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Have you finished your holiday shopping?  A look through the December issues of local
newspapers through the years offers a nostalgic look at some gifts (and prices)
from the past. 

For most of their nearly 60 years in downtown Brevard Plummer’s was located

on W. Main St., where Highland Books is today.  Their Toyland department

was a popular place for creating Christmas wish lists and for shopping. 

One hundred years ago, in 1919 Plummer & Trantham advertised,
“Dolls that go to sleep, dolls that cry, dolls with curly hair” at prices
ranging from 10 cents to $8.00.  Their
“Toyland” department carried a wide array of gift options for good little girls
and boys—dishes, drums, games, pull toys, rattles, trains and more. 

In 1931, during the Great Depression dolls could be purchased for
5 cents to $5.00 at Plummer’s Toyland. 
They had a variety of other toys available as well, including doll
accessories, musical instruments, aeroplanes, trucks, trains and wagons.  Children’s books were 5, 10 or 25 cents each.

As Belk’s prepared to move to their new store after the 1939
Christmas season they offered big sales. 
Scooters, baby dolls that cried and cowboy outfits were all available
for just 98 cents.  Tricycles ranged from
$1.98 to $6.95.

An advertisement in the November 10, 1949 Transylvania Times
stated, “Belk’s is always first in your community with the newest.  Now the nation’s sensation—that talking doll
that actually talks.  Come in and see her—she’ll
win your heart. Only $12.95.”

In 1959 Belk’s had a life-size vinyl doll that drinks and wets and
“cries real tears” for $3.99.   They also
carried battery operated toys from $1.99-3.99, including an old-time steam
locomotive and a tugboat that made chugging sounds and blew smoke through the
stack and a walking seal that did ball balancing tricks.

By 1969 the popular items were an Easy-Bake Over at $10.88 or a
See ‘n Say for $5.99 at Crest on Broad Street. 
Super Chargers Twin Race sets sold for $9.77 and the Rally Case which
held 24 die-cast hot wheels cars was just $2.99.

Photographs and information for this column are provided by the
Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit the NC
Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about our
history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments, or
suggestions contact Marcy at [email protected]
or 828-884-1820.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712