to Teacher Resources and Activities
general store is an icon of American history. Making a study of the
institution is valuable way for students to explore the roots of their
local community and around the country.
It is a wonderful way to integrate history, geography, economics,
math and art into the social studies curriculum.
are resources to help in your study:
Paper or plastic?
Your choices for
carrying items home were different at the general store, especially
if you were buying in bulk. Learn about the different types of containers
the shopkeeper used to get his goods out to his customers.
of Containers at the General Store
a Penny or Dollar Could Buy
look cheap at the general store, but what you buy? Check out the ads
and see how far a penny or dollar could go.
the Inflation Calculator here!
Ever wonder what
things would cost today if you bought them at todays prices? For
example a 1875 Beckwiths sewing machine sold by H.C. Barkhousen
on Fidalgo Island cost $20.00. Today that machine would cost $305.83.
Compare with salaries from the 19th century. Things look cheap, but
of Terrence Macarty at Conner 1872 (pdf)
Store Ledger 1873 (pdf)
In 1858, early Skagit
pioneers went shopping on Bellingham Bay miles. Use the Inflation Calculator
to adjust 1858 prices to current day prices.
is a list of wages to help you understand the economics of the time.
How far would a dollar go if you made only $40.00 a month and it cost
$6.00 a month for a room?
your Own general Store!
Want to put together
your own general store for your class with reproductions and actual
working tools? Cumberland General Store is an excellent resource used
by many museums. Make a Whatzit Box with artifacts from the shelves
of a general store. Have students investigate their 5 properties: What
is it made of? How long? What does it weigh? Where is it kept? What
is it found next to?
Life in Illinois 1890-1920. Gives a view of life at the turn of the century. A little
such as Seattle and Portland would be somewhat the same, though a much
General stores. To do a search for general stores at American
Memories (Library of Congress). There are over 700 images from around