Do you remember window shopping at the big downtown department stores? Freezing cold holiday shoppers all pressed up against the plate glass like moths to a porch light. Dreams of sugar plums and reindeer and presents under the tree were fueled by these sparkling menageries of the latest and greatest stuff. The displays themselves were an art form; and pulling people in off the street was the ultimate goal. In all but our largest metros, scenes like these have been lost as retailers gradually moved to suburban malls. This series of pictures from the Rochester Public Library documents some of the windows at Sibley, Lindsay and Curr Co. department store in downtown Rochester more than 70 years ago…
A Sibley’s Christmas-time window display with the theme of English carolers in a village.
“In Merrie England. The Christmas Carolers on Their Rounds Through the Village.
The Spirit of Christmas in is in the air.” 1925.
A Sibley’s window display at Christmas, featuring mannequins in skiwear
and other winter outerwear. 1932.
Skiwear and other winter outerwear. 1940.
A variety of wreaths and artificial trees. 1940. This window also features a copy of an oil painting by William L. Taylor based on a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Home Keeping Hearts are Happiest.”
I found all of these photos and statements on the following website where you can see even more beautiful Sibley window display photos: