Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Stop & Shop's Sign of the Times

Here is a 1980’s photo of a great vintage Stop & Shop sign (with a clock, yet - always a welcome sight) from the 1957 Medford, Massachusetts store that was shown in a previous post and appears again in the second photo above. The sign photo comes to us through the courtesy of Larry Cultrera, a Medford native and host of a very entertaining and informative new website, Diner Hotline, which features great articles about and photos of that beloved American icon, the diner. Larry wrote a column on diners for many years for the Society for Commercial Archeology’s Journal before moving it to the wider internet audience this past October. Check his site out! Larry provides background on the photo as follows:

“I took the shot of the sign as I recall after Stop & Shop had moved to the other end of the parking lot (into a Super Stop & Shop) where Holiday Lanes (10 pin bowling alley) used to be, the sign remained by the old store for a while. Ironically as we speak, that newer Stop & Shop is inthe process of being replaced by an even newer one. The new one will be located next to the Stop & Shop gas station that sits at a right angle to the current store.

An old Ames Department Store was torn down (originally Zayre's). Zayre's and the Stop & Shop you have pictures of were the first 2 stores built in the Fellsway Shopping Plaza, Stop & Shop on the left end and Zayre's on the right. There were no buildings connecting them for a short time untilthey built the actual plaza that connected the 2 end buildings.”

One more note on the photo – in the background a “Medi-Mart” sign can be seen on a storefront with a logo style very similar to Stop & Shop’s late 60’s/70’s logo. Medi-Mart was a drugstore division of Stop & Shop that at its peak had 66 stores, most (not surprisingly) near Stop & Shop locations. Stop & Shop sold the division to Walgreens in 1986 in what at the time was Walgreens’ largest acquisition.


  1. I love little clocks like that. Goes back to a simpler less hectic time.

    I checked out Diner Hotline and I think that is my new favorite blog. I love the pictures!

  2. Hey! I have been looking at that clock/sign off and on for days, now. I totally forgot that sign existed! What a blast from the past! Oh, and as far as I can remember, the clock displayed the same time (as shown in the pic) for a VERY long time; till they took it down, I believe. They just never bothered to fix it.

  3. Panda Cookie - At least it was right twice a day! Thanks for stopping in!

  4. No problem, Dave! I was fascinated by that sign when I was really small. Very much so. I guess I always had a "thing" for signs...including the huge Citgo sign near Fenway Park. I hope that one never comes down, like the old Stop and Shop sign eventually did.

    Hmmmm...I wonder if someone still has that old S&S sign in storage somewhere...

  5. Visited and photographed the ancient Ames here back in 2006 after stumbling upon it trying to find my way out of Boston. The former Medi-Mart is still largely there if operated differently now next to what was Toys 'R' Us.

    Check out Fellsway on Bing Maps and you can see that antennae in the vintage shot still there -- but no vestige of that amazing clock sign.

    Over in Quincy, there's a sign like it with a triple-pipe towering sign which sits in the middle of the parking lot. Furthermore, the first Dunkin Donuts is a lot over!

  6. Nick - Very cool, thanks for pointing that out! It's definitely an ancient looking tower - I'm not sure if it's strictly a light pole or some kind of transmission antenna, or a combination of the two. Amazing they've left it there despite the extensive revamp of the shopping center.