Western Appliance (San Jose, CA) – Aside from this remarkable sign, Western Appliance is perhaps most notable for being in business since 1873. The first store was opened by Jacob Niederauer in Bakersfield, CA shortly after the end of the Civil War. Of course, during the nineteenth century there was not much available for Californians to purchase in the way of home appliances. The first store dealt in all sorts of household goods and furnishings like carpets, wall paper, window shades and picture frames. They could also have their things delivered to them by horse and carriage. Side note: In addition to dealing in home furnishings, Niederauer also operated as an undertaker… naturally.
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