Yesterday I bought a new vacuum cleaner. I had to go to three stores, look at features, compare prices, and make my selection without ever turning on a machine. Not so in my grandmother’s day, or even my mom’s. The Hoover man came to our house and demonstrated his products. He poured dirt on the floor and then cleaned it up! He told you all the benefits and features of Hoover. My grandmother spent a fortune for hers, but she smiled every time she used it! She knew she was cleaning with the best machine available.
Thinking about that vacuum cleaner brought back memories of all the people who used to knock at our door to sell things. I loved the Watkins dealer because his spices and herbs smelled so good. Mom only bought vanilla, and only once or twice a year.
The Fuller Brush Man had a case full of gadgets, but I can’t remember Mom ever purchasing anything from him. Perhaps she couldn’t justify dusting with anything other than an old diaper. And “cleaning product” meant only one thing in our house- bleach.
The Bible salesman often called at our house, but it wasn’t until I was a young bride that I actually bought a family Bible. It was a huge thing! I was so proud of it.
When our children were little Gary and I purchased a set of The Encyclopedia Britannica from a door to door salesman. We thought our kids would be the smartest ones on the block with all that information. And of course we were the poorest couple on the block by the time we made all the payments. LOL
Mom loved to see the Avon lady! I think she was Mom’s favorite sales person, no matter where we lived. There were always free samples and bargains and things that smelled good. Mom didn’t use a lot of makeup, but she surely loved lotions and powders. Grandmother did, too!
I’m sure there were many more salesmen who never got beyond the front porch. Mom was rather cautious about who she let into the house. I’m not sure how she made her decisions, but I don’t remember ever being frightened or even concerned about any sales person. Nowadays, I wouldn’t let anyone into my home if I didn’t know them already.
I also remember brief periods of time when we had home delivery of milk, bread, or vegetables. If you remember other door to door salesmen I’d love to hear about them.