Stepping back to 1935

October 16, 2014

Let’s take a step back to 1935, when it cost just 8 cents for a loaf of bread, 11 cents for a pound of hamburger meat, and just ten cents for a gallon of gas. It’s also the year the Hoover Dam was completed, and the year Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Pacific.

Here in Rochester, Albert R. Koch took on a role as manager of the Hart’s Food Store on Thurston Avenue.

“I’m guessing he was about 20 years old in these photos,” said Joe Struble, Collections Manager at George Eastman House.

Albert (1915-2008) was Joe’s uncle. “He had graduated from Aquinas Institute here in Rochester probably two years before. He had worked in his father’s restaurant on Main Street, the Alco Food Shoppe (later the Penguin Diner and now Jim’s, I believe) in high school, but Hart’s may have been his first ‘real’ job. He certainly looks proud of his display.”

He certainly does! We just love the way those cans are stacked!

“He later worked for Haloid here in Rochester (evolved into Xerox), but left for Los Angeles in 1946, where he lived all the rest of his life. In 1950, he was employed at Packard-Bell and worked in various positions. That company was bought by Teledyne Electronics and Al continued in their Contract Department until retirement in 1988; at that time he was a contract manager.”

We’re so grateful to the George Eastman House for sharing these photos with us!

Photo Credit:
George Eastman House Collection
Gift of Joseph R. Struble

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  • Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it. How was the Grand Opening? How’s business? I love the photos of the store. It looks fantastic. Reflects exactly the way I like to shop and eat. We’re very proud (by association) of what you’ve done and would love an update.


  • I just wanted to let you know Alfred’s brother Robert ( Robert Hart Printing company) printed the annual business report for Haloid. My Mom had some Haloid stock certificates from my Uncle Robert. I will look for them as soon as I can. I’m sorry I have not been around to support the best Grocery Store in Rochester. My mother in law ( who lives in Utica) has been ill. My father in law is 93 and she is 90. It’s difficult for him to take care of her, so my wife and I have been there to help out for a few months now. Eventually we will become regular shoppers. Aaron and Lee and my daughter Heather and her boyfriend Ben have lunch and grocery shop all the time. I don’t think you have met my daughter and her significant other. Aaron and Lee rave about your food all the time.
    Wishing you the same success I would wish for my own family… Cause you really are kind of family. At least I feel you are!!!!
    Harts is the best!!!!
    Doug Gallant

  • We love looking back at a simpler time.It is always fun to look back how far things have come. Great photos.

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