Photo of the Week Series
— Updated April 4, 2020 —
FROM THE SCHS LIBRARY ARCHIVES
“How shall we know it is us without our past?”
– John Steinbeck
A&P Grocery Catalog, 1913
by Wendy Polhemus-Annibell, Head Librarian
A&P Grocery Catalog, 1913. (From the Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives. Copyright © Suffolk County Historical Society. All rights reserved.)
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, more commonly known as A&P, was a U.S. grocery store chain founded in 1859 in New York City that grew to operate stores throughout the country for over 150 years (until 2015). A&P had 425 stores in America in 1913, according to this grocery catalog from our collection. By 1925, however, the chain was operating more than thirteen thousand grocery stores nationwide and employing over forty thousand people.
A&P was a place where most Americans in the modern era grew up shopping. The grocery store chain was able to gain a popularity with consumers that few companies have ever achieved in the United States. No doubt offering a detailed grocery catalog of offerings at fair prices was one of the keys to the company’s long-term success. Here are a few selected examples pulled from the catalog: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes – 10 cents; Maple Syrup, 1 gallon – $1.50; Strawberry Jam, 1 pound – 15 cents; Castile soap – 5 cents a bar; and the popular Eight O’Clock Coffee beans – 25 cents per pound.