Very rarely have I ever entered a jewelry store…even for some kind of repair.

Growing up in a Michigan small town, we had a jeweler named Rex who had his own little shop at the end of the block – just a little tiny shop, about the size of a walk-in closet. His wife had a dress shop next door about the same size. Rex must have been doing okay business-wise, but I can’t recall ever seeing anyone go in for anything.

His shop was just a repair shop, not a full-fledged jewelry store…..our town didn’t have one. The only education on jewelry stores I got as a kid were in the movies, on TV, and whenever mom took me with her shopping in the ‘big city’. Then we’d pass by the jewelry shops with all their sparkly rings ‘n stuff sitting behind the front window.

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The selection of rings didn’t impress me too much – they all looked like the Huckleberry Hound ring I got as a free prize inside a box of Cracker Jack. I couldn’t figure out what all the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ were about when the grownups looked at these rings, all closed up in a glass case.

When I saw the prices on these finger ornaments, I was perplexed…..who in their right mind would want to pay thousands of dollars for something you could get for free in a 25-cent box of Cracker Jack? The girls in my elementary school classes were thrilled to get a Huck Hound ring..…little did I know that tastes and preferences would change as we got older.

The photo gallery below shows a good many old Michigan jewelry shops from the early 1900s.

Michigan Jewelers: 1900-1940s


Michigan Ice Houses and Delivery Wagons, Early 1900s

Michigan's One-Room Schoolteachers

Michigan Salesmen, 1900s-1940s

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