse and wholesale meat packer. A former cooler facing Union Street was converted into a store room. The ceiling still had the rails where sides of beef once hung. Although supermarkets were beginning to affect the butcher shops, the independents survived till the mid 1960's. He would place a small ad every week in The Morning Call. His customers came from all over the city, often having to wait 15 minutes as long freight trains crossed Union Street. In addition to meat, he sold some canned goods, lined up on shelves behind the meat cases. The hours were long and the work was hard. Today's supermarkets have once again installed butcher meat cases, in addition to the open self service displays. Those cases are there to make you think that you're in a butcher shop.

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