Ice Cold Drinks and Candies

Ice cream soda, lemonade, milkshakes, lunch, cigars and tobacco:


A summertime park picture by Charles S. Lillybridge

Summer at the park in Denver was a little different 100 years ago.  I'll never understand how they beat the heat in those long sleeves and skirts. We certainly can't blame them for hanging around the Ice Cold Drink Stand.While I'd probably pass on the cigars, an ice cold lemonade would be wonderful right about now. Unfortunately, you only find these sorts of stands in theme parks anymore. Between the admission price, obligatory souvenirs, and the overpriced drink itself, you'll probably pay about $50 bucks for the same lemonade today. I wonder how much it cost in Lillybridge's day... 5 cents, perhaps?

Photographer Chares Lillybridge lived along the Platte River near the Archer Canal, by the Alameda Avenue bridge, in Denver, Colorado. In the early 20th century, he took thousands of pictures of his working-class neighborhood. Today, the Archer Canal has been replaced by Interstate 25. Supermarkets have replaced small shops. Something about the people, however, remains the same. It is still a working class neighborhood, and the same trees grow along the banks of the Platte.

All photos via the Western History and Genealogy section of the Denver Public Library.

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How much was that lemonade? Well, in 1913 the average wage of blue-collar types (bricklayer, painter, plumber, stonecutter) was around $0.65/hr. A lemonade at the Denver Zoo nowadays will probably set you back, oh, $2. The average bricklayer wage here in Colorado is now $22/hr + $8/hr in fringes, for a total of about $30/hr. $2 is 6.66% if an hour's wage, so if lemonade were comparably priced, they were probably charging something in the neighborhood of $0.043 or, as you speculated, rounded up to $.05. Good guess.

Just a thought on the long sleeved shirts and long trousers. This form of dress can be appropriate in warm/hot weather if it is loose.

We are actually reprimanded here (temperature is mid 40Cs in summer) for going out in short sleeved shirts or short trousers at work.

It does seem to work, less chance on sunburn and the loose clothing keeps the suns rays of sensitive skin. Hats are also very useful in this regard.

Shirts and trousers thick cotton.

By Chris' Wills (not verified) on 01 Jul 2007 #permalink

Chris, I owe you an apology--for some reason, your IP was marked as spam by my commenting software, and I didn't catch it until now.

Regarding the clothes, I occasionally wear long sleeves in summer, if the fabric is light in weight and color. I'll admit, it's the woman in the long dark dress that makes me think she must have felt hot.

That's OK, I'ld leave my IP address marked if I was you. I suspect a lot of spam might come from Jubail and need checking before you accept it.

The dark dress would be a problem, especially as she most likely has a corset on and it is probably woolen. Not the most breezy article of attire.

By Chris' Wills (not verified) on 07 Jul 2007 #permalink

Chris, you did indeed land back in the spam folder. I tried to change the setting, but I don't trust it. I'll keep an eye out, just in case. My apologies again on the delay getting back to you.