Friday, July 6, 2007

Jewel Food Stores - Windy City Winter

This circa-1962 shot of a Jewel Store has "Chicago Winter" written all over it. By the following year, most new Jewel stores would feature an Osco Drug section (Osco Drug Co. was acquired by Jewel in 1961), but for a few years the company continued to build new stand-alone Jewels as well.


  1. The ceramic facades of Jewel just seems complimentary to its namesake, sort of a jewel in the land of supermarkets. Also, was the white ceramic used to convey cleanliness in the same a common neighbor to Jewel in the Windy City, White Castle, did? Or was this just an update on the design inherited from the old Loblaws stores which probably was used to convey cleanliness?

  2. The white ceramic was definitely used to present a "clean, bright image", as I've read in a number of old Jewel publications.

    I don't know that I've ever actually seen a Chicago Loblaw photo. I've seen a number of later Loblaw photos (40's-50's)from Canada the and New York area and they were typically brick during the time when Jewel still using porcelain. Jewel appears to have used this look longer than just about anyone else, including Acme.

    Interestingly, in pics I've seen of the earliest Jewels (that were formerly Loblaws),many stores that were opened in the 20's and early 30's were located on the first floor of much older buildings, some of which looked pre-1900! This was actually a fairly common practice.

    This leads me to believe that the white porcelain look was mostly a Jewel initiative.

    Thanks for your comment!

  3. 1 thing that's interesting about Jewel is when this picture was taken they used 2 different kinds of logos.

    There was the print logo which you'd see on their stores and the one with cursive writing which you'd see in the newspaper advertising or in this case, you have a parking lot sign with the writing.

    I even recall a couple of Jewels that had those signs that went around in circles with the writing also in cursive.

    Wonder what the reason was for both type of logos at the same time?

  4. Mike - Jewel used the 2 logos you mentioned - the oval with the script logo and the block lettered version from their earliest stores in the 30's all the way through 1977, when they changed to the current logo.

    The script logo with or without the oval was used for most newspaper ads, and for smaller signs. The block lettered logo was used mostly for the main store signage, probably because it looked more effective spread across the width of the storefront.

    Interestingly, Jewel's block letter font changed very little over the years. From the 30's through the 50's it was dark brown/black with orange outlining, then in the late 50's it switched to orange with black outlining. The picture on this post shows the "narrow" alternate version of the font that they used sometimes starting in the late 50's or so, but on close examination, the look of the lettering is very close to that of the original wider version.

    The combination of the two logos has always looked great to me, but then I'm partial to Jewel.