Before there was such a thing as a 'dollar store', there was the 'Five and Dime'. It was a chain of retail stores that carried almost everything you ever needed in life. And even a soda fountain.
The first Woolworth store was opened by Frank Winfield Woolworth on Feb. 22, 1878 as 'Woolworth's Great Five Cent Store' in Utica New York. It didn't make it in Utica but a year later, it reopened in Lancaster Pa. It was a huge success, growing into one of the largest retail chains in the world through most of the 20th century. It started to decline in the 1980s because of the competition. Woolworth's went out of business in 1997. (It eventually regrouped into a sporting goods seller and became 'Foot Locker'.)
In 1979, Woolworth's turned 100 years old and commemorated the occasion with this paperweight featuring a bronze medallion / token encased in Lucite. The front of the token shows the Woolworth building. The back of the token is an impression of Frank Woolworth proudly standing in front of his 'Five and 10c Store' sign.
The paperweight measures 2 1/2 inches across, 2 1/2 inches deep, and 2 1/2 inches high. It weighs 243 grams. It's in excellent vintage condition.
It brings back some good memories. (Years ago when we lived in NYC, our loft had a row of ORIGINAL Woolworth's counter stools with the original foot step and bar that went along under the counter. All that was missing was someone to whip up some chocolate sundaes.)
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1979 F.W. Woolworth Co. Token Medallion Encased in Lucite Paperweight